Hello and Welcome to the 30th edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table will feature our All-Star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question. A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month.
June’s Round Table question is: Describe the relationship that has had the biggest influence on your coaching career?
Our Coaching Lineup this month:
- Jamy Bechler – Success is a Choice
- Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
- Jeff Depelteau – The Berkshire (MA) School
- Joe Harris – Chelan (WA) High School
- Liz Kay – Wahconah (MA) High School
- Tod Kowalczyk – University of Toledo
- Don Showalter – USA Basketball
- John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
- Ido Singer – UNC Greensboro
- Joe Stasyszyn – Unleashed Potential
Please enjoy this Round Table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast and once you’re finished listening please give the show a five star rating and review after you subscribe on your favorite podcast app..
If you are a basketball coach at any level please check out our Hoop Heads Coaching Mentorship Program. You’ll get matched with one of our experienced Head Coaches and develop a relationship that will help take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
Let’s hear from our coaches about a relationship that has had the biggest influence on their coaching career?
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TRANSCRIPT FOR ROUND TABLE 30 – DESCRIBE THE RELATIONSHIP THAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR COACHING CAREER – EPISODE 488
[00:00:00] Narrator: [00:00:00] The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.
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Mike Klinzing: [00:02:53] Hello, and welcome to the 30th edition of the coach’s corner round table on the hoop heads podcast. Each episode of the coach’s corner round table, we’ll feature our [00:03:00] all-star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question, a new coaches corner round table we’ll drop around the 15th of each month.
June’s round table. Question is, “Describe a relationship that has had the biggest influence on your coaching career.”
Our coaching lineup, this month includes:
Jamy Bechler – Success is a Choice
Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
Jeff Depelteau – The Berkshire (MA) School
Joe Harris – Chelan (WA) High School
Liz Kay – Wahconah (MA) High School
Tod Kowalczyk – University of Toledo
Don Showalter – USA Basketball
John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
Ido Singer – UNC Greensboro
Joe Stasyszyn – Unleashed Potential
Please enjoy this round table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast. And once you’re finished listening, please give the show a five star rating and review.
If [00:04:00] you’re a basketball coach at any level, please check out our Hoop Heads coaching mentorship program. You’ll get matched with one of our experienced head coaches and develop a relationship that will take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @hoopheadspod for the latest updates on episodes, guests and events from the Hoop Heads Pod. Let’s hear from our coaches about a relationship that has had the biggest influence on their coaching career.
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:25] Jamie Bechler from success is a choice.
Jamy Bechler: [00:04:31] I was a graduate assistant way back in the day at Kent state university during Gary water’s first two years there. And even though Gary Waters was the head coach, I mainly worked alongside and reported to one of his assistants, a guy by the name of Larry dissimilar.
Larry was about five years older than me. Already been a small college head coach and had been a volunteer in a successful Eastern Michigan program. He was adobo before Dobos existed. Essentially. I was the same thing for Kent state as he was for Eastern Michigan. Larry dissembler [00:05:00] probably had more impact on my coaching career than any other person because he influenced me during my first two years at the college level, we had very similar philosophies and ideas and I.
Everything I could. I listened to how he interacted with hotel managers on the phone. I watched how he treated bus drivers. I observed how he valued our student athletes. Essentially. I was a little Larry to simpler, much of what I did throughout my 20 year career. As a college coach and athletic director could be traced back to him, at least the good stuff that is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from him was loyalty.
Others better. He was beyond loyal to coach waters. Yes. Larry simpler was in coaching to help athletes become men and to help them become better people. But as an assistant coach, he was also devoted to helping his head coach become better. He tried to think like coach waters, he anticipated what coach waters would need.
He was the trusted Lieutenant. It would be nearly impossible to know if he ever disagreed with something coach waters did or said his job was to make coach waters, his job. [00:06:00] Easier, even though Larry does sampler have many other offers throughout his career. He only ever worked for one head coach. After following that Eastern Michigan assistant coach, Gary Waters over to Kent state, Gary Waters spent 20 years as a head coach at Kent state Rutgers and Cleveland state.
