Recently, I attended a Junior College game featuring two of the best teams in the Midwest. As the stands filled up I noticed there were a dozen college coaches in attendance. I will use this to explain how powerful your network can be and how it will grow exponentially.
Your network is as strong as you create it and includes the strength of the coaches in your network. For example, you might know 30 coaches after a few years in the profession. If none of these coaches are tied to larger, more diverse networks, you don’t have many. If your group of 30 coaches has a few coaches who are connected to bigger and stronger networks, then you are on the right track.
The great thing about networking is that it can grow exponentially in just a few years, going from 1 to 100,001 coaches.
Here is the makeup of my network as I watch the game last night. All of the following coaches were present.
Here’s an example of networking in action:
Orv Salmon, Head Coach, DMACC. Orv and I have known each other for years and both worked for Gary Garner at Drake University.
Ben Jacobson, Head Coach, University of Northern Iowa. I recruited Ben to play at the University of North Dakota.
Steve Krafcisin, Women’s Head Coach, DMACC. We have two schools in common. North Dakota and Iowa State University.
Bob Sundvold, former college coach for 22 years. Bob and I worked together in Iowa State and are now business partners.
Matt Murken, Assistant Coach, Wayne State University. Matt works with head coach Rico Burkett at the WSU. I recruited Rico from North Dakota and he joined my team as an assistant at Stetson University.
Thom McDonald, Commissioner of Iowa Community College Athletics. Thom and I work for Championship Productions and he is also a former assistant at Drake University.
Spencer Esslinger, assistant coach, DMACC. Spencer has worked in our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.
Dana Goodwin, DMACC Women’s Assistant Coach. Dana has worked our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.
B.J. McGinn, Assistant Coach, DMACC. B.J. was a junior academic assistant in Arizona and an assistant at Wayne State University for Rico Burkett.
Jim Glash, Assistant Coach, Missouri-Rolla. Jim was a 9-year coach at Olney Community College. Bob Sundvold and I recruited some of Jim’s players at Olney.
Rob Jeter, Head Coach, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Rob is a friend of Ben Jacobson’s and the two clashed. Due to their relationship, Rob is also connected to all of the above.
Then after the game Bob and I returned to Ames and met the staff at Iowa State University after their win over the Missouri Tigers. The network continued with the following people:
Jeff Rutter, Assistant Coach, Iowa State University. Jeff worked in our camps in Marquette, was an assistant on my Stetson team, and then was a head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Greg McDermott, Head Coach, Iowa State University. Greg is related in several ways to this group. He followed me as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. There he coached Ben Jacobson and Rico Burkett. Then he was head coach at Wayne State University and then North Dakota State. Burkett helped him at Wayne State and Jacobson at NDSU. Prior to ISU, Greg was the head coach of the University of Northern Iowa. Two of his assistants were Jeff Rutter and Ben Jacobson.
T.J. Otzelberger, Assistant Coach, Iowa State University. T.J. was AAU coach and assistant at Chipola CC, Florida. T.J. played for Jeff Rutter at Parkside for a year. He was on McDermott’s original staff at the ISU.
Eric Henderson, student assistant, Iowa State University. Hendo played for McDermott and Burkett at Wayne State.
Josh Carper, Director of Graduate Studies, Iowa State University. Carper played Sioux City East for Jeff Vanderloo, a friend of mine, and McDermott’s.
There were 16 connections to my network that I saw last night. What is amazing is that I had not planned to see any of these coaches. They were there just to do their job as recruiters.
Networking is essential for the health and productivity of your career. Once you are aligned with a Coach, you are automatically connected to all of their connections, and all of their connections, and all of their connections ………. this is how you build from 1 to 100,001 !