I felt it was fitting to start off this inaugural series with an interview with my beloved fiancee, a Division I college assistant basketball coach. Let's see what he has to say about his profession:
What is the formal description for a Division I assistant basketball coach?
The role of an assistant coach is very diverse and includes a number of responsibilities. The first and most time-consuming task is the recruitment of quality student-athletes. Another aspect of the job would be coaching and player development on the court. The most important responsibility as an assistant, in my opinion, would be the development of a trustworthy relationship with the student-athletes. One of the cornerstones to the success of any program is the ability to create a healthy environment for the players you have recruited to your school. The assistant coach plays a large role in making that happen.
Ok, so what do you actually do?
Simply put? We recruit, coach in practice, then we recruit, do scouting reports, recruit, attend booster functions, recruit…oh and then we recruit some more!
What is the best part of being a college basketball coach?
I would say working with young people is the most rewarding aspect of coaching. Also, as a competitor, the rush you get from coaching games is amazing.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a college basketball coach?
There are a lot of difficult aspects of being a college coach when it comes to recruiting and the pressure of winning games, however, I couldn’t think of a better profession. I can go to my job every day feeling as if I am not working. It’s the best!
What is your most memorable basketball experience to date?
My most memorable experience was winning the Summit League Regular Season Championship in 2009 at Oral Roberts. Going into the game, we were in a situation where if we win, we would attain the outright title. A loss would end in a tie for the conference championship. We got down by 11 points in the first half and came back right at the end of the game to win 77-74. A week and a half later we qualified for the NCAA Tournament, again in dramatic fashion.
Thank you Coach Kemp for providing us with an inside perspective into your field. It always amazes me with the number of individuals surprised that he does not also teach courses or hold some other job on the university campus. I think so much of what the assistant coaches (and even head coach) do occurs behind closed doors. Little discussions surround the many hours spent analyzing film and developing players. Even less is discussed on the more important role the coaches have on developing the student (hence student-athlete).