Sunday, October 28, 2012

3 From the Corner Spotlight: Coach Tom Crean

I was a huge Bobby Knight fan. Still am. Outside of the Arkansas Razorbacks Indiana was my favorite college basketball team growing up. As I've gotten older I've become more a fan of coaches rather than teams. I've learned to respect the job being done by coaches like Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, John Calipari and Rick Pitino. As a Razorback fan I loved watching Nolan Richardson and I know that Mike Anderson will do a great job here. Brad Stevens has become a favorite of mine because of his approach and quick rise to success is inspiring. Barry Hinson taught me to be gracious and to work hard. I've tried to learn as much as possible from these coaches.

As a younger coach (I still consider myself a young coach) I thought the angrier I appeared the smarter it made me look. Don't ask me why but for whatever reason I wanted to appear fiery. Maybe it was because I was a 22 year old Head Coach coaching kids that were four years younger than me. That's where Coach Knight came in. When Coach Knight was fired at Indiana I hated them. When they were struggling I thought "Serves them right."

I always liked Coach Tom Crean and loved what he did at Marquette. When he took the job at Indiana I really didn't know how to feel. I respected Coach Crean but was angry still at Indiana. The more I learned and listened to Coach Crean the more a fan of his I became. This was a guy I could use as an example and role model; both on and off the floor.

Our staff attended practice at Bloomington last year. It was amazing. I became a bigger fan of his. Getting to talk basketball with him for 10 minutes after their practice was well worth the 20 hours spent traveling and I worked it out with IU. I forgave them. I exorcised the demons and even paid respect to the General.

 Here are my 3 points on Coach Tom Crean

#1 Tenacity
A lot of coaches are intense. Coach Crean is intense. Anyone that watches him can see that. What people don't see is his Tenacity. That's a word you can't use to describe a lot of people. Coach Crean is tenacious. People don't realize the train wreck Coach Crean and staff had to clean up at IU. There was mess everywhere. Think about raking leaves in your yard on a windy day. Now picture your yard is a football field  in the middle of a tornado. That type of mess. Coach Crean knew what he could do there and stuck to it. He had to be a little bit stubborn to think he could change it. So did his staff. The first couple years weren't easy to watch but he stuck with it. That's tenacity.

#2 Teacher
He is a great teacher of the game. In every drill he gets the skill taught without sacrificing speed for skill. He relates to his players and they listen. A teacher's job is to get the student to comprehend the lesson. Same goes for a Coach. A player needs to know the how, when and why for anything to be successful. He explains what he wants and the players respond to it. Or they spend some time on a treadmill....

#3 Restore

Restoring something is hard. To get it back to exactly how it was takes meticulous effort. It's easy to replace something but restoring something takes the right person. Right now Indiana is ranked number 1 in the AP poll and by others. The job done at Indiana is nothing short of incredible.

That's my look at Tom Crean. Follow him @TomCrean and learn more about him and his accomplishments here. Coach Tom Crean