And Larry simpler was by his side for each of those. Some would say that he was a great assistant coach and they wouldn’t be wrong, but he was more than that. He was a great leader because he was a person of influence. Larry to simpler impacted lives and made the people around him better.
Mike Klinzing: [00:06:33] Erik Buehler, Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.
Erik Buehler: [00:06:39] Hey, how’s it going Hoop Heads? This is Eric Buehler at Chatfield senior high. And this round table question we were asked. Describe a relationship that’s heavily influenced you as a coach in your coaching career. And this is a tough question because. As I sit here and I think [00:07:00] about it. I sat with my head.
I can think of 10, 15 people that have helped me get to where I am today. And to just single one relationship out. Isn’t fair to all those people that have given me a hand or given me a leg up in this world. But if I had to single it down to one, one person or a more importantly, two people my parents.
They neither. One of them were a coach. My dad was a coach for me from, I don’t know, fifth grade through seventh grade in a baseball and basketball and a huge sports fan. And but both my parents just gave like unwavering support and helped me through tough times in sports and in as a coach. And kind of let me do my thing as I was getting off the ground with my coaching career and that’s, that would have to be my biggest influence.
[00:08:00] I’ve worked under some gray head coaches. I played for some really good coaches that inspired me when I was younger and, and trying to get into coaching. But by far, the number one influence. Influenced me as a coach is the relationship I have with my parents. So I got to give a lot of credit to them.
Hope you all are doing good out there. And thanks for having me on again,
Mike Klinzing: [00:08:24] Jeff Depelteau, the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts,
Jeff Depelteau: [00:08:32] What’s up Hoop Heads? It’s Jeff Depelteau from the Berkshire School in Massachusetts. For the round table is describe a relationship that has had the biggest influence on your coaching career.
And for me, it would have to be my dad. He was one of my first assistant coaches my first year as a head coach. And he had an unbelievable playing career himself. He’s just got so much knowledge for the game. And even to this day, he’ll watch live streams of our games and I’ll bounce ideas off of [00:09:00] him.
And I’m always constantly looking for his feedback because he’s just got so much to share within the game. He was an unbelievable person and he’s really good at kind of taking the dad bias out and just telling me how it is. So I know I’m going to get the honest truth from him. So yes, coach Ray Depelteau throwing it back to our, one of my original podcasts with who peds with, with me and my dad.
But he is a huge influence on me in my coaching. Hope everyone’s doing well. Take care.
Jamy Bechler: [00:09:28] Joe Harris
Mike Klinzing: [00:09:30] Joe Harris, Lake Chelan High School – Lake Chelan, Washington.
Joe Harris: [00:09:35] Hello, Hoop Heads. This and Joe Harris at lake Chalan high school with this month’s round table question, describe a relationship that has had the biggest influence on your coaching career.
I think I’m someone that has really affected my career when I was, when I first became a coach right out of college. I’m at a high school in the state of Washington, bill Alex Alexander. Football coach. And it was very evident to me when I first saw him [00:10:00] coach that his passion for kids and the passion he had for the game of football as a high school football coach was extremely evident.
I was an assistant coach in his program and I learned the, the value of being organized and being a tactician and being a caring individual with the players. But yet at the same time having the extremely high expectations for your players on and off the court, in and out of the seat. Also another person that I believe this really affected my coaching career has been my wife, Alice.
She was with me for 31 years in my coaching careers and assistant coach on the sidelines, a sounding board at home kept me level headed. Made me think deeper than the game. And I think that’s okay. Key component for any coaches to have someone at home that you can really trust to be able to, to help you become a better person or a better coach.
So those are, those are people that have affected my career. And until next time, thanks again for letting me be on
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:58] Liz Kay, from [00:11:00] Wahconah high school in Dalton, Massachusetts.
Liz Kay: [00:11:04] Hey Hoop Heads? It’s Liz Kay from Wahconah high school in Dalton, Massachusetts. And to answer this month’s round table question on impactful relationships throughout our coaching career, it would be impossible for me to name just one person or one relationship.
