March is only a week away and if anyone has seen anything remotely resembling a plan for the future of the Georgetown Hoyas, they have not made a single peep. With the Ewing Era presumably ending very soon, one might think that having a strategy to identify and hire the next coach of the Hoyas would be a top priority. It’s well past time to mobilize.
Shouting names in the wind has not seemed to help anyone, even if one name seems to be almost too perfect for this herculean task of overhauling the Georgetown Basketball program. A more productive endeavor may be agreeing upon key qualities the next head coach should possess and using such qualities as criteria for excluding potential candidates.
In 2023, when folks have difficulty starting a task, they turn to Artificial Intelligence like ChatGPT to help see valuable concepts, brainstorm, and identify possible approaches.
At the beginning of this exercise, I honed in on five key features that Georgetown needs in their next college basketball coach. I input the five qualities (and one bonus) and recorded (with mild edits) the AI responses.
What the AI spit out was extremely practical, logical, and sane—things that may seem alien to Georgetown administrators right now.
Here are the results:
NCAA Head Coaching Experience
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to have NCAA coaching experience for several reasons:
- Understanding the college game: NCAA coaches have experience coaching the college game, which has different rules, strategies, and nuances than the NBA or high school basketball. They understand the importance of developing team chemistry, game planning, and in-game adjustments.
- Recruiting experience: Recruiting is a crucial aspect of college basketball. Coaches with NCAA coaching experience will have established relationships with high school coaches and AAU programs, making it easier to recruit top talent.
- Understanding of the college basketball landscape: College basketball has a unique culture, and NCAA coaches have experience navigating that culture. They understand the importance of building relationships with alumni, boosters, and university administrators, as well as the importance of representing the university on and off the court.
- Experience managing a college program: Running a college basketball program involves more than just coaching games. Coaches with NCAA coaching experience will have experience managing academic requirements, travel schedules, and other administrative tasks.
- Pressure management: Coaching at the NCAA level can be high-pressure, with high expectations from fans, alumni, and administration. Coaches with NCAA coaching experience will be better equipped to handle the pressure and expectations of coaching at this level.
Proven Track Record of Developing Good Defense
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to have a proven track record of developing good defenses for several reasons:
- Competitive advantage: A good defense can be a competitive advantage in college basketball. It can help a team stay in games, even when their offense is struggling, and can help them win close games.
- Attraction for players: Players who are looking to improve their game and potentially play at the next level are often attracted to programs with a reputation for developing strong defenses. A coach with a proven track record in this area can help attract top talent.
- Georgetown’s history: Georgetown has a storied history of strong defenses, with a focus on physical play and intimidating opponents. A coach with a proven track record of developing good defenses can help continue this tradition and appeal to Georgetown’s fanbase.
- Building a culture: Building a strong defense requires discipline, teamwork, and a commitment to hard work. A coach with a proven track record of developing good defenses can help build a culture of hard work, teamwork, and discipline, which can be valuable beyond just the basketball court.
- Adaptability: A coach with a proven track record of developing good defenses has likely had experience with different defensive schemes and strategies. This can be valuable in college basketball, where teams with different styles and strengths can require different defensive approaches.
Has a Passion to Teach & Communicate
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to have a passion for teaching and communicating for several reasons:
- Player development: Coaching college basketball is about more than just winning games; it’s about developing players and helping them reach their full potential. A coach with a passion for teaching and communicating can help players improve their skills, knowledge, and understanding of the game.
- Building relationships: Good communication is essential for building strong relationships with players, staff, and administration. A coach who is able to effectively communicate with all members of the team can help build trust and create a positive team culture.
- Motivation: Effective communication is critical for motivating players and keeping them engaged and focused. A coach with a passion for teaching and communicating can inspire players and help them stay committed to the team’s goals.
- Adjusting to different learning styles: Players learn in different ways, and a coach who is able to adapt their teaching style to match different learning styles can help players improve more effectively. A coach with a passion for teaching and communicating will be able to identify the best ways to communicate with each player and help them reach their potential.
- Recruiting: A coach who is an effective communicator can be more successful in recruiting top talent. When recruits feel that a coach is invested in their development and can effectively communicate their vision for the team, they are more likely to commit to the program.
Understands the Current Collegiate Climate (Transfer Portal, NIL, Five-year eligibility)
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to understand the NCAA transfer portal, Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules, and extra eligibility after COVID-19 for several reasons:
- Player management: With the changing landscape of college basketball, understanding the rules and regulations around transfers, NIL, and extra eligibility can help a coach manage their players more effectively. By being able to effectively navigate the transfer portal and communicate its benefits to players and their families, a coach can help position the program for success. By understanding these rules, a coach can make informed decisions about roster management, player development, and recruitment.
