Oregon Tech Associate Head Coach for Men's Basketball shares his story here.
My Mentor… From the time I could
first walk, basketball was my life. I had dreams of playing in college and
eventually coaching. In the summer of 2008, those dreams came to a halt. I had
left Northwest Nazarene after my sophomore year with no plans in mind. One
phone call with Danny Miles changed everything. He not only wanted me to play
basketball for Oregon Tech, but he also offered me a scholarship, and he reminded
me of the energy I once had. I went from having no interest in playing college
basketball anymore to packing my bags for Klamath Falls – I couldn’t get in the
gym fast enough. The mentoring had just begun.
I had heard stories about “The
General” from numerous people. I knew he was a phenomenal coach, with hundreds
of wins and two national championships. What I wasn’t aware of was the level of
character he held himself to, as well as his players. I learned so much on and
off the court. All of which I have used in my career. From scrimmaging with
Special Olympics teams, dining with the wonderful folks at Crystal Terrace,
reading to kids at Pelican Elementary, and always treating everyone with
respect. As Coach said, “every day’s a job interview.” All of this has served
me and every single one of my teammates greatly in life – and you better
believe we are 15 minutes early to everything. I can go on and on about the various ways coach has
mentored and influenced me. Here are the three most important things I have taken
Importance of ‘Community Involvement'
Power of 'Optimism and Being Positive'
The Importance of 'Culture'
After graduation, I was fortunate
enough to coach two years with Danny at Oregon Tech. I saw a different side of him. I guess you could say I saw the ‘method to his madness’. I’ve always been
so impressed by how his players and coaches are involved in the community. The
demand for college academics and athletics present for the players is extremely
tough, especially at Oregon Tech. We were Oregon Tech Guys, and we were going
to be there because we knew how important it was to the community as well as
our team. It’s no secret why Oregon Tech Basketball leads the country in
attendance. I’ll never forget those memories.
As one of Danny’s Assistants, I
have always appreciated how positive and optimistic he is. I remember in my
second year coaching; we had just lost a heartbreaker at home – we never lost at
home! I can remember walking into the office the next morning, and coach was
already there, fired up and had a plan that would get us back on track and
possibly the ‘best team he’s ever had.’ I’ve always appreciated that day. Think
about all of the Post Game Coaches Shows you have listened to. Have you ever
heard Danny talk negatively? Has he ever put down a kid? Referee? Opposing
coach? His optimism and positive outlook are so important to me.
I always knew I wanted to coach in
college. It’s been a dream of mine since, as far as I can remember. About a year
ago, I asked Danny, “If you could give me one piece of advice for running a
program, what would it be?” Danny quickly responded, “Build your culture, and
don’t budge.” Danny has created an outstanding culture of Oregon Tech Guys.
He’s stuck by it and holds every single one of his players to that standard.
There are numerous stories of players breaking into tears when Danny tells them
they’re finally at Oregon Tech Guy. I can remember exactly where I was sitting
when Coach told me I was an Oregon Tech Guy.
have to give me a chance to play basketball – his team would have been fine
without me. But he did. He also didn’t have to take me on an assistant coach.
But he did. I’m so grateful for all that coach has done for me. His mentorship
is one of the biggest reasons I’m where I am today. Thank you, Coach.