Men’s basketball needs motivational leader
Most of us as kids played a sport at one time or another. Whether it was soccer in the fall or baseball in the spring, we all know what it is like to participate in some sort of athletic competition.
For me, sports had always been a getaway from the daily responsibilities life threw at me. When I was on that playing field, it was almost like I put my life on pause for 90 minutes.
Just as sports may give us a means to escape from life’s most difficult obstacles, we can also learn some of life’s most valuable lessons on that playing field. We learn values like hard work, trust, fairness and how to deal with success and failure.
While some of us don’t realize until much later that our athletic careers help build our characters, we would not be the same people without those tough lessons learned on the field, court or rink.
Who guides and teaches us these life lessons?
A coach must be dedicated to success, but more importantly, a coach also needs to help mold and shape the young minds of players. Coaches are supposed to tell us to keep our chins up and never feel bad if we gave it our all. Somewhere between failure and success, a great coach helps push his players to be the best they can be.
Just ask some of the great players in professional sports who they learned the most from, and they will name two types of people: parents and coaches.
And some coaches find their job is synonymous with parenting.
But here’s the point: With Head Coach Ricardo Patton stepping down after this season, CU will need to find a new basketball coach. Athletic Director Mike Bohn will undoubtedly find a successful coach, but he should hire someone who is also dedicated to teaching and promoting good values and first-class citizenship.
The Buffs need a basketball coach who can effectively revamp the program.
Next year, CU will have a second-year head football coach and a first-year head basketball coach. While a lot of people feel that Dan Hawkins is the right man for the football program, the new basketball coach will need to find a way to jump-start the catatonic program.
Patton has done some good things at CU on and off the court, and he will be missed. But the basketball program has to be revived. This program needs to go in a direction that it has never gone before.
A coach who is clearly dedicated to success on the court and instilling in his players important values is exactly what any great basketball program needs.
However, the Buffs have a long way to go to before they achieve greatness. Since the 1968-1969 season, the Buffs have only qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice. They have an all-time record of 9-12 during March Madness.
We all want to see the Buffs competing in the NCAA Tournament more often. But beyond that, we want a program we can be proud of. With eight freshmen on the roster, the young team can take a step in the right direction next year with a solid new coach.
The number of championships or the number of wins in a season can define a good athletic program, but the players who graduate and become productive citizens more accurately reflect a great athletic program. CU has the potential to have a great basketball program, but it needs a coach who the students, fans and players can rally around.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski once said, “I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.” We’ll have to wait and see if CU can find its own Coach K.