How can a sports franchise undergo a coaching change and ensure there is a minimum turnaround? Just hire the same coach, who is under 37 years old.
The Sophia Washington He welcomed a new coach for the first time in a decade. However, the job is to stay in the family as Mike Tebow hands the whistle to his son Eric who has been an assistant on his staff for 10 seasons. It’s a fact that has been discussed with ownership for years, and Mike has described it as a “succession plan” – as he moves to just the general manager position – in his conversations with the media over several seasons.
He’s here now. It’s a change in an organization that, despite erratic play in the past three seasons, has been consistent with its coaching staff and general approach.
But does anything really change? There are no new bodies in the building. The front office/coaching staff (when including Assistant General Manager Maria Giovanetti) remain the three strongest personalities. There are just a few role adjustments and title changes.
“I think as the general manager, I was ready for Eric to be the head coach,” Mike Thibault said in a news conference Wednesday. “I was ready for Maria to take on more responsibilities (as senior vice president of strategy and vision). And I could be a sounding board for them. But it’s kind of like, let them do what they want now, and now I have the GM title, but somewhere down the road they’ll be in charge.” completely on this and they can use me as they see fit as a resource at this point.
“I think I can now sometimes step back and take a different view of our team sometimes without having to think that I’m going to coach the game the next day too.”
This change was gradual. It wasn’t something that happened on a random off-season Tuesday. Eric was promoted to assistant coach—essentially the biggest role off the bench for a non-head coach—four years ago. Responsibilities have been added to his queue over time. Go to group training and you will see that he is just as vocal and active, if not more so, than his dad.
Giovanetti was with the organization for 11 seasons, one year more than Thibault. The last five were as assistant to General Motors. Like Eric, more responsibility is heading towards her.
Mike served as general manager for 10 years in Washington. Right now, it is his only position.
Adjustments to the team may be just as different as they would be in any other season. Mike Thibault’s imprint is still on the list and his coaching style has certainly taken his son away. The mod is now in charge of stopping by with Eric at workouts and games.
“Before you’re an assistant, you provide input, give suggestions, and try to support the head coach,” said Eric Thibault. “But now I know I’m the one who has to sit in that seat and make decisions about when to play and what we’re going to run, when to call timeouts, when does the team need a little pressure on the day between games and when is the pace back?”
Eric’s relationship with the guys is likely to diverge and he understands that this is part of the party. This is one of the few new responsibilities he will take on but this is where newly appointed assistant coach LaToya Sanders and the rest of the coaches can step up.
“There will be differences, right? When you control the money chains at playtime, it will be a little bit different,” said Eric Thibault. “And this is where I feel exceptionally fortunate to have a great staff that also has such a long relationship with this group of players that have been here. And so I know this is going to be different, but I think the time we’ve all invested in each other is going to be what keeps us strong.” together “.
Much of what Eric said in his press conference echoed what his father had said over the years. Culture is crucial and has an environment that promotes growth and development. One of the elements Eric wants to incorporate into his coaching style is direct dealing with his players, which is what Mike said has made him successful for years in the same press conference.
Eric is not reinventing the wheel or fixing this team. It just picks up where Mike left off.
“I don’t take it for granted,” Eric said. “And I don’t give up on this special group that we have here and what’s been created and the opportunity that’s sitting in front of us.”
Through it all, there is the inevitable question of favoritism from those on the outside. Of course, the winningest coach in WNBA history wants to have an influence on who his successor is. Retiring on his own terms and being the general manager gives him more power.
At the end of the day, though, there are only 12 head coaching positions in the WNBA. One of the best players to win a team now went to his son without looking for a coach.
At the age of 35, Eric has never been the best person on any level. It’s full of some games Mike has missed over the past few years but that doesn’t compare to the 24/7 responsibilities. This does not mean that it is not qualified, but there is a possibility that it will not work out.
Mike — who sought feedback from his players when hiring Eric as an assistant again ahead of the 2013 season — is more interested in who can sustain the success he’s had. Few job candidates could be more prepared than an assistant who’s been with the team for a decade. They’ve been to the playoffs eight out of 10 years, reaching the WNBA Finals in two and winning the championship.
After all, this is Mike’s first decision in a GM-only role.
“If I didn’t think he’d be up for it, I wouldn’t recommend him to our ownership group,” said Mike Thibault. “Fairly or unfairly, I still have my reputation as the general manager on the line, and I have to hire a coach who’s ready for that. And I felt very strongly about that or we wouldn’t have called him a fourth assistant coach in years.”
Nothing is mentioned in sports. The results will speak for themselves come the regular season in six months.
But there couldn’t be a better position for Eric to be walking into his first draft as a head coach. The core of heroism is still intact all these years later, MVP in Elena Delle Donne, a budding star in Shakira Austin and Lottery pick in their pocket He is a coach’s dream. One of them would be great, he has all four with the help of one of the best coaches in history out of the GM office.
It might be a cliché to say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Eric seems like the perfect guy, at least, to keep the mystics standard. And this standard is very high.