Thanks But No Thanks
The struggle of finding a coaching job.
by Kevin Owens
Experience. It is a requirement, and I, apparently, have none. What I am referring to is my unsuccessful attempts to land a job in college basketball. Over the past few months I have sent my résumé to coaches from every conference, division and possibly state in collegiate basketball. For my efforts I have received feedback and responses from only two coaches. Both of whom are head coaches of high profile Division 1 schools, and both of whom took time out of their busy days to give me positive feedback and encourage me to continue to chase my post-playing dream. I thank those two individuals.
I have heard all the rumors and that coaching is all about who you know. I, however, thought that my experience as a professional basketball player would work in my favor. Instead I am losing out on jobs to guys who never even played college basketball.
I am starting to think, had I gone into coaching directly out of college it would have been easier to land a job then it is now. Do you realize how ridiculous that statement is?! Had I bypassed my professional career, in which I gained absurd amounts of basketball knowledge, I would be better “prepared” to handle the responsibilities of a coach because I would be more familiar with the inner workings of an athletic program.
Don’t believe me? Well after my first year in the D-League I received several inquiries about whether or not I’d be interested in coaching college basketball. I told myself, I have a small window of time to play professionally. I can come back and coach anytime I want after my career is over. Well the career is over, and I am having door after door slammed in my face.
Now let me say first that I am not writing this as an attack on college basketball. I don’t hold any vendettas or grudges against those who have wronged me…well maybe just one program. (This program held a special place in my heart, but upon applying for an assistant job twice in the past year and a half, and knowing everyone who makes the decisions, I was not even given the decency of a phone call. But please keep sending me solicitations for money.)
Like I said, this is not an attack. Although I have seven years of professional basketball experience, and have spent the past seven summers training local high school, college and professional athletes, that does not give me a green light into coaching. I could be missing that one thing that would make me successful.
And I have lost out on jobs to guys who have résumé similar to mine; they just already had their foot in the door. One would think with my size 17 shoes, I would find a way to wedge mine into some kind of door, no matter how small. But it is not looking promising.
Since landing a college coaching job is far more difficult than I anticipated and since I can’t get paid in smiles, I have been thinking of other possible careers. One idea that I have been toying with is to become some sort of media personality. I would need a niche. Something that companies would pay for, and people would be interested in. Like say maybe testing athletic products, workouts and gear.
I have received some experience in this field over the past year. I flew down to IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida to test the Under Armour Combine 360 Basketball program, and the UA Performance mouthwear with Armour Bite technology. I also was invited to the launch of the Reebox Reeflex shoes, featuring Josh Duhamel and Ali Larter, and received a pair to test out. (They are phenomenal by the way. Light, comfortable, and they actually help me stay on my toes when I run. Just today I wore them out and was asked my opinion by several people.) Recently I have also been asked to test a workout program by a friend from Stack Magazine.
The program is an app for the iPhone called Stack Attack. It is a program designed primarily for basketball players by Head Trainer and CEO of Attack Athletics Tim Grover. Grover has trained some of the best basketball players in NBA history, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade.
Stack and Attack Athletics have designed this program to benefit everyone from an athlete looking for that extra bit of explosiveness and strength, to a weekend warrior looking to get themselves in shape. Over the past few weeks I have gathered a few test subjects to try this workout on. Some are high school athletes, some are professional athletes, some are former athletes, and some are the void of athleticism. We are currently all embarking on the program. I will write a follow-up upon completion, detailing our starting statistics and final statistics.
So that is where I currently stand—sending out emails to a majority of college coach’s junk mail file, all while testing new and innovative products. Hopefully some corporate big shot will think I am interesting enough to make this dream I have had for the past two days into a reality.