That’s had the most impact on me. From my early days, my mentor, who got me my first head coaching job and taught me the ropes when I was a volunteer assistant coach. Two administrators and athletic directors along the way who have taught me and helped me navigate the ups and the downs throughout various seasons two, currently my relationship with our boys basketball coach who I always am able to bounce ideas off of and, and share ideas.
To my assistant coaches who really have been the backbone of our program over the last several years. We all share similar philosophies. We all are really honest and give constructive feedback in, in an effort and with the knowledge [00:12:00] that that, that honesty will make us all better as coaches and as people.
We’re all so, so passionate about what we do and we love our kids. And honestly I would say that that the ability to be in the same room with people who I consider better than I am, have really made me jump as a coach. It’s it’s humbling. It’s certainly takes away from any ego that you might have.
And if you can embrace those constructive relationships when things are going really well and when things aren’t. You’re certainly going to be set up for success. So thank you to our big, our bigs coach, Fiona to Sarah who took our freshmen under their wing under her wing this year and made them feel welcome.
And Full of energy to Dan who takes ownership over our youth program and our JV position and has been incredibly supportive over the years for me and in you know, easing my [00:13:00] transition into the program as the head coach and to our guards coach, to our scout guy, to our video film breakdown, man.
A Jack of all trades, Jeremy, who also happens to be my husband. I don’t know what I would do without him. I certainly appreciate our late nights talking hoops and you know, our, our breakdown breakdowns of everything that goes on within our program. Hope this is helpful. And that you’re all well.
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Todd Kowalczyk from the University of Toledo.
Tod Kowalczyk: [00:14:19] Biggest influence in my coaching career is really comes down to two people. My father was a high school basketball coach. And then as an assistant coach, I had the privilege to work for a guy named Keith Dickson and unbelievably successful coach at St.
Anselm’s college. Two of my best years in a profession, I learned so much from him. On, on what, on how to build a program, maintain a program and do with integrity how he, how he went about his daily decisions and how he treated the players was something that I really valued to this day. And can’t thank Keith enough.
Narrator: [00:14:53] Don Showalter USA basketball.
Tod Kowalczyk: [00:14:59] Hi, [00:15:00] Don Showalter here from USA basketball. And the question is describe a relationship that has had the biggest influence. On your coaching career? Well, without a doubt, I think the biggest influence for me was John wooden. I worked his camp for 20 years or 20 years as a young coach. I really got to balance a lot of things off of him.
And every summer he was a mentor for me, as I progressed to by coaching and really was, was very, very helpful. So I think he was a person that a relationship that I had really. Really work on. And he became a mentor and I think coaches need to you know, develop relationships through camps and through clinics.
I think that’s where you really learn and get to know people. And, and then that way you can, you can have a, a great mentorship with coaches through those relationships.
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:56] John Shulman University of Alabama, Huntsville and the [00:16:00] 720 sports group.
John Shulman: [00:16:03] John Shulman. The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
And is who’s I guess, had the biggest influence on my coaching career. Couple of things, I’m just going to tell everybody it, you got to have help to get where you’re going. You’re not just going to do it on your own, unless you’re a high level. High level player was an unbelievable pedigree, but you’re still going to need some help along the way.
So, I mean, I’m nothing and nobody in nodding choking had it not been for Alan LaForce, who was the head coach at east Tennessee state. When I met him, he was an assistant coach at east Tennessee state, and I was a high level JV basketball coach at university. And it fell on the force. Doesn’t take interest in me.
I promise you. I don’t know what would happen to me in my coaching career. He took interest in me and wanted to help me and called athletic [00:17:00] director. I’m sorry. He head basketball, coach Richard Johnson at Wofford and told him to hire me. He, we would meet daily and go over ALEKS and we would meet daily and go to man-to-man D and I became his guy.
And after one year at Walford, he hired me as graduate assistant at east Tennessee state. And then hired me as full-time. And has been there every step of the way with the, and he’s 86 years old lives in rock hill, South Carolina now. And actually I saw him last weekend. That relationship is like father, son.
So he would be the biggest influence in my coaching career, but other people who I watched, you know, I watch I steal from everybody. The biggest influence probably X and O wise in my coaching career was probably. These Smith came out with a book and I became a Carolina fan and a Dean Smith fan watching his multiple defenses and changing [00:18:00] defenses.
