championship, but right up there with it is when you watch that kid cross the stage, get his degree, and then go on to be successful. You’ve got to win games to continue to have this opportunity, but you’ve also got to help these young men. You’ve got to help them understand where they’re going. Many of them need a little push.
Q Since making the jump, what have you found to be the biggest difference between Division I and Division II?
And you remembered him?
He remembered me! He introduced himself and said, “I guess I should have hired you!” And I said, “No, you shouldn’t have! You did the right thing.”
Have you always aimed for college coaching,rather than at a professional level?
I’ve never been as interested in coaching professional teams. I like dealing with college kids. My job is obviously to be successful in basketball, but I think it extends to more than that. Most of the kids are in a stage of life where they need to continue to mature and grow, and to learn responsibility. The most satisfying thing in coaching is obviously winning a
You know, this is the ultimate. This is the top level. This is the state’s school. This is the state’s basketball program. At Central Missouri, it’s more of a regional concept. So, the time demands [in Division I] are higher. You’re also dealing with more highly skilled players here, and you have access to a lot more resources, such as nutritionists, psychologists, a great academic support system, a large compliance staff … and so on. I have a lot of people here. At Central Missouri, I had two assistant coaches and a graduate assistant. When we were talking about this job, [Athletics Director] Mike Alden said, “You are now the CEO of men’s basketball.” I’ve had to learn to delegate because I simply can’t do everything.
NOVEMBER 2014 INSIDE COLUMBIA