We had a meeting this past Saturday morning for all head coaches that our Athletic Director, Molly Hengst, organized with the goal of bringing these people together so we can build a more unified purpose as an athletic department, and learn from each other by the sharing of ideas. It is our general plan to meet (with our entire coaching staff) two – three times per year. One of the major things I took from the meeting was a pretty clear picture of what success looks like from the perspective of the school district for each of our programs.
A couple of weeks ago at the State Send-Off Pep Rally for Clint Hoftiezer, Mrs. Hengst said of Steve Rogers and the Wrestling program, “If Steve and the wrestlers never won a single match during the season, we would still consider his program extremely successful.” As I was listening, my reaction was that I could not agree more. So, why would we consider the wrestling program really successful even if they did not win regularly? The answer is really simple, because during the wrestling season, we feel the young men on his team are better students and people in our school. And they are better students and people because of Steve’s influence on them and expectations for how they will handle themselves. The result of his hard work beyond teaching wrestling itself, and the discipline/support of his program, is that his athletes are more successful in school during his season. We have no better definition of success for any of our athletic programs than that simple result.
It would be fair to say that we feel many of our other programs have a similar influence on students as Steve Rogers has consistently. However, while this may be a strength in some areas, it is our goal to grow and develop this measure of success throughout our extracurricular programs. The first step in doing that is to make it crystal clear to all of our coaches and advisors what the school district sees as the most fundamental aspect of success. We want it to be clear that if a program is successful only in the win/loss category, but does not have the influence of raising the level of their athletes as students and people, then that program does not have the depth of success we really desire.
Meetings such as the one with head coaches on Saturday morning allowed our coaches to have time together to share what is working for them to have a more positive influence on athletes. We certainly have many quality role models on our coaching staff that all of us can learn from and apply in our own programs. I am appreciative that all of our head coaches would take the time to get together on the weekend to discuss these important topics. We have a better idea of what success looks like for our programs, and how to move toward that goal as a result of our time learning from one another.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read these weekly messages. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback. My telephone number is 920-564-2346 x1001.
Sincerely, Scott Greupink