Sideline Stories – Basketball Coach Weekly 185

Here is a recent interview that was published in the most recent Basketball Coach Weekly – Issue 185

I appreciate Basketball Coach Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief, Mike Austin, interest in my perspective and decision to step away from the game temporarily due to family obligations.

I am looking forward to getting back to the sidelines very soon.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener: More Than Just Championships

Thunder Road – Sports Illustrated – Lee Jenkins – May 30, 2016

This article by Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated show’s why Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may stay in Oklahoma City no matter what their fate is this season in their quest to the NBA Championship.

It just goes to show that despite the yearly coaching carousel, the mass exodus by transfers every year in college basketball and NBA free agents bolting for the money, maybe, just maybe, Durant and Westbrook are mature beyond their years.

Sometimes the grass is not always greener and quality of life and building a lasting legacy will mean more down the road.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo




Flash on My Mind

Over the past week, I have had the fortune to see some of my former players and parents of my AAU team, the South County Flash.

My wife, daughter and I had the chance to visit the Fleming’s in Narragansett, Rhode Island. It was great to see one of my former players, Bridget, “coaching” up my daughter Amara and getting her to drop her “shy guy” front and show her 3 year old persona.


Then last night, I had the chance to help a former player’s (Jordan) father, Kevin Delaney, X and O. Coach Delaney, the Head JV Coach at the Prout School, was going to be facing a 1-3-1 zone defense and wanted some insights of things I have done at the college level to combat that scheme.

What I took from these two experiences is the impact that I have had on my former players and parents AND the impact they have had on me.

That is the main reason that I love coaching.

Sure the competition is great and I am always looking to improve myself and my team. However, it is the lifetime relationships that mean the most to me. Having an extended family and true people who care for you and vice versa, is what it is all about for me (see former post “The Drive” for another story on a former S.C. Flash alumane).

It also reminds me of some of the places and games that I have coached. Hawkeye Arena, Carnesecca Arena, Bryce Jordan Center, Western Illinois, Marshall, The RAC, etc. However, it all started with middle school kids who wanted to have fun, get better and loved the game.

It puts the game in perspective and is a motivator for me to continue to improve daily and get back on the sidelines.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


Make “Black Monday” Mandatory for All Sports

“Black Monday” is the term used for the first Monday after the NFL regular season concludes, which marks the start of firing/replacing NFL coaching staffs and front office executives.

Maybe it should be called “Black Sunday” or “Black Monday Eve” since the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers fired their head coaches last evening and beat the crowd.

Nevertheless, as the week unfolds, it is expected that the Colts, Eagles, Dolphins, and Titans will name new head coaches/executives and it is rumored that the Giants and Saints may also make moves.

Before discussing the value of Black Monday, with potentially eight to ten coaching staff moves, let us not forget the families that this affects. IT IS NOT JUST THE COACHES, but their FAMILIES too: wives, children, extended family. It is an emotionally tough time for all involved. Getting to the top of your profession only to be fired and out of the game, temporarily or permanently, is a huge disappointment and takes lots of soul searching for families to maintain their perseverance and faith in the harsh climate of professional and college athletics.

In saying that, let’s ask the value of Black Monday as a useful tool in filling job searhes. Why do other sports not have a Black Monday of their own? Think about it does MLB? NBA? NHL? College football? College basketball? No they don’t.

Does Black Monday have a purpose or is it just another genius marketing tactic employed by the NFL to dominate media coverage on another day that is not Sunday?

I think that there is some merit to both.

In certain regards, it would make those making coaches lives in those sports easier to know the unofficial start of the job opening process. Coaches could tap into social networks, prepare for interviews, contact potential candidates for building a coaching staff. In addition, those who get released get can quickly try to land another position without much time off.

Having a Black Monday is harsh but maybe it would get coaches on the same basic contract dates so it would help to curb the continuous slew of openings, especially in college athletics on a yearly basis. It might just take some of the guess work out of jobs that may or may not be open.

Conversely, it is also hard to argue that the NFL is a media superpower and that the creation of Black Monday is another way for their franchises to boost moral after a disappointing season and the NFL to remain in the forefront of their fans’ minds and consume another day of coverage.

Either way, I think that the other major sports and college athletics should consider organizing similar days so that families getting hired or fired can prepare for the changes that area about to occur in their lives. It would make the transition process much smoother and more organized.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


Down and Distance: The Life and Times of Coaches Spouses

This is a great article by Lindsay Schnell to remind coaches that there are other things that go into play during a coach’s season…namely your family and spouse: 

It is easy to forget that sometimes we leave our family responsibilities behind at times throughout the season and during the important recruiting months. In addition, spouses have to deal with the uncertainty of the business of our profession. This is a crazy and mostly unsettling lifestyle for them to bare.

I truly appreciate my wife for all that she does for me, our daughter and our family. Without her none of it would be possible. She is truly the head coach of our family and has done so with an undefeated record.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Today was a fantastic day for our program. Not just because all four of our freshman arrived safely to campus but because examples of our championship culture were on full display.

First, juniors Nicole Grossbard, Jackie Beathea and Danielle Powell had the privilege to help fellow students move-in this afternoon. It was a great example of our program interacting with a different cohort of students and getting a chance to give their time up to support others and lend a helping hand.


Just as important another junior, Jackie Deens, made sure our freshmen (left to right) Chandler Williams, Kendra Meredith, Paige Decker and Chloe Brinton, felt welcome in West Hall (#WESTUP) by sending them an awesome gift basket.



Plain and simple, our upperclassmen get our culture – It’s making small sacrifices for the sake of others. It’s appreciating what you have and sharing that appreciation with others.

One last thing that a player shared with me…



She knows who she is…I just wanted to show that I appreciate her.