Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Finding the next great teacher

Elijah Bartels
Whitewater Men’s Basketball huddling up in Kachel Gymnasium before the game Vs. UW-Stout Saturday, Feb 3.

Coaches are leaders. Most importantly, they are teachers. Tasked with teaching not just the X’s and O’s of the sport. They also, especially at the college level, teach life lessons and develop young adults.

“That’s what it’s all about,” UW-Whitewater Athletic Director Ryan Callahan said.

“You’ve got to be a teacher. I think coaching is one of the purest forms of teaching there is.”

Being a coach has many attributes, things that have to be prevalent before getting hired for the job.

During the summer of 2023 Whitewater’s storied basketball coach Pat Miller stepped away from coaching. The Warhawks were led through the 2023-24 season by interim head coach Jarod Wichser. Now the search has begun for the next official head coach with those qualities who can lead and teach those who come through the program.

Currently the Athletic Department is very early in the process. Candidates are turning in applications for the role and phone interviews will not begin until around the beginning of April. From there, phone interviews with a search and screen committee will occur before a few finalists are named and brought on campus before someone is officially offered the title around May 1. 

When candidates come to campus they will have open forums with students, staff, even community members or alumni. These forums are open to the public however they are not highly publicized. 

“I know we have some very strong candidates as we speak right now after looking at the pool, which makes me really excited that this is a very desirable job,” Callahan said. “I think if we stick to the plan and trust the process we can find somebody who can move Warhawk basketball forward.”

While the candidates are not yet named, it is known they must have experience coaching. Some will apply having been a head coach, others as just an assistant. Wichser’s 2023-34 season was his first as a head coach, after spending six years in Whitewater as an assistant. His Warhawks last game was in the WIAC tournament and concluded with a 17-9 record, including a 7-7 mark in conference play. 

“If I have a candidate that was 0-22 the last two years at a basketball program I’m going to look at that and say ‘oof, what happened?’ you know? But, as far as last year’s season goes I’m going to look at everybody’s,” Callahan said.

Whoever’s resume is strong enough to have a chance at becoming the next head coach will also be evaluated on those particular characteristics that make up a great coach.

Leadership. Having a certain presence about them that gravitates others towards them. Teaching. Being able to get their team to buy into their ways. 

“If you can have somebody that has those leadership qualities, but can also teach, I mean right there that’s kind of a win-win,” Callahan said.

The philosophies that coaches bring to the table will also be assessed.

“You’re only strong as long as your kids are buying into your philosophy,” Callahan said.

He and others involved in the decision know that they want someone with strong character that leads and does things the way Warhawk Athletics, and UWW as a whole, want things done.

“Somebody who is going to work hard… Someone we’re proud to call the head coach,” Callahan said.

The next basketball coach is sure to be someone who holds the qualities that Warhawk athletics sees as fundamental to Whitewater sports. Their ability to teach could be what differentiates them from the competition.

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About the Contributors
Parker Olsen
Parker Olsen, Managing Editor
Elijah Bartels
Elijah Bartels, Photographer

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