It’s official. Christmas is this week and if you’re like me, you’re still not finished shopping. But that’s neither here nor there. Since it’s that gift giving time of the year, I wanted to talk about what I thought administrators (Presidents, Provosts, Principles, Athletics Directors) should be putting on their list for when they go to sit on Santa’s lap.
6 things that should be on every administrator’s “wish list” for their Athletics department
1. No part time coaches on staff. Yes, it’s true. There are still places where there are part time head coaches on staff. As an administrator, how can you realistically look those athletes in the eye and tell them that you care about them, their sport, and their experience if their coach has to work another job just to make ends meet?
2. Every sport adequately funded. I’m not saying equally funded, but every sport should be given the appropriate amount that will allow the team to schedule competitively, travel safely and efficiently, and purchase equipment appropriately.
3. Well paid coaching staffs. Fans want successful teams. Administrators want successful teams. Coaches want successful teams. But do you know what would help ensure that success? Paying your coaching staffs! And not just the head coach, but allow them to bring in one or two assistants that will be rock stars and then you can sit back and look like a genius when all of the wins start piling up.
4. Facilities to be proud of. Nice facilities are a win-win for everyone. The Athletics Department wins because their athletes are able to train in luxury and potential student-athletes are impressed by the facilities. Plus, your coaches will enjoy coming to work even more when they feel the financial support of their institution. And of course the students, faculty, and staff will enjoy the upgraded facilities and the ability to get a quality workout right on campus.
5. Respect from general campus body. I’ve never sat down with a coach of any sport at any level that really felt like the academic side of the world “got” what happens on our fields and in our gyms. The life lessons that occur are immeasurable (working hard when you don’t necessarily feel like it, faith in an uncertain future, balancing work loads, building team spirit, etc.) and applicable to real life situations. Hopefully administrators are out pounding the proverbial pavement to make sure that their coaches and athletes get the respect that they deserve from the academic folks.
6. Equality for athletics and academics. The athletic and academic worlds aren’t as far apart as some would like to think. As a matter of fact, I’d say that we have similar goals: to prepare our students for life beyond college. Academics give them what they need to earn a degree in order to obtain a job and athletics gives them the skills to be a high-functioning employee once they receive that job. We’re on the same page…so why doesn’t it seem that way?
I’m sure you’ve got things on your list that may be appropriate for your school, but I felt like this was a good start.