In my experience being part of two different collegiate baseball programs, I have seen that coaching has a very strong impact on a team.
Student athletes have such high demands academically, athletically and socially that it is imperative to have coaches that are in it for the long term. This experience is why assistant Track and Field coach David Hepburn’s sudden resignation struck me and got me thinking about coaches at the colligate level.
It takes time to get used to a new coach and how they run their program. Collegiate sports are known for cycling through coaches quickly, yet a coach needs time to understand the team, gain recruits and establish prowess.
It creates a difficult situation when athletic departments go through coaches quickly.
The team may not perform as well as they could because of a coaching change. From personal experience athletes tend to play best when feeling comfortable with the coaching staff.
The anxiety of underperforming for a new coach can overwhelm athletes and lead to an incohesive team. Not many athletes perform well under pressure, yet athletic departments cycling through coaches causes added pressure to athletes that they simply do not need.
Due to my athletic and journalistic background I believe that communication and transparency is key. Whether that be coaches communicating with one another or the athletic department being more interactive with their coaches and athletes a shared goal between all parties involved is essential.
This could mirror the surprising resignation of Assistant Coach David Hepburn. While the athletic department did not fire him, for he chose to resign it still could put unnecessary stress on the track athletes.
The athletic department is doing everything it can to accommodate the coaching loss by adding two coaches from the football team, along with Associate Director of Athletics Lauren Esbensen. The athletic department will actively pursue coaches when the track season is over.
There are many important details to review when faced with a coach’s resignation and I feel that Pacific is handling it quite well. There are more coaches helping with the track team than ever before and athletes are breaking records early on in the season. The outdoor season is coming soon but I feel the Boxers will be well prepared to succeed regardless of the stresses and speculation of Hepburn’s resignation.