• By Bob Peterson
  • 29 Jun, 2016

Every year Athletic Directors are assigned the task of evaluating the success of a program…and more specifically evaluating the performance of a coach.   I suppose that everyone takes a different approach.   My opinion is that the best approach comes in identifying measureable goals for the program before the season even starts.   For me, these goals(and the evaluation) fall into four categories.

Athletic   :   I don’t list this first because it’s most important…merely the most obvious.   This area evaluates whether we were successful in competition.   A measurable goal in this area could be “finish in the top third of the conference.”   I have never picked a specific win total, but do think that competitiveness within our conference is realistic and certainly measurable.  

Academic :   An easily measurable area.   For me this area includes an evaluation of team gpa, graduation rates, and retention.

Financial :   The focus on the financial contribution of our programs has only existed on our campus for the past 5-6 years.    Financial success of our programs literally looks at the financial contribution(in terms of net revenue produced by the program) to the university.   Net revenue takes in to account all revenue(tuition, fees, funds-raised, housing revenue) and all expenses(scholarships – academic and athletic, operating expenses, salaries, etc).

Social :   This area is the hardest to actually measure.   I evaluate the Social success of a program by looking at how well team members integrate themselves on campus.   Is the coach recruiting players that are constantly breaking campus rules or causing issues at competitions?   How does the team serve the community, engage in campus activities?

Each area of success that we evaluate ties back directly to the strategic plan that guides our department and coincides with the mission of the university.   Understanding these areas and how they are evaluated should guide the decisions that our coaches make in recruiting and the areas of emphasis they place within the team.     More importantly the evaluation process gives every coach an opportunity to consider:

  1. Where have we been?
  2. Where do we want to go?
  3. How do we get there?  

As in any other facet of our department, there is always room to grow and improve.

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