BOB STARKEY: Below you will find the final entry to Jim Boone's "30 Days To A Championship." It has been a great journey and I am very appreciative of Jim for sharing so many of his thoughts, plans and dreams with us. I can promise you that taking over a program takes over every waking moment you have yet Jim found time to share the ride with us all. It speaks to the kind of coach that he is in terms of giving back to the game. Thanks Jim!
JIM BOONE: The 30 Days to a Championship Blog has extend several days past our first 30 days of being on the job, however we wanted to share everything possible with you, as we have worked to create our Winning Culture, “The Bobcat Way.” It’s been a ton of fun and I sincerely appreciate all the positive feedback I have received from our readers. I hope each of you have found this inside look at our program both enjoyable and beneficial.
As we embark upon the eve of NCAA Division II’s official practice date of October 15th, I would like to briefly summarize what we have accomplished and some of the challenges that we have faced in what has actually been our first 60 days on the job. In order to do so, I would like to discuss the following categories: Team, Campus & Community, Recruiting, and Culture.
The most important part of our program, our players, has been outstanding. I have been extremely fortunate to take over five different college programs as a head coach. This team has been the absolute best group of young men that I have ever been associated with in coming in as a new coach. Usually, when taking a new job, you’re taking over a bad situation. Whether it be discipline, talent, or both – there are generally problems. Not with this group! I have been very pleased with their maturity, desire, and willingness to accept our staff and program. They have been eager to make changes in their approach to practice, the weight room, our guidelines for conduct and appearance – as different as it’s been for them, they have made it a pleasure, simply put – they have been awesome. And, I sincerely believe that it all started from the very first day because of our returning Captain and senior, Reggie Chambers. He without question has been 100% invested in myself and my way of developing a basketball program, making this transition so much smoother and much more effective. For a team to be successful, they must be 100% bought in to the Coach, the System, and the Mission. Reggie has made this happen with our team!
One of my goals during this period has been to be as visible as possible, throughout our community and state. I cannot tell you how enjoyable it’s been to get to know the people of Buckhannon and to build positive relationships right here on our campus. I want our fans, alums, and friends of Bobcat Basketball to know that we are so excited to be back home in West Virginia. We are excited about this program, and we are excited about our team. As I stated in our press conference, many times coaches come in with a 5 year plan of building their program. I don’t have a 5 year, 3 year, or 1 year plan – we have a 5 minute plan, it’s all about the here and the now to build a great team, to embrace the process, and work incredibly hard to improve daily!
Our recruiting efforts began the very day I was hired. We have contacted in person, by phone, letter, or e-mail every high school coach in our state and the surrounding areas, we want them to know who we are and what we are about as a program. This process was solidified by hiring of our championship coaching staff, and I could not be more pleased. In Ryan Sharbaugh and Jimmy Boone, we have two terrific full-time coaches that have brought a youthful energy and enthusiasm to our program. I have also been very blessed to add BeJay Corley, as a Graduate Assistant coach. BeJay, a former Bobcat player, is completing his Masters degree in Business at Wesleyan and has been a welcomed addition to our staff. Finally, this very week we added our volunteer assistant coach, Melvin Smith from Baltimore. Coach Smith brings a level of maturity and a wealth of experience to our program. I am ecstatic about our staff! As I mentioned in previous BLOG’s, I was determined to hire integrity, great teachers, coaches with an organizational skill set, and regional recruiting ties - while producing a staff with great chemistry – we’ve done it!
We have much to do in the way of recruiting, as we are losing 5 seniors that are the core of our team. And, even though we have a tremendous product to offer in West Virginia Wesleyan, we cannot rest or be complacent, we must work diligently and with tremendous effort to build a great recruiting class for the 2012 class. Ryan, as our recruiting coordinator, has already opened several doors through his hard work and energetic approach.
Lastly, I want to touch upon “Culture,” because that’s what this entire period has really been about. Creating a Winning Culture, with our team and our program. It’s what defines us, it’s who we are and what we’re about, and it must be worked upon daily – “The Bobcat Way”. We cannot do enough to sell our program and team through our state, our community and the surrounding areas. I want everyone to know about Bobcat Basketball, what we stand for and the tremendous young men that comprise our program!
Again, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed a look in at WV Wesleyan Basketball. If we can help you or your program in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact me or our staff.
Thanks so much for reading, and all the best to you and your team for a great, great year!