How did you model your coaching ideal?
Sometimes negative role models can be helpful because I was impacted most as far as what not to do by my high school coach. There was a whole lot of screaming, yelling and conditioning without very much coaching going on. However, here we pride ourselves on teaching the game. My mindset has always been to come in from the standpoint of teaching. The coach is not an insignificant part of the program, if they want to push the correct way of doing things, and put academics first then the kids will get the most out of it.
You recently moved to the all-time wins leader at Carleton. What are some other moments you have had at Carleton?
I enjoy the recognition for setting the record for most wins at Carleton, but at the same time it has a lot to do with how long I have been coaching. They are really the team’s accomplishments. It is enjoyable for me to watch a group of young people work hard together. This year was also a great memory winning the league and going to the national tournament. We are typically a good team in the conference, but when we started off 0-3 I had a meeting with the captains and the seniors. I told them that when you trip up on a quiz early in the year you could recover from it you just need to work hard and persevere. We won our next 17 games.
What is the relationship like between you and your players?
I don’t have a big ego, and neither do my assistants. So the players can say things they notice while on the court to us. Our players regard us as pretty good technicians of the game, but they also know that we value their input. There is a nice trust factor with everyone involved. They appreciate the fact that we are so flexible with our schedule. We graduated our sixth consecutive class where our students did not miss one minute of lab or class due to basketball. We take our winter trip to Hawaii over winter break, so no one misses anything then. We want to put them into a situation where the athletic piece is not interfering with the academic piece.
Do you feel you can characterize the personality of the team?
They play the game the right way. They will make the extra pass. They are unbelievably unselfish. They believe in the team aspect of the game, and really understand the game. Our guys are not cheap. They respect the other guys. Our players don’t try to cut corners. For example last year, we lead the nation in fewest fouls per contest. That doesn’t mean we just are sitting out there either because we were also one of the best defensive teams. If there is one thing that I want our teams to be known for is that they play intelligent basketball.