And he was the first guy that really came up with a secondary break. He was the first guy that came up with the trapping off the paths and off the dribble and changing these and doing different things. So you tell that a lot of fun. You know, Dean Smith Don Meyer became a big influence on me. I’ve got to know him pretty well.
He intimidated the fire out of me, but he taught me an awful lot of stuff about organization and different things. Bobby Knight, even though I’ve met him once, but no relationship really was a huge influence. It was just, you know, I guess the mole to my story. I can learn from anybody and everybody and everybody, every coach from the eighth grade, seventh grade, sixth grade up to, you know, Brad Stevens with the Celtics was coach of the Celtics.
Everybody influenced my career and that’s the great thing you can learn from everybody. Hope. [00:19:00] this helps
Mike Klinzing: [00:19:02] Ido Singer from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Ido Singer: [00:19:09] This is ITTO singer assistant coach at UNC G women’s basketball and the relationship that had the biggest impact on my coaching career can be traced back.
About 13 years, I met this person on Facebook. She’s an ex w NBA player and was working in China at the time for Canon baker. And we just started talking about hoops. We started talking about hoops, but our ideas, our values, and we’ve realized that we’re aligning really well. And so we stayed in touch over the years.
She’s been coaching and doing different projects and we were able to honestly, and genuinely can manage. Without any ulterior motive. It’s not [00:20:00] like I was coaching in college at the time I was a middle school or high school coach. She was working with youth. It was a genuine connection. That was just a mutual thing.
Beneficial connection. And over the years we stayed in touch. We exchanged ideas, we exchanged X’s and O’s and articles. And if she saw something, she thought I would like, she’d send it to me and vice versa. And as we started moving up and around the country and the profession, I was I was a head coach in division two at the time.
And I had lost my job and I was at home sitting at home trying to find a new job, trying to. Network and and apply for different physicians. And unbeknownst to me, she had reached out to someone she knew who was looking for an assistant coach at the time. And that person is my current head coach at UNC G.
And she put in a really good word for me. And and I didn’t know anything about that. [00:21:00] And so my point is that this 12 year, 13 year long relationship. Paid dividends in the end because it was built on a great connection. That started from a place where neither one of us really went into this looking for something other than making a great connection and making a friend.
And as we started growing and getting to know each other better, she felt comfortable enough to put in such a good word for me, that resulted in me getting a job interview. And a look at a job that I had no prior connection to and no way of even being considered for the position that I ended up getting.
So my advice to everyone out there listening to this is enter relationships with people in your profession, people around your profession, honestly, and without wanting to get anything out of it because [00:22:00] coaches know when you. Reaching out to them. For something that’s not really honest, if if someone reaches out to an NBA coach, they immediately consider it like a logo friend, which is a, which is a term I heard at a convention where young coaches will sometimes reach out to coach K because they want to be associated with coach K, but that’s not really the best connection to me.
The better connection to make would be to probably get to know somebody around that staff develop a connection with them and keep growing. And, and these things pay dividends at the end. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be helping you find a job, but growing, learning, getting to know good people, getting to exchange ideas.
Enriching each other’s lives. So interrelationships with the utmost honesty and respect, and don’t expect anything in [00:23:00] return and you will get everything in reserve
Mike Klinzing: [00:23:04] Joe Stasyszyn, Unleashed Potential Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Joe Stasyszyn: [00:23:11] Joe’s decision unleash potential. This month’s question is describe your relationship has had the biggest impact on your coaching career. I’ve been very fortunate to have many, many great mentors and relationships throughout my long coaching career. But I would have to say without a doubt that coach K at duke university has been the biggest influence in, and the greatest relationship that I’ve had that has really influenced my coaching career.
It goes back to when I was a right out of high school, I went to a prep school in new England and he was then the young coach at west point. And I remember this, like it was yesterday. He sent his graduate assistant, Chuck Swenson. Who was was the woman, Mary, eventually William Mary Head coach, and was also an [00:24:00] assistant with Tommy Amacher Michigan.
