I’ve coached DIII track and c-c for 18 years. I ran D1 track 25 years ago. I've learned that a MAJOR key to coaching success is having your athletes buy in and understand your system, whatever it may be. College kids today have access to so many resources, not to mention their friends at other schools that you have to be able to get them to believe in what you are doing. It can’t be smoke and mirrors, you better be able to explain what you are doing and why it will work. You also need to be able to make appropriate adjustments as you go along, while still being consistent in your core message and approach. Part of these adjustments means having the ability to evaluate the strengths and weakness of your athletes and trying to limit situations in which their weaknesses are exposed and broadening the opportunities for their strengths to show.
I have seen very little evidence to suggest that Coach Kelly has been able to do that with the ND team, and he certainly has had enough time to get it done. While I have no way of knowing the true insides of the program, I hope that our AD would. If he has ANY doubt that Kelly has not been successful in this way, then he needs to move on and look for a successor.
I had the privilege to meet Coach Holtz and get to know a LOT of the athletes he coached. If there was one area in which he absolutely excelled, it was in having a plan, communicating it to the team, and getting them on board. My personal feeling is that Dan Mullen at Ole Miss and a couple others fit this bill as well. Let’s hope we can find someone soon so that our players get a coach worthy of their efforts.
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