This is the first in a series of Q&A’s with women’s basketball DI support staffers. Hopefully this can be helpful for young coaches trying to climb the coaching ladder.
Our first Q&A is with Brown University Operations Coordinator Shane Lynch:
What is your title? How long have you been in your current position?
I am the Operations Coordinator at Brown University in the Ivy League. I am finishing my first year with the program.
Where did you attend college?
Vermont Technical College
Where have you coached previously?
Vermont Technical College, Central Maine Community College, and the College of St. Joseph.
Why did you choose Brown / how did you get your job?
I am from New England. You cannot talk college basketball in this area without mentioning Sarah Behn. I started to follow her closely when she was hired as the Head Coach at Brown. I believed in her style of play, and where she was taking her program. It is a privilege to work on her staff.
As for how I got my job? I have been very fortunate to work for great people in the past. Both Coach John Dyer at Vermont Technical College, and Coach Dave Gonyea at Central Maine Community College helped me develop into the coach and person that I am today. When each of them hired me they were both established and successful coaches. In addition to my duties with the program, they would take time every day to teach me something. Recruiting, team building, marketing, basketball philosophy, and so much more. I always wanted to be around them to learn something new. Naturally, I gave my heart and soul to their programs and worked harder than I ever have before. I was fortunate that when I moved on, these coaches provided me great references and skill sets to bring with me.
What are some of your responsibilities in your current role?
I wear many hats. In a nutshell, I do much of the “behind the scenes” work to help our program. I help with managing our team travel, budgeting, equipment, meals, practice and game film, marketing, promotions, statistics, camps, scouting reports, facility setups, ticketing, management of student staff, social media, and compliance. I approach each day with the goal of making life easier for my Head Coach.
Any advice for young coaches looking to enter college athletics?
Find a program that you believe in, and a Head Coach that will spend time developing you. There is so much about college athletics that happens off the court, and a great teacher is key. You will take the skills and work habits that are developed in your first coaching job with you for the rest of your career.
Don’t be afraid to work for free. Know that you may have to make some serious sacrifices. Many of the coaches that I know, including myself, have worked full time jobs outside of athletics so we could afford to work another full time job in the sport that we love as a volunteer. At times this is a necessary step to do what you love.
Finally, ask questions. Reach out to people even if you do not know them personally. You will be surprised how many coaches are willing to talk with you. Every coach had to start somewhere. Every coach had to have someone that was willing to take a chance on them.
Follow your dream. Even if that dream changes.