For all of those that faithfully follow our blog, the most sincere apologies for being away for so long from our last post. As many of you know, last week I accepted a position on the coaching staff at Texas A&M. In many ways it was an exciting decision. The Aggies have become one of the elite women's basketball programs in the nation under the direction of Gary Blair who has long been a friend of mine dating back to his tenure at Arkansas. Over the years, and in great part because of A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium, I have become an admirer of Kelly Bond, our associate head coach at A&M.
But I must also tell you that it wasn't a "slam dunk" decision either. My year at UCF was incredibly enjoyable -- again because of the ability to work for people I admirer and who have also been long-time friends. Joi Williams is one of those special people in the business that not only is a great coach but genuinely cares about her student-athletes and the game itself. She was a tremendous mentor for me this past season. And of course, being together for a year with Greg Brown was both educational as well as entertaining. Greg is an incredible talent in the business. I also become close with the young ladies that were the UCF uniform and will closely follow them the remainder of their careers.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement an activity. Flying back and forth from Orlando to College Station -- attending season ending banquets for both teams -- putting one house up for sell and looking for a new home in a new community. And to top that off, hitting the road immediately to begin recruiting this past weekend.
I spent the entire weekend in Norfolk, Virginia at Boo Williams, one of the great traditions in high school basketball for both boys and girls. There were three things that struck me during the weekend with the first being the constant improvement of female basketball players. They are getting stronger and quicker and more skilled (though I am sure you can say the same about the boys). It's exciting to see our game grow in this manner.
The second thing I noticed was the many dedicated people that are working with these players. AAU coaches aren't raking in big salaries...they are giving up weekends and much more time to help develop these players...and there are those that go above and beyond -- helping their young ladies not only grow as players but as people.
And finally I noticed is the quality of people that are coaching on the college level. Sure, you will pick up the paper and occasionally read about a collegiate coach breaking rules or making poor life-decisions. That type of behavior will always grab the headlines. But for every one story of controversy there are thousands of coaches out there working, dedicated to mentoring their players on and off the court. There are also coaches that care greatly about each other -- even though in a gym on a Saturday night they will work hard to defeat each other.
Coaching creates a special bond within it's own community. I'm excited to be an Aggie and proud to be in this profession.