Turning Highline Wrestling Around Part 2
Posted by Tucker Carlson on 11/19/2020, 1:13 pm
10. Director of Operations: |
A director of operations would be able to make life 100% easier for the head coach, and would help in taking on the day to day tasks that take time out of recruiting, running practices, academics and so. This could be given to an assistant coach or not a coach at all , a former Washington female wrestler Melissa Simmons was the Director of Operations at North Carolina State fyi, and did an awesome job during her time in Raleigh. Particularly someone with a strong academic background, and knows the inner workings of college athletics and preparing student athletes get ready for the next level. Such as what requirements they need to meet, and specifically for what college they are looking to transfer to. Yes, I know there is an academic advisor, but that same advisor has to deal with the entire student athlete population. Having someone specifically designated to your program is a game changer. They are able to book flights, make reservations, plan recruit visits, the academic portion, helping with the media and advertising, logistics, purchases and so on. Having one is a game changer for sure.
11. Women’s wrestling:
Plain and simple, bringing on a women’s program helps grow both sports. Washington, along with Texas and California are the best states as far as women's wrestling goes hands down, not even close. So by bringing on a Women’s program it would also ensure the growth of both programs, and possibly more opportunities as sponsors and boosters go. While also keeping the athletic programs in compliance of Title IX issues. It could help in establishing a larger spending budget, more recognition, and to be honest not adding a women’s program is simply ridiculous. If I were an AD in college athletics adding women’s wrestling would be something I would jump at, because by looking and trends and analytics, it’s the fastest growing sport for females in the United States...so getting ahead of the curve is crucial. Highline Community College Men’s and Women’s National Team Champions….I like the sound of that.
Looking at overall costs, transportation is a huge issue. But there are ways to mitigate that. Partnering with a dealership for sponsorship of vehicles or leasing a vehicle for a year is a way to do so.Again, there are places and people out there willing to help out, one just needs to go out there and look. Specifically for duals where only the starters need to go, having vans or vehicles that can be used basically free via a dealership would help diminish the costs that occur annually. Leaving more budget to be able to plan bigger trips to larger out of state open tournaments such as the Missouri Valley Open, or the Cowboy open in Laramie, and so on. Or potentially buying or leasing a bus/ shuttle bus further down the road when there is more capital to work with, and having a men’s and women’s program could definitely make it more obtainable.
13. Gear Sponsors:
There are two companies that are situated in Washington that solely are wrestling specific companies. Matman, and Suplay. Again, tying finances into the equation, possibly partnering with those two companies and have them invest into the only remaining non club team in Washington State would be something to look more into. Cutting down in costs for gear, singlets, shoes, bags, headgear, etc. While having the potential to market the highline brand buy producing products for the wrestling fan to buy and represent. People and companies like to get behind products that are local, and Highline would qualify for that. All in all it would be a great venture, and has the potential to create some economic growth locally. Just another way at creating alternatives, potentially saving money, while establishing new connections and potential invested sponsors of the program.
At no point in Washington’s wrestling history, has it been better than it is today! That’s even when there were college programs within the state that had wrestling. As previously stated, Washington is on the rise and is continuing to climb. By not taking advantage of the growth and prosperity that is taking place with the state of Washington would be foolish. Not only from a coaching perspective but as a business perspective, if I something that was struggling in the past now all of a sudden take off due to new leadership. I would do more than just take notice, I would see how I could align with what they were doing and see the potential in possibly partnering with them. WSWA wants to grow Washington wrestling and be successful….Highline wants to recruit Washington athletes and build a successful program. That would be probably one of my first phone calls and meetings. On how to build a mutual relationship where both parties are benefiting from each other.
15. Establishing a board of trustees/oversight:
Following the lines of establishing more lines of ownership and being able to delegate within the realms of coaching and establishing a program. Having more than just a head coach in charge of everything is essential in establishing, maintaining, and growing a program or business for that matter. I have already talked about having a director of operations, and quality assistant coaches. But having a board of trustees or an oversight committee would enable to ensure that the job is getting done, and the person who is running the program (head coach) has the tools they need in order to be successful. But more so, it would ensure accountability within the program, and that the duties of the head coach and their staff are performing in the best interest of the stakeholders. You see, it’s hard to have any accountability for the coaches, when there isn't any at the administrative level. And since we the public are the stakeholders in this joint venture, we need to have people who don’t have a conflicted interest while being employed by the school aka the athletic director. People who are willing to ask the hard questions such as where did the money go that was donated. While also establishing rules and guidelines. Even though Highline would argue otherwise and more than likely try and fight this, as you can see the results from years and years of poor management and leadership from the people who are supposed to be in charge.