He used to send a young Chuck Swenson up to watch me play, you know, almost every game when I was in prep school, up in, up in Connecticut. And you know, so my relationship with, with coach started back then When he was coaching at west point and I was doing my PG year Cheshire academy where I, you know, I got to know about coach a little bit.
Then he was, you know, sort of like of unknown, I guess you could say an unknown at that point, but our relationship grew from there. I, I decided not to attend Western. And as it turned out, he would have left two years after I got in there to go to duke. So when he went to duke is, is when I, you know, I continued to follow him and fell in love with duke basketball and everything that he stood for the way he played man to man defense and, you know, attended many clinics that he had add to and other places and developed a relationship with him to the point when I was a young high school coach, I wrote him a letter and asked him if I could possibly. [00:25:00]
Work is basketball camp. So that was early on in my coaching career. And I was given a great opportunity to do that. And then ended up spending the next 25 years straight working with coach at his basketball camp and developing even a greater relationship relationship as a friend. And he’s became a huge mentor for me.
I mean, I can just say just going to camp every year and spending time with him you know, and, and learning from him. Just in a camp environment. And just in some of the things, you know, being around him that I had an opportunity to do, and also developing a close relationship with his staff, you know, from a will Stevens, who I consider one of the top strength and conditioning performance coaches in the nation.
You know, working with coach and back then, you know, coach Collins and wo Joe and coach Dawkins and, and just the, you know, the mentorship and the friendships that I gained from coach K and being down there at duke, even until, you [00:26:00] know, the point of you know, about before COVID, when I spent some time working with one of their assistants, Chris, Carolyn.
You know, on the practice floor before practice one day for about an hour and a half sharing my, you know, my player development stuff with them and, and having them start to incorporate some of the things that I, that I shared with them. And, you know, and I can remember, you know, from that coach, you know, email me and just thank me for working with his, with his young assistants.
And that’s just the relationship that we, that, that we, we share and the friendship that we share. So it’s been a, it’s been a great, great, you know, 25 or more than 25 years, 25 years working with coach down in, down to duke, which I consider to be my second home to the point where I actually, you know, started a relationship with him way back in 1978.
So I feel very, very fortunate to have him as my mentor and friend, and also to the point where, you know, a few years ago, [00:27:00] He recommended me to work with USA basketball, which has become a tremendous opportunity for me to be able to work with Kosho Walter, very closely with USA basketball and all the things that I get to do with them.
Coach K was very, very instrumental in, in doing that. And, and one lesson then I’d like to share with coaches is, is this, and he’s brought this up. Coaches brought this up at numerous times in a large group. Right before we start camp that, you know, when I first started working at duke duke camp, you know, over 25 years ago that I went there and I worked hard and I wasn’t really looking to, you know, network and, and climb the ladder and coast brought that up, that, you know, I went there and worked hard and did a good job.
And, you know, I use this all the time in saying that, you know, it’s about relationships and it’s about doing the good job. Working hard, you know, people notice when you do that, you know, those kinds of things like, you know, coach noticed that I did that. And then, you know, developing my legacy as a coach [00:28:00] going forward, you know, and, and doing a good job and working hard, allowed me to have him recommend me to work with USA baskets.
So I just think that’s a really, really important lesson with you. Talk about relationships with coaches and mentoring, you know, and, and now it’s sort of surreal for me to think that, you know, a week or two ago when he announced this, this was last year, I spent a whole day with all kinds of memories that I have had with him and being around him and just learning from him and him being such a good person.
You know, I know when my father passed away a few years ago, you know, the, the kind words and the email that he sent me and encouraged me and, you know, it’s just, it’s just a true, he’s just a tremendous person besides being probably the greatest coach to ever coached the game of college basketball. So I just wanted to share that with you.
I think that a lot of lessons that I’ve learned. A lot of things, a lot of great memories is going to be really, really hard when he, when he, when he [00:29:00] walks away from the game this year, you know, when I think back of all those years and how fast that time went and how fortunate I was to have him as a very, very good friend and a mentor.
So I just wanted to share that. Thank you very much.
Mike Klinzing: [00:29:14] Thanks for checking out this month, who peds podcast round table. We’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coach. Thanks for listening to the hoop heads podcast presented by Head Start Basketball