- Recruiting: The transfer portal has become an increasingly important tool for college basketball coaches in recruiting. By understanding the transfer portal, a coach can identify potential transfer targets who could help improve the team.
- Player development: Understanding the impact of the transfer portal, NIL rules, and extra eligibility on player development is important for any coach. By understanding these rules, a coach can help players navigate these changes and make informed decisions about their careers.
- Compliance: Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding transfers, NIL, and extra eligibility is important for NCAA compliance. A coach who is knowledgeable about these rules can ensure that their program is following NCAA guidelines and avoid potential penalties.
- Adapting to change: The landscape of college basketball is evolving rapidly, and coaches who are able to adapt to these changes are more likely to be successful. Understanding the transfer portal, NIL rules, and extra eligibility after COVID-19 can help a coach be more adaptable and position their program for long-term success.
Appreciation of Georgetown’s History & Tradition
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to appreciate the history and tradition of Georgetown Basketball and Georgetown University for several reasons:
- Respect for the program: Georgetown Basketball has a rich history and tradition, and it is important for the next coach to understand and appreciate this history. By showing respect for the program’s past successes and contributions, the coach can demonstrate their commitment to the program and its values.
- Connecting with fans: Georgetown Basketball has a passionate fanbase that takes pride in the program’s history and tradition. By understanding and appreciating this history, the coach can better connect with fans and build a stronger relationship with the program’s supporters.
- Building a team culture: Georgetown University is a prestigious academic institution with a unique culture and values. By understanding and appreciating the university’s culture and values, the coach can help build a team culture that aligns with the university’s values and creates a positive environment for the players.
- Recruiting: Recruits and their families are often attracted to programs with a strong history and tradition. By understanding and appreciating Georgetown Basketball’s history, the coach can better communicate the program’s values and strengths to potential recruits.
- Continuity: Georgetown Basketball has a history of continuity and stability, with several coaches who have served long tenures at the university. By appreciating the program’s history and tradition, the coach can help continue this legacy of stability and long-term commitment to the program.
Overall, appreciating the history and tradition of Georgetown Basketball and Georgetown University is important for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball. It can help the coach build respect for the program, connect with fans, build a team culture that aligns with the university’s values, be more successful in recruiting, and continue the program’s legacy of continuity and stability.
BONUS - Admits Mistakes, Takes Responsibility
It would be beneficial for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball to be able to admit mistakes, take responsibility, and hold himself accountable for several reasons:
- Building trust and respect: Admitting mistakes and taking responsibility for them can help the coach build trust and respect with players, staff, and other stakeholders in the program. It shows that the coach is willing to be transparent and honest, even when things don’t go as planned.
- Setting an example for players: Holding oneself accountable for mistakes can be a powerful example for players. It can help them learn the value of accountability and taking responsibility for their own actions, both on and off the court.
- Learning and growth: Admitting mistakes and taking responsibility for them can be a valuable learning experience for the coach. It can help them identify areas for improvement and make changes to improve their coaching and leadership skills.
- Maintaining team morale: When things don’t go as planned, it can be easy for team morale to suffer. By taking responsibility for mistakes, the coach can help maintain team morale and prevent negativity from spreading throughout the program.
- Respect for the program: Georgetown Basketball has a proud tradition and history, and it is important for the coach to demonstrate respect for the program by taking responsibility for mistakes and holding themselves accountable for their actions.
Overall, being able to admit mistakes, take responsibility, and hold oneself accountable is an important quality for the next coach of Georgetown Basketball. It can help build trust and respect, set an example for players, facilitate learning and growth, maintain team morale, and demonstrate respect for the program.
The AI is talking about basic stuff here. The output barely even mentions win-loss records or tournament success. Likewise, nothing directly says “can raise money” but it’s pretty clear that by, e.g., connecting the program with the fans, fundraising is much easier—either directly or via NIL.
Developing players is also an undertone of the output. Whether it’s regaining a tradition of physical defense, helping student athletes reach their full potential, or demonstrating past player development to attract potential recruits, having a passion for finding ways to communicate with teenagers and make them better is critical. Instilling discipline—for now and the future—is vital.
The necessary foundation to be a good college basketball head coach is so obvious that even an AI can recognize it: having NCAA head coaching experience, a proven track record of good defenses, passion for teaching and communicating, understanding of the current NCAA climate with NIL and the portal, and appreciating the tradition and history of the University and the basketball program. This criteria needs to be within the vision of the president and the search committee.
Georgetown cannot afford to mess up this hire. What other criteria would you look for in a coach?
Please pass these qualities on the search committee when the time comes.