College coaches will be in Las Vegas next week during the recruiting period looking for the next great player, and some of them will also try to inspire the next great coach.
Rising Coaches Elite, a coaching clinic for Division I men's basketball support staff members, will host its second conference in town, and these up-and-coming coaches will be getting a chance to hear some big names speak such as Xavier's Chris Mack and USC's Kevin O'Neill.
Forty-five attendees last year listened to top coaches give advice, tricks of the trade, and even life lessons. Memphis coach Josh Pastner imparted his recruiting philosophy of "Have a little shake & bake, but keep it simple and be direct." A couple of Marquette coach Buzz Williams' talking points included "Be a killer every day" while also reminding "God blesses the intent of our heart."
Tips of all varieties were offered. USC associate head coach Bob Cantu's recruiting recommendation was to "try to stand at the baseline so the kid sees you and sit across from his bench to see interactions with coaches and refs when he is not in the game." When Clemson coach Brad Brownell and St. John's coach Steve Lavin spoke, one of the talking points was, "Make sure the woman you marry understands coaching and the demands of your profession."
Mainly, future coaches were advised to work hard, build relationships and be loyal -- things that people in any profession should consider doing. It's all about providing a support system for staffers who are eager to learn and could one day move up the ladder to become big-time coaches.
"We were all talking about how there is NOTHING out there for guys in support staff roles (graduate assistants, director of basketball operations, video coordinators, player personnel guys, etc.) to network with one another and to learn really how to become an assistant coach," said DePaul director of basketball operations Andy Farrell, one of the founders of Rising Coaches Elite. "We're really starting at the grassroots of the coaching profession.
"This idea is just so needed and if executed properly, like I know we will, be a tremendous stepping stone for rising coaches and future support staff members."