I had a conversation with a coaching friend a few weeks ago about coaching positions available as it inevitably comes up at the end of every varsity season. He is thinking of applying for the varsity head coach at a perennial championship contender. The school is a private school that has a long tradition of winning basketball teams with a very interventionist board of directors, administration, and a very influential alumni association. My friend is certainly qualified for this position by basketball standards and it would represent a significant career progression. However, my friend has only ever coached/teached only at public schools before and thus in my opinion the position is not without its caveats.

With the firing of Billy Gillispie recently from Kentucky, and their Athletic Director saying it was simply "not a good fit," it got me thinking again about how important a responsibility it is as a potential coach to know exactly what is expected of the person before accepting a given position.

As a coach, you need to know what you are comfortable doing and what you are not comfortable doing. For example, being a coach at Kentucky is completely different than being a coach at UTEP or Texas A&M. And we're talking mostly non-basketball related tasks. Coaching at an exceptionally high-profile institution whether in college or high school normally requires the coach to be extremely active in the community, in fundraising, charity work, media events, public relations. It's almost a job within a job. In my opinion, I think it's irresponsible to accept a position at an institution like that, then claim after the fact that these non-basketball related roles do not fall within the ordinary job description of the basketball coach.

So, I guess I'm arguing for a shared accountability. That as coaches, yes, we have a responsibility to properly determine and assess the expectations of such a position (basketball and non-basketball related), and honestly self-evaluate as to whether the position is "the right fit" before accepting such an offer of employment. Athletic Directors must also be transparent in communicating those expectations, and perform proper due diligence in ensuring the candidate they want to ultimately hire actually possesses all the attributes (basketball and non-basketball related) required for the position.