“Necessary Roughness” Gruden Article October 2002

GrudenThis is an article titled “Necessary Roughness” I have kept on hand since late 2002. It was from Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine, which I borrowed from one of my flights when I was doing camp.

With Coach Jon Gruden back with the Raiders, it a perfect time to re-evaluate his approach to the game.

The first question and answer from the interview portion of the article is all you need to know about Coach Gruden.

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Morning Discussion on a Company’s Culture

I had conversation with a VP of Sales for an prestigious New England company this morning.

The individual cited the following reasons for not retaining or hiring individuals in the company:

  1. Didn’t have the right personality
  2. Not mature enough
  3. Didn’t fit the company’s culture
  4. Were not able to get the job done without daily supervision/Different mindset

This is something to think about when hiring an assistant or if you are looking for your next coaching position/career…do you fit the culture?

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You Pick

Charlie Kim’s article “9 Differences Between Selfish and Selfless Leaders,” is a good cheat sheet you can use to identify which type of leader you are.

What was interesting to me was the notion of “instead of interviewing and evaluating the company, evaluate the manager who will be your leader.”

This is so critical in order for you program to be successful. A coach or business manager without the support of administration or ownership is doomed to fail.

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The Case for…Chip Kelly – Melissa Jacobs

This recent Sports Illustrated article by Melissa Jacobs, makes a case for Chip Kelly being the right hire for the San Francisco 49ers. I think it is at least a logical argument for hiring a coach who seemed to not have the necessary personality to connect with his players during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Although having the necessary tactical skills are very important, nothing is as important as treating players with respect and getting to know them on a personal level, in my opinion. X’s and O’s can be learned, personality and caring can not.

Although the 49ers do need a whole system transformation in order to get the necessary production out of Colin Kaepernick, it will be interesting to see if Kelly can make the changes necessary or if the 49ers should have went with an “Unusual Hire” (see “Taking a (Calculated) Risk in Hiring”) to fill its head coaching vacancy

The Case for…Chip Kelly- Sports Illustrated – Jan. 25, 2016 – Melissa Jacobs

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Saban’s Culture Makes it a Smart Choice to Keep Kirby On

nick-saban-kirby-smartjpg-6d0c51832a480e6c

Tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship features three college football head coaches: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.

Smart is currently the Alabama Defensive Coordinator who was recently named Head Coach at the University of Georgia.

Due to college football’s schedule, Smart has had to assume both roles, as Saban has allowed him to remain on staff and finish Alabama’s run at their fourth national championship in seven years.

Clearly, Saban feels comfortable that Kirby will be ultra focused on getting his defense ready to the best of his ability, even though Saban knows Kirby will be dedicating some of his time to putting a staff together at Georgia and recruiting against Alabama and other SEC rivals.

Here are a few articles that give some perspective on Kirby’s unique situation:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14414965/what-kirby-smart-learn-dan-mullen-tom-herman

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/kirby-smart-juggling-alabama–georgia-roles-ahead-of-playoff-214830041-ncaaf.html

This dual role is interesting for me to fathom as a college basketball coach.

Due to the calendar/schedule, this is much more of a possibly in college football than college basketball. As a matter of fact, I have never heard of a team making a Final Four run with an Associate Head Coach/Assistant Coach who was already hired in another program, have you?

I think the sheer logistics on the coaching staff allow college football staff members to share some of the load of losing a coordinator or position coach. This would be much more difficult in my opinion on a college basketball staff because of 1) a small staff size and 2) the fact that in the tournament teams play Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday on the first two weeks of the tournament. These back to back games would severely limit a coaches ability to do both jobs to the best of their ability.

Either way, the fact that Saban is allowing this shows the confidence he has in himself, his culture and Alabama as a brand.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo