First off, congratulations – this is one of those plum jobs in Michigan. What was the first thing that you did?
I met with the team this afternoon. Great group of guys and I'm really looking forward to getting to work with them all. Right now there is a lot of admin stuff to play catch up with, but I think we are going to be ready to go full-steam come March 11.
How did you get the job? Who connected the dots?
I originally heard about the position from John Paul at U of M. He told me about the vacancy and recommended that I apply. I had been reluctant to apply for any of the various high school jobs that had been open over the past few months, but a program like DCD is a special one and I at least wanted to put my hat in the ring. I interviewed with the administration, and a few weeks later they called to offer me the position.
You are getting a late start - what do you do next?
Administratively I have some catching up to do, but everyone at DCD has been extremely helpful so far and I think we will have everything sorted out soon. The most important thing is that the guys have been working hard on their own, and I think that is going to be critical for us to hit the ground running when the season officially starts.
What are your goals for the year?
Our goal this year is to win the State Championship. I think anything else will be a disappointment.
The team was one goal away from winning a state title last year - can they win it this year?
I am confident that we have what it takes to win the title this year. We have some upperclassmen that have been there, experiencing not only the joys of winning it all but also the sorrow of coming up just short. Those experiences will be very beneficial as we progress towards the Championships, and I am going to be relying on those players to help continue to build a team culture that expects to be playing for the title every year.
How tough is it the climate there? The expectations seem pretty high?
I wouldn't say the climate here has been difficult. As I mentioned, everyone at the school has been really helpful and is working to make the transition as smooth as possible. Regarding expectations, my philosophy is if you don't expect to win, you've already lost. Granted, we play some pretty incredible teams this season and there may be bumps along the road, but this team is on a journey to win the State Championships and if I didn't feel like the players, coaches, parents, and administration didn't all share in this goal, I don't know if I would have been as interested in the position.
Again Mark, congratulations and good luck to you this season.