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Cal Says Kentucky Effect "Takes a Village"

Corey Nichols08/07/13


Article written by:On3 imageCorey Nichols
VillagePeople Not this kind of village, thankfully. In trying to bring back one of your grandmother's favorite phrases other than "whoopsie-daisy" and "tickled pink," Coach Cal recently posted an exhaustive look at his perspective on the Kentucky Effect, saying that "it takes a village." What does that mean, in a nutshell?  It means that Cal thinks he gets too much credit, and the rest of the basketball staff gets too little. From the assistant coaches, to the training staff, to the social media guys, Cal wanted to take a few minutes (actually, by the lenght of the article, a few hours) and highlight how he forms his Village, and how they're carefully selected to complement each other and bring Kentucky the best basketball product possible.  What are the key tenets to his "villagers?" 1) Be Your Family Member's PR Guy
Just as we tell our players to be their brother’s keeper, each staff member is each other’s PR team. Orlando’s PR machine includes me, John Robic, Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland, Lunetha Pryor, Chris Simmons, Preston Spradlin, Mike Malone, etc. If anyone talks with us about Orlando, we are his PR machine.
2) Be Positive
I need people who are upbeat and have a positive outlook on things with a “we can do this” mentality. I’m not saying everybody has to be whistling and skipping every day, but they have to look at things with an idea that we can tackle anything together.
3) Have Integrity
I’ve also got to be able to trust my staff to do the right things when no one is watching. I have to have people with integrity around me because if something goes wrong, it’s going to be on me and no one else.
4) Bring a Unique and Developed Skill Set
It is really important to me that every guy has a certain seat on the bus. In other words, I won’t hire the same type of person five times for five different positions. We need everybody on the bus to do something different — what they’re better at than anyone else on the staff — and to do it well.
5) Recruit
Anyone who is helping our program — everyone from Ray Oliver in our strength and conditioning program to Tim Asher in our video department, John Hayden and Deb Moore in media relations, and Linda Carmack and Allie Schick, who help run our office — has to help us recruit. When they come in contact with the kids and their families, I want those people walking away saying, “Wow, what a nice person. That person will care for and look after my son. That’s someone I can talk to.” That part everyone must be able to do.
6) If You're a Coach, Coach
[M]y on-floor coaches have to, of course, be able to coach. You can’t be a coach here and not be able to coach basketball. I’m not hiring people to get players; I’m hiring coaches who can develop players. If we can develop players who become NBA players, who then become good NBA players, who then become the best NBA players, a la Derrick Rose, an NBA MVP, then we will continue to recruit the best players.
If you've got a few minutes, it's worth checking out the whole post.  Bottom line, there are too many cogs in the machine to give all the credit to just one guy, even if that one guy has the highest winning percentage as a UK head coach other than Ray Eklund, who really shouldn't even count.  So next time you send John Calipari a Christmas card, maybe buy a few extras for the rest of the village, too.

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