Larry Blunt is a veteran in the basketball coaching business with experience at the Prep, College, and Professional levels. Having moved all over from the East Coast to Canada and now in the Midwest as an assistant at Division 1 Drake University, Coach "LB" has worked with many staffs and players. During his time at Orangeville Prep in Canada, LB recruited and developed Jamal Murray and Thon Maker, the number 7 and 10 overall picks in the 2016 NBA draft. When asked what kind of legacy he'd like to leave, LB credits his coaching friend Kevin Sutton (Rhode Island Men's Basketball) when he responded with the question: "How many living trophies can you create?"
NBA Champion Kevin Eastman joins The Bottom Line Podcast to talk about his book “Why The Best Are The Best: 25 Powerful Words That Impact, Inspire, and Define Champions” where he pulls lessons learned from interactions with well-known coaches and players over his impressive tenure as a basketball player, coach, and executive in the NCAA and NBA. Coach Eastman is in the University of Richmond Basketball Hall of Fame and won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008 as an assistant coach to Doc Rivers. Today Coach Eastman is known as a thought leader in the sports world and in 2018 he published his book to share his thoughts with those wanting to be the best in their field. Coach Eastman says that there is a difference between the words “Talent” and “Talented.” Talented has an “ED” on the end, which he says stands for Extra Dimension. Listen to Coach Eastman talk about Extra Dimensions of The Best and other lessons learned with his interactions with former Celtics players like Kevin Garnett & James Posey, NBA and sports legend Kobe Bryant, and of course the head coach that gave him his first opportunity as an NBA coach, Doc Rivers.
Virginia Commonwealth University Head Basketball Coach Mike Rhoades says that his whole team can "E.A.T." together when they act on the core values of Enthusiasm, Appreciation, and Toughness. Rhoades, who has been the head coach at Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, VA), Rice University (Houston, TX), and now VCU (Richmond, VA), grew up in Pennsylvania and played college basketball at Division III Lebanon Valley. There, he won a national championship, was named the national player of the year, and was an All-American twice. Upon graduation, Coach Rhoades quickly learned that coaching basketball was going to be his path and since his first assistant coaching job in 1996, he hasn't looked back since. Filled with many lessons from the court – as a player and a coach – that serve as parallels to both business and life, Coach Rhoades will inspire you and your team to come together and “E.A.T.”
University of Richmond Head Football Coach Russ Huesman feels good about his team going into the 2020 season, citing that he has players that are true leaders. “It’s easy for you to go get an extra lift in,” he says, but the true leaders – “they start to grab one, grab two, grab three, and bring people along…the guys doing that are turning into really good leaders.” A Division 1 football coaching veteran, Coach Huesman learned from some of the best including former Richmond Head Coach Dave Clawson (current head coach at Wake Forest) and longtime William & Mary Head Coach Jimmye Laycock, who served in that position for 38 straight years. In 2008, Coach Huesman served as the Defensive Coordinator for Head Coach Mike London, when the Spiders won University of Richmond’s first ever National Championship. To no surprise, he credits the players’ accountability to each other for that championship season. “True Leadership” is all about being a great teammate and in this episode, you’ll find many lessons that are once again applicable to not only sports, but business and life as well.
“Today has to be better than yesterday,” said Deep Run High School (Henrico, VA) Head Football Coach Chad Hornik when asked how he sharpens his axe. Coach Hornik led the Wildcats to an undefeated regular season in 2019 but his teams’ successes over the years did not come without clear expectations. “Establishing Expectations” is what building a team is all about according to Coach Hornik, who also doubles as a leader in the small business world. With a strong history of owning successful restaurants and building football programs, Coach Hornik brings with him many valuable lessons learned along the way that are applicable to everyday life.
Patrick Henry High School (Ashland, VA) Head Football Coach Ken Wakefield took over the Patriots football program in April 2019, which was fresh off a 3-7 record the year before. By the end of 2019, PH was 10-4 and regional champions. What’s the secret? According to Coach Wakefield, he and his team have been “Embracing the Process” since the first day he took over. With over 20 years of coaching experience – mostly at the high school level – Coach Wakefield is filled with valuable lessons he’s learned over the years that are applicable to both business and life. Now entering his 2nd season at a place he calls home, his team isn’t starting from scratch – they’re just onto another phase of the process.
In a conversation with Thomas Jefferson High School (Richmond, VA) Head Football Coach PJ Adams, he discusses “Breaking Down the Barriers of Losing” as one of the first things he had to do when he took over a program that had become too comfortable without victory. Coach Adams spent 2012-2014 as the Defensive Coordinator for TJ and before that, the team went four years without a single win. After spending 2015 & 2016 with different programs, Coach Adams returned to Thomas Jefferson as the head coach for the Vikings’ inner-city program in 2017, which had not had a winning season since the 1970s. Now entering his fourth season as the head coach, TJ has not had a single losing season under his leadership.
"Implementing The Go-Go" features a conversation with William and Mary Football's Offensive Coordinator, Brennan Marion. A repeat guest (TBL 004: The Struggle is Real), Coach Marion discusses one of the greatest challenges all leaders face: implementation. Only 31 years old, Coach Marion has installed his popular offense, "The Go-Go" at handfuls of different football programs at the high school and college levels. According to Coach Marion, winning the players' hearts is the priority before the X's & O's are even discussed. More information on The Go-Go Offense can be read in Coach Marion's new book, with the Foreword written by one of his mentors Coach Gus Malzahn - the current head coach at Auburn University.
"Leadership, Service, Growth" is the three-legged stool according to Dr. Chris Howard, current President of Robert Morris University. Dr. Howard was a Texas high school football state champion, an Academic All-American running back at the Air Force Academy, served in the Air Force, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, has an MBA from Harvard, has been a VP at the University of Oklahoma, the President at Hampden-Sydney College, and is currently on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. Listen in to hear some remarkable stories of leadership, service, and growth.
"Straight Shootin'" features a conversation with Blanda Wolfe, UVA Football's High School Relations Director. Coach Wolfe has been with UVA since 2011 and before that at the University of Richmond where the Spiders won the National Championship in 2008. All three of the recruiting classes he assisted with at Richmond were ranked in the Top 5 nationally for FCS schools. Coach Wolfe’s early years as a coach were spent at Varina High School from the mid-90s through the mid-2000s. During his time as the team’s offensive coordinator, Varina won 85% of its games. Even more impressive, over 60 of Coach Wolfe’s high school student athletes went on to play college football. While at Varina, Coach Wolfe spent many years under a Virginia High School coaching legend, Gary Chilcoat. Over a 9-year period at Varina, Chilcoat coached his teams to 3 region championships and a 91-14 record. He is credited by many as starting the trend for conducting demanding offseason workouts. Coach Chilcoat realized that games are not only won on Friday nights – they’re won when the competition is sitting on the bench.