NABC Next Generation is an interview series with assistant coaches and support staff from across the country, highlighting their career experiences and future goals. Today's feature is Southeast Missouri St. assistant Chris Moore.
What led you to pursue a career in college basketball coaching?
“My first coaching job wasn’t actually planned at all. It was a high school girl’s coaching job at my alma mater that I agreed to do just to kill time while I decided whether I wanted to continue pursuing a playing career. During that time, I was also working summer basketball camps at the University of Kentucky. It was Rick Pitino’s first couple of seasons there and he had an incredible staff: Ralph Willard, Herb Sendek, Tubby Smith and Billy Donovan. For four weeks at a time, during two summers, I was the beneficiary of a ton of basketball knowledge as a result of being around this group of coaches.”
What are the most important skills for young professionals in the industry to possess, and which are often overlooked?
“I remember a college coach telling me once that organizational skill is one of the most important things to be able to do if you want to be successful in this business. Of course, that was before my first college coaching job, so I didn’t think much of it at the time. You must be organized in order plan and work around recruiting, skill development, academics, travel, family and so many other things. If you’re not, then you’re not going to be very successful or happy.”
“I would also say that being able to relate to people from different walks of life is an important skill to possess. The ability to connect and communicate with people is important. A lot of people have the gift of gab. Fewer have the patience or willingness to listen and hear what matters to others.”
Why is developing mentor relationships so important to young coaches, and who have been your most influential mentors?
“I think mentor relationships are important in any career endeavor, not just coaching. They’re important because once you’ve selected a career path, mentors can be a beacon for success we want to achieve, and can also direct us away from career pitfalls. My father was a high school coach for 15 years when I was growing up and is still a mentor for me today. I can call anytime and bounce thoughts off him and get feedback.”
How do effectively balance all the various responsibilities of an assistant coach?
“Not sure I have the answer to that question. I just find a way to do so, the best I can. That’s something one of my former bosses used to always say – find a way!”
What professional competencies are you working to develop while the season is in-progress, and what do you focus on during the offseason?
“During the season, it’s difficult to get away and do professional development stuff because your team often requires so much of your attention. When you do have time, it’s usually focused on recruiting or family. During the offseason, however, I generally like to go and spend some time with other programs. Watch a practice, engage in a chalk-talk with other coaches, etc. I look for other ideas to improve our program.”
What career goals do you have for your future, and how do you plan to achieve them?
“Like many assistant coaches, I would like to run my own program as a head coach one day. I’ve been an assistant coach now for quite a few years and I approach every day on the job trying to improve at what I do and improve our team. My parents taught me that hard work pays dividends at the end. With that in mind every day, I will continue to work hard and try to get better. My opportunity will present itself if I do those things.”
What is one thing about the profession that you wish you knew earlier in your career?
“That success in this business can be a long process, and much of that is because often there are many factors out of your control.”