The coaching carrousel is in full effect for both the men’s basketball team and the women’s basketball team. This term the men’s basketball head coach, Joel Depaegter, has already stepped down from his head coaching position. The women’s basketball head coach, Ashley Wellman, will also be stepping down from her head coaching position at the end of this basketball season. Changes to a team such as a change in leadership can affect teams both in a positive way and in a negative way.
Head Coaches play a big role in the amount of success a team experiences. Head Coaches have to install game plans, run practices, motivate and discipline players and cultivate a winning culture for their teams. A change in leadership can be a way that sport teams can hit the reset button when things become stagnant. New head coaches come to a team with fresh ideas for new plays and different methods on how they motivate players to perform well. If a program had multiple losing seasons in a row then a culture of losing will latch on in the program. New coaches are the biggest agents when it comes to turning things around.
Whenever there is a yin, yang is always hanging out close by. While a coaching change can restart a program it also can have negative effects on a team. Most athletes love their coaches, except for bratty athletes, and in most cases view them as parent figures and mentors. That being said, athletes can be hurt emotionally when their coach steppes down. When coaches step down, that puts teams in a period of limbo. Athletes can become disengaged, undisciplined and sometimes outright rebellious.
Luckily for the en’s basketball team, their seniors provide a lot of leadership for their team. According to Seniors Eric Weiss and Ben Peterson, the seniors were the first to be informed that coach Depaegter was stepping down. Because the seniors were the first to know, they were able to hold a team meeting to inform everyone and to “keep the team as calm as possible and to make sure everyone’s focus was still the same” (Eric Weiss).
Also Ben Peterson stated that there was not a big transition to be made because the assistant coach Chris Kellett became the Interim head coach. The playbook remained pretty much the same; the only thing that changed was the new wrinkles that Kellett installed. Overall the men’s basketball team might benefit from this change. The aura of the team seems to be upbeat and excited for change.
The women’s basketball team is in a different position than the men’s team. The women’s coach, Ashley Wellman, will step down, but she is still with the team until the end of the season.
I interviewed a few underclassmen to understand how the team feels about their coach stepping down. The underclassmen expressed that they are disappointed to have to adjust to such a large change as the team is finally starting to see success and progress.
Although the team will have to make adjustments with a new coach, their tight-knit group views this as an opportunity to take even bigger strides towards building and sustaining a wining, competitive team.
Overall the team has a positive attitude and is excited for the future and what they can accomplish.