This past week, there was a well-written article at ESPN.com by Jason King that chronicled the career of several of the game's better coaches that did not play (or play much) on the collegiate level. And, more importantly, how that lack of playing experience has not hurt or hindered their ability to be an excellent coach. It is a long article with a lot of information and I've listed the link below. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Although it can certainly have its benefits, a successful playing career in college or the NBA is far from a necessity to excel on the sideline. Study the résumés of some of the NCAA's top coaches from the past few decades and you'll find guys who struggled to make the varsity squad at their high school. And that's if they played at all.
Frank Martin led Kansas State to four NCAA tournament berths in five years despite never flourishing as a prep player in Miami. Rick Majerus, who tried unsuccessfully to walk on at Marquette in 1967, sparked Utah to the 1998 NCAA title game. Before coaching Gonzaga to 11 straight league titles, Mark Few was a star point guard at Creswell (Ore.) High School, but his playing career ended there.
Heck, just last season, the Sweet 16 featured four coaches -- Crean, Baylor's Scott Drew, Marquette's Buzz Williams and Cincinnati's Mick Cronin -- who never played college basketball. (Actually, it's five if you include Roy Williams, who played for North Carolina's JV team.)
"One of the most overrated thoughts out there is that if you weren't a great player, you can't be a great coach," said Martin, who now coaches at South Carolina. "It's a big fallacy."
"Coaching in college is about assembling a team, which is different than playing," Drew said. "There's the paperwork, the speaking, the recruiting. The on-court stuff is just one aspect of it. You've got to do it all to be successful."
And Drew certainly has been at Baylor, where the Bears won a school-record 30 games last season while reaching the Elite Eight for the second time in three years. Drew said his lack of experience as a player has never been an issue during his coaching career.
Drew never played varsity basketball in high school, but his father, Homer, was an All-American at William Jewell College and the longtime head coach at Valparaiso. And Drew's younger brother, Bryce, played in the NBA after hitting one of the biggest shots in NCAA tournament history at Valpo in 1998.
Scott Drew was an assistant coach on that team. He joked that he and Bryce, who is now the head coach at Valparaiso, probably have different selling points when pitching themselves to recruits.
"My brother can say, 'I know what it takes. I've been in the NBA,'" Scott said. "At the same time, I can say, 'I helped my brother get to the NBA.'"
Read the entire, lengthy article here: http://es.pn/KCq530