Recently I attended a Junior College game that featured two of the best teams in the Midwest. As the stands filled up I noticed there were about a dozen college coaches in attendance. I will use this to explain how powerful your network can be and how it will grow exponentially.
Your network is only as strong as you make it and includes the strength of the coaches in your network. For example, you may know 30 coaches after a couple years in the profession. If none of those coaches are tied to larger, more diverse networks then you do not have much. If your group of 30 coaches has a few coaches who are hooked into bigger and stronger networks, then you are on your way.
The awesome thing about networking is that it can grow exponentially over a few years, from 1 to 100,001 coaches.
Here's the make-up of my network as I watch the game last night. All of the following coaches were in attendance.
This is an example of Networking in Action:
Orv Salmon, Head Coach, DMACC . Orv and I have known each other for years and both worked for Gary Garner at Drake University.
Ben Jacobson, Head Coach, University of Northern Iowa . I recruiting Ben to play for the University of North Dakota.
Steve Krafcisin, Head Women's Coach, DMACC . We have two schools in common. North Dakota and Iowa State University.
Bob Sundvold, Former college coach for 22 years. Bob and I worked together at Iowa State and are now business partners.
Matt Murken, Assistant Coach, Wayne State University . Matt works with Head Coach Rico Burkett at WSU. I recruited Rico to North Dakota and he joined my staff as an assistant at Stetson University.
Thom McDonald, Commissioner of Iowa Community College Athletics . Thom and I work for Championship Productions and he is also a former assistant at Drake University.
Spencer Esslinger, Assistant Coach, DMACC. Spencer worked our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.
Dana Goodwin, Assistant DMACC Women's Coach. Dana worked our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.
BJ McGinn, Assistant Coach, DMACC . BJ has been a Junior college assistant in Arizona and an assistant at Wayne State University for Rico Burkett.
Jim Glash, Assistant Coach, Missouri-Rolla . Jim was a successful 9-year coach at Olney Community College. Bob Sundvold and I recited a few of Jim's players at Olney.
Rob Jeter, Head Coach, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Rob is a friend of Ben Jacobson's and the two have played against each other. Because of their relationship, Rob is also then connected to all of the above.
Then, after the game Bob and I bulldo back to Ames and met the Iowa State University staff following their victory over the Missouri Tigers. The network continued with the following people:
Jeff Rutter, Assistant Coach, Iowa State University . Jeff worked our camps at Marquette, was an assistant on my Stetson staff, and then served as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Greg McDermott, Head Coach, Iowa State University . Greg is tied in several ways to this group. He followed me as assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. There he coached Ben Jacobson and Rico Burkett. Next he was the head coach at Wayne State University, then North Dakota State. Burkett assisted him at Wayne State and Jacobson at NDSU. Before ISU, Greg was the head coach at the University of Northern Iowa. Two of his assistants were Jeff Rutter and Ben Jacobson.
TJ Otzelberger, Assistant Coach, Iowa State University . TJ has been an AAU coach and an assistant at Chipola CC, Florida. TJ played for Jeff Rutter at Parkside for a year. He was on McDermott's original staff at ISU.
Eric Henderson, Student Assistant, Iowa State University . Hendo played for McDermott and Burkett at Wayne State.
Josh Carper, Graduate Manager, Iowa State University. Carper played at Sioux City East for Jeff Vanderloo, a friend of mine and McDermott's.
There were 16 connections to my network I saw last night. The amazing thing is that I did not plan on seeing any of those coaches. They were there just doing their job as recruiters.
Networking is essential for the health and productivity of your career. Once you are aligned with one coach, you are automatically connected to all of his connections, and all of their connections, and all of their connections ………. that's how you build from 1 to 100,001!