Tale of Two Coaches

Topics: Leadership, Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski Pages: 8 (2779 words) Published: November 24, 2011
Running Head: Tale of Two Coaches and Leadership

Tale of Two Coaches and Leadership
Randal J. Reutzel
Grand Canyon University: LDR - 600
October 27, 2011

Coaching and leadership seem to be synonymous with each other, in that if you’re a high caliber coach you must be a great leader, how else would you have achieved your success. While coaching in the NCAA division 1 basketball the goal is to win national championships, while also being a mentor to your students. Bobby Knight is a great basketball legend at Indiana, with a past of outrageous unacceptable behavior to the fans and to players, while also having one of the best collegiate records of all time. Coach Krzyzewski was also a great coach, was mentored by coach Knight and went on to be a legend at Duke. Coach K’s style of coaching was less dramatic and more heartfelt in his approach. Coach K’s was concerned for his player’s feelings and his style of motivating his players centered on less dramatizations on and off the court. Both Coaches were successful; one got into the heads of its players through coercive intimidation to be the best, the other through caring, talking and high levels of trust. Which coach is best depends on whom you ask and what perspective of coaching leadership style you prefer, or it could be a generational time difference or simply opposite styles that worked and produced results.

Tale of Two Coaches and Leadership
Leaders through time have on many occasions aligned their leadership styles to the great coaches either in the NFL or NBA. Does being a great coach and the techniques used by coaches translate into what leaders or managers should be leading employees by? Two great coaches with NCAA basketball championships, one mentored by the other, can have very different approaches and still get the results needed, winning seasons along with students who went on to great careers and have great respect for their mentors and coaches. Coach Bobby Knight led his teams through his relationship from a base of power. In the article from ESPN by Mike Puma, Knight was known for his tirades against players, referees and reporters as well as his brilliance to win games. Knight led his teams with complete control and nobody was second guessing his decisions, if they did it was with great conflict. He may have wanted to resolve the conflict but it was going to be on his terms. Knight led his teams with complete control from his position as the head of the team. He demanded certain expectations and rewarded this with play time or with sharp reprimands and punishment. His style was that of a managerial role, he demanded respect in that he held the position of power and he alone would be the master of activities and routines and this would influence players and the ultimate outcome. (Northouse, 2010) Coach Knight led his teams with a history of demanding on others what he could not accomplish as a player. He developed a pattern of coercion that was demonstrated even off the court, by assaulting police during the Pan Am games or throwing chairs across courts. (Northouse, 2010) Coach Krzyzewski or “K” led his teams through his relations from a base of personal power, with no mistake he was the head coach. Coach K was mentored as a player and assistant coach for the military under Coach Bob Knight. Although Coach K went into the military, he was not of military mind, and this may have latter influenced his leadership traits. He dreamed of being a teacher not a military officer. (Bob Carter) What he learned from Knight was it took an unbelievable passion to be a leader, not Knights antics that put him into trouble more often than not. Coach K lead his teams and to championships through his role as a leader by inspiring and energizing the team, taking ownership in their actions. Grant Hill said coach K had a way of making people totally vested in the decision-making process, and that is what made him a great...
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