This topic spans both basketball and football but since Linder's squad is being rebuilt from basically nothing while losing the best player...I'll post it here.
I'm revisiting how much the coach matters. The reason for this is the non-level playing field of college athletics is becoming decidedly less level. In most coaches starting at the lower end of college athletics, Is there any difference left in actual strategy acumen? With the analytics available, optimal strategy is pretty much widely known. It just comes down to applying those strategies to the players you have. The way I see it....a good coach will have some control over the following characteristics:
1. Good motivator
2. Good gameplanner (strategy)
3. Good planner (create plans to impart your wisdom to players)
Making up a talent deficit that is small is done all the time by good coaches. If the talent is completely equal...then who wins will be decided by whatever coach is better at the above items. My question is...are we approaching a situation (or maybe we are already there), wherein the level of player movement is such that it doesn't even matter how good a coach is at numbers 1, 2, and 3? In this world ... the best coach needs to be merely average at 1, 2 and 3 but could over-achieve spectacularly if every great player wants to play for the team he is coaching.
Maybe it is more accurate to say that just being excellent at the items above is nessesary but not sufficient....The problem is that the items beyond the ones mentioned above are not within the control of the head coach of a college program. There are worse athletic programs than Wyoming out there in college athletics..(you wouldn't know it from the comments on this board, ha!)...There is no coach, no matter how good, who could go to those programs and make them good ... even over years of trying. The system has tiers and, at this point, the tier you are in is more of a predictor of how well you will do than anything else. As a coach, the best you may be able to do is to overperform at the program you are at for enough time for a higher tier program to snap you up and invite you to the level where you can really excel.
In the case of Wyoming basketball...If Linder still has his job in two years I'll be impressed...I just don't see how he pulls out of what has happened....and I don't think it is really his fault. Nature of the business I guess.
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