“We want someone high profile.”
“They are a great coach and a great candidate, but we are looking for someone who’s higher profile.”
Is that the hockey world’s bull shit way of saying we want a resume instead of the best fit or candidate?
How does a coach become high profile?
Why are all hockey executive decisions made with the “high profile” moniker in play.
Why are high quality people and coaches being let go in favour of a “high profile” coach?
Does familiarity and high profile, and play a role in every coaching job?
Don’t get me wrong I’m all for earning notoriety and cutting your teeth through the various levels of the game and climbing through the coaching ranks.
I also realize the coaching world is a very difficult one, it’s survival of the fittest, but are young coaches getting the same opportunities as the other “high profile” coaches?
Whatever happened to earning your coaching stripes so to speak.
Now more than ever it appears that organizations want to hit a homerun by landing the high profile coach at the “right time” rather than harbouring and developing a winning culture with a coach that has experienced all the ups and downs, the highs and lows and who may have built the foundation of a winning and highly competitive culture.
If you think about it when does a coach become high profile?
Do they become high profile if they win?
Do they become high profile if they develop?
Do they become high profile if they know how to teach?
Some of the best up and coming coaches may never get the opportunity to become “high profile” because no organization wants to give them a shot.
No organization wants to take a chance because it’s to big of a risk.
At every level of hockey, you see coaches being hired or brought on board because of past association with the organization.
I get it the hockey world is a very small and who you know plays a massive role in every aspect.
Nevertheless, it’s becoming quite apparent that the hockey world are potentially missing out on exceptional coaches at various levels because hockey executives are hesitant or don’t want to do the leg work to find a new coach and rather default back to the high profile, resume driven candidate who may have been out of the game or have been recently fired or between jobs.
With the game and those who play it ever changing the role of coach has dramatically taken on an even larger role.
One part psychologist, one part motivation speaker, one part teacher and facilitator coaching in the new era of the game has become extremely complex.
Do high profile candidates that have been out of the game for awhile understand what makes players tic?
Are they willing to change or adapt their coaching philosophies or are they so entitled that it’s their way or the highway?
In the coaching world, you’re hired to be fired, but what’s the big rush in hiring a high profile coach?
Clearly it’s all about winning and trying to win right away.
There’s a big difference between hiring the right candidate, the high profile candidate and the inexperienced under qualified candidate.
Obviously no organization wants to hire the under qualified coach, but that happens more than you expect.
Time and time again, it seems like organizations jump at high profile candidates.
If they do decide to give young coaches an opportunity to gain experience and develop their own unique cultural philosophy, it seems like in no time they replace them with a high profile candidate when it becomes time to go all in.
Enter the default press release.
“We thank, (insert name here) for all of their contributions to the organization and wish them all the best in the future.’
The business side of the game definitely plays a role in that aspect.
Enter the optics.
How’s it going to look if you hire a young coach versus a high profile candidate?
How will the players respond?
Our group needs a veteran or high profile coach to take them where they need to go.
It’s all business, and sometimes the business side is off side.
You see there’s no perfect formula for hiring a coach especially in this day and age, but it is quite concerning to see so many highly qualified coaches waiting in the wings to gain the elusive high profile status.
I can’t imagine what that must feel like job after job being passed over in favour of the high profile, while they are as or even more qualified to do the job.
Can you imagine the pressure these young coaches must feel like signing on the dotted line for a two year contract?
How can you essentially turn a franchise around, establish your philosophy and culture within a two year window, while trying to win and balance winning with developing?
If you stop and think about it that urgency and pressure must be crippling.
There are so many factors in play when considering hiring a coach.
Unheralded, ready and qualified or high profile, you be the judge.
Who would you hire?