Primesport 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 Florida Tech assistant DeMario Robinson.
What led you to pursue a career in college basketball coaching?
“I have always a passion for basketball, and once my playing career ended, becoming a coach was only right. My junior college coach always told me that I would become a coach one day because of the type of point guard and leader I was on the floor.”
What has been the biggest challenge so far in your career, and what have you learned from it?
“The biggest challenge for me as a coach is being patient with our players and managing the different personalities. As a coach, you have to be able to take the diversity of the team and get them to buy into the goals of the team.”
How would you describe your leadership style?
“My leadership style is funny to me because my family thinks I am very quiet, but when they see me in action they are very shocked. When I’m coaching, I really get into it and become very vocal. I like to motivate and constructively criticize my guys with my voice. I also lead by example. During practices I sometimes like to join drills with the players, and I work out daily to stay in shape – practicing what we preach to our players.”
Aside from knowledge of the game, what skill do you feel is most important for coaches to possess?
“The skill I think is most important for a coach to possess - other than knowledge of the game - would be the ability to develop personal relationships with players and understand what and where they come from. The most successful coaches have great relationships with their players on and off the court. When players feel like they can come and talk to you about anything, they will bust their tails for you on the court and in the classroom.”
What kind of impact – both on the court and off – do you hope to have on your student-athletes?
“I want my players to grow as scholars, athletes, and men daily. When the ball stops bouncing for those guys, I want them to be able to look back and say, ‘Coach, thanks for helping me improve in all aspects of life.’ If my players feel that way about me, then I feel I have truly done my job beyond just coaching basketball.”
What career goals do you have for your future, and how do you plan to achieve them?
“My future goals are to become a head coach at a high major DI program or coach professionally in the NBA. I plan to continue to work hard at my craft on and off the court. I know with hard work and prayer it can be accomplished.”
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to somebody considering a career in coaching?
“Learn to develop patience. There are going to be many obstacles, and if you aren’t patient you will struggle to help players reach their full potential. You will also struggle to reach your ultimate goal.”