Some Coaches Suck wrote:
I do think that some college programs do a lot of work to hire the wrong person.
ADs do not enjoy a hiring process because a bad decision reflects on their career.
They want someone with 'experience' with collegiate athletes, rather than hiring a HS coach who was having great success. If things don't go well with the hire, the AD is not at fault, because there was a good reason to expect the coach to do well based on work history.
a. The candidates are often former collegiate athletes who did fairly well--but not always--and then started as a grad asst or asst track coach and worked their way up.
b. The alternative candidates are those who had some success coaching HS, not always because they were good coaches, but because they imposed a rigor on training in some weak conference and weak state that led to success. Students will rise to the level of expectations and the hard work is worth it to many HS students if there is high expectation of success. These coaches often are 20-30 years in the coaching occupation before getting the chance to coach at a quality collegiate program.
--Until a little over 3 months ago, I hadn't looked at LRC in 15 years.
--I was searching online for an estimate of the difference in times between cinder and synthetic tracks, and an old thread on LRC had a post on the subject from a former runner who had also raced Jim Ryun.
--After reading that post, I looked at some LRC threads, and was dismayed to find how many HS students were without their coaches during the Nov-Jan period because of the pandemic, and even worse was that some of these students were looking for answers on LRC.
--I tried to help with some training tips until the HS seasons resumed, but soon realized that most threads were from posers, not posters, and these people had no chance of ever being offered scholarships because of their attitudes about what it takes to succeed in HS athletics.
--Almost as bad was the realization that too many of the 'coaches' don't know what the workouts should be to achieve excellence for sprinters, middle-distance and distance runners at various phases of a season.
--The icing on the cake for me was finding out the Oregon head coach--a jumper, hurdler, sprinter--is listed as head CC coach.
--As an aside, there are some hilarious threads on LRC, and I have laughed so hard that it really made my day. My three favorite are (i) marathon training top 10, (ii) the guy who had dated a woman who was a former stripper, (iii) the guy who kept texting a young woman trying to get her to like him.
When I competed in HS, we knew then that our coach was informally one of the top 5 HS coaches in the country, but we didn't realize how lousy most college coaches were. Other former runners have posted about the same dilemma, in that their upward path in running was derailed because their HS coach was so much better than their college coaches.
As to substandard performances being the athlete's fault, yes many in HS don't have the combination of self-motivation and talent. Talent is not as much of an issue when running on a college team, but motivation is, and there were plenty student-athletes who got aid to college then decided to find the minimum effort and performance that would allow them to keep their scholarship while having some fun in college, because there will never be another time in one's life where they are surrounded on a daily basis by 20,000 or more people all about the same age and single.