Friday, June 20, 2008

Who's My Coach Now?

Currently, three of the top collegiate cross country programs in the country are without a coach. Stanford and Arkansas both lost their coaches to retirement. UW-Wisconsin has lost their coach to the professional ranks.

This happens all the time. Coaches retire, leave for another school, go professional, etc... The problem is when they do so, what happens to the team? How do the runners accept the loss and prepare for a new coach. This is a topic of conversation that can continue for paragraphs. Yet, I think what's more important is the high schoolers who were recruited by these schools, met the coach, were introduced to the system, signed letters of intent, and plan to attend the University.

If a coach knows that they are going to retire or leave isn't this deceptive? I guess there are several reasons to not make public your intentions, but aren't you lying and cheating these kids who are buying into you as a coach and the university you represent?

If you signed with one of these schools, can you back out now because of the coach leaving? If that is an option, great, but you probably lost any scholarship offered at the other schools you were planning on attending. If it's not an option, that's really not fair, is it?

Let's just hope that if this happens to you, the new coach fits into the system you bought in to and everything goes smoothly. Running in college is a wonderful experience which is enhanced with a coach you respect and who knows how to get you to your potential.

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