16. Establishing a RTC:
If you have been reading up to this point, you have probably came across the term RTC a few times. RTC stands for regional training center, which in the past if athletes wanted to continue to pursue their olympic aspirations they would either need to be a part of some college program as a grad assistant or a volunteer coach. Or go to the olympic training center, become a resident athlete, and then hopefully find a coach during their time at the OTC. All the while they would have to find a job that they would be able to support themselves with, while being able to train, compete, travel, and so on. If you look, the U.S. has had a surge in wrestling at the international level as far as medal counts goes. And that’s from cadets all the way through the senior level! The last time the U.S. won a world title was all the way back in 1996, now we are seeing more success than ever before. Kind of like another situation that I talked about earlier (WSWA)...Alot of the success has been due to the restructuring of the development USA wrestling has applied through it’s training, with the biggest success coming from the development of RTC. RTC’s come into play because it now allows athletes who are no longer in college, a chance to compete and get paid while doing so. This is ran for the most part at the college campus and can be coached by separate coaches hired specifically for that reason. The operating budget is totally separate from the school itself, but it can directly benefit whatever school its at. Financially though, someone who donates to the RTC knows specifically where the money went and what it was used for. “ In the pre-RTC days, if you wanted to donate to a college wrestling team, you couldn’t be sure that your team would actually receive the money. If you wrote a check to your university and put “wrestling” in the memo, did they really get the full amount that you pledged? Did the football team get to skim a couple bucks off the top? Does a program in the athletic department that has trouble fundraising get a boost? How much goes to the administration? Call me cynical, but I have a hard time believing that some of those things didn’t happen. Now with RTC’s, donors/alums/fans can cut a check directly to their favorite wrestling club/RTC and know the money will be spent on some part of the program that ultimately will benefit our team. While it can be a wide range of things, getting some extra money to a volunteer assistant, paying RTC wrestlers, funding the trip to the US Open, or bringing in additional practice partners, it all helps your team in the long run.” (smith, the pros and cons of RTC’s; news.theopenmat.com). So all of the talk about the mismanagement of funds that I discussed in previous posts and was called a liar...this one’s for you. Furthermore, it attracts not only post college grads, but it enables high school and middle school students to be able to come and train alongside with senior level athletes. This opens up the potential to recruit and retain wrestlers that one would have not really thought possible. And like I stated in the post above about conflicts with highline about having a board or oversight committee and the likelihood of them fighting that idea. This would be an alternative solution to that instead.
17. Booster Club/Alumni Relationships-
Having another avenue to help raise funds and host events is another crucial part to the establishment and growth of a program. Though there have been many ideas about raising funds, and hosting events mentioned before this. A booster club is key because it is the driving part of building those connections, and linking a lot of it together. While also allowing the head coach to be a head coach, and not a fundraiser. Again there are a lot of moving parts to a program, and being able to have the help in ensuring that all of those parts run smoothly is crucial. As for the alumni relations, by maintaining an open line of communication with those who were part of the program is huge! Ask any program out there, that having alumni support is key to supporting a program. Because here’s the thing, not every wrestler is going to be an all american or a national champion. And there can only be ten starters! So let me ask you a question, are we in the business of just winning or creating great men and women that go off and become awesome leaders and have amazing careers. Because I am here to tell you, most of the boosters that I know of that tend to donate the most weren’t always the best athletes or wrestlers. But they know how much of an impact this sport made on their life and its overall trajectory. So by keeping those people around and having those connections, gives a coach something to point at beyond wrestling, has connections for future employment for other wrestlers, and also potential future donors.
Another home and different opportunities:
I was going add to this, but I think I will make this its own separate post on how as a state we need to get behind our one program and how we can better serve that task. Along with the biggest hurdle of all, which is adding new programs within the state. I will tackle that probably after this thanksgiving. Again, what I posted above is from my own experiences which makes it my opinion. Not yours. I encourage people to post their own ideas and ask questions. Because for too long I have sat silently by and listened to people saying we need to do something about highline, or we need to add a program at the division one level. But that’s it, its alot of talk and little action. And yes like I said, I will tackle that topic after thanksgiving. Let’s Make WASHINGTON wrestling great again!