I came across an interesting coaching record. It demonstrates how little winning and losing matters in some situations.

The coach of an NCAA Division III women’s team had a combined overall record of 23-257 over 9 seasons. Their conference record was 13-145 in that same period. Those numbers are already pretty bad, but it gets worse. The first season of that string accounted for 8 of the overall wins and 5 of the conference victories.

Wait. There’s more.

In the last four seasons with this coach in charge the team won only 3 matches combined, and just one in conference. Two seasons were entirely winless. And those weren’t the last two in the series (they were seasons 6 and 7).

I don’t know anything about the situation at this school – other than the fact that they changed conference right before this coach’s stint in charge. No coach with a record like this keeps their job for 9 years in a place where winning matters at all. Clearly, there were much higher priorities and said coach managed them well enough to be kept on despite their record.

I mention this because a lot of people legitimately don’t understand that this really can be the case. Thus, they unfairly judge coaches in these types of situations.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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