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 Cincinnati video coordinator Greg Youncofski.
What led you to pursue a career in college basketball coaching?
“Basketball has been my passion for as long as I could remember. Everything about the game—playing, coaching, learning the history of the game, etc.—I absolutely love. Having an opportunity to impact the lives of young men in a positive manner is the most rewarding part of having a career in coaching. I was lucky enough to have a coach growing up, Coach Brian Murray, who had a great impact on myself and I look to have the same impact on players I coach in the future.”
What are the most important skills for young professionals in the industry to possess, and which are often overlooked?
“There are several important skills for young professionals in the industry to possess. Having a high level work capacity and the ability to do more work efficiently is one of the keys. It is also important to be humble in this business. Be willing to take on any task that is necessary to help make things easier on your staff and the program. If you think that you are too big for a small job, then you are certainly too small for a big job.”
Why is developing mentor relationships so important to young coaches, and who have been your most influential mentors?
“Developing mentor relationships is important to people in any field. Aligning yourself with the right people—people who care about your success and want to help you grow your career—is very important in any profession. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for two historic programs and two great head coaches. I got a great head start in college as a student-manager at the University of Kansas. Getting the chance to work for Coach Bill Self in college provided an outstanding foundation for my career and basketball knowledge. I learned something new every day. Currently, I am lucky to be at another great program, the University of Cincinnati. In my time here, Coach Mick Cronin has helped me develop tremendously as a young coach. I’ve learned a lot from Coach Cronin about being disciplined and holding yourself accountable. Also, I have been blessed to work with great assistant coaches along the way who have given me different responsibilities that help me continue to develop.”
What professional competencies are you working to develop at this stage of your career?
Continuing to learn the game every day. As video coordinator, I get to watch film on our team and also breakdown film on our opponents. I learn a lot just by seeing what different teams do and trying to figure out why they do what they do. Also, continuing to build relationships with players, coaches, and administration. Basketball gives you a great opportunity to build relationships with all kinds of people, and I try to do that to the best of my ability.”
What career goals do you have for your future, and how do you plan to achieve them?
“My next career goal is to become an assistant coach and my end goal is to become a head coach. I think the best way to achieve your goals is to do a great job at your current job. I know that if I do a great job in my current role and get a little bit better every day, doors will open up.”
What is one thing about the profession that you wish you knew earlier in your career?
“I think it is best to not know, especially early on in your career. Experience is the best teacher and I feel like my experiences in coaching, good or bad, have helped make me the person I am today.”