STrib: McCutcheion's New Book May Give Insight into Job Change

Ignatius L Hoops

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Jeff Day:

Hugh McCutcheon's announcement that he's resigning as Gophers volleyball coach at season's end and moving into a newly created athletic department role had a whiplash effect that hasn't been parsed. That's primarily because he does not want to talk about the transition until after the volleyball season.

But a new book by McCutcheon out Tuesday, "Championship Behaviors: A Model for Competitive Excellence in Sports," provides a sense that he has a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish as an administrator.

It can best be described as refocusing the direction and meaning of athletics.

"Our world of comparison is increasingly fixated on outcomes — especially on winning. So much so, it seems, that anything less is often quickly dismissed as failure," McCutcheon writes. "It's as though doing your absolute best and finishing second is somehow an embarrassment or a disgrace.

"That doesn't sit well with me. … As much as we all want to win, we can't win all of the time. So there has to be more to it."

It is that element of "more to it" that illuminates McCutcheon's view of the purpose of coaching and participating in sports, and it gives a glimpse of what he might bring to his role as assistant athletic director/sport development coach.
 

Ragnor

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Jeff Day:
Interesting, look forward to hearing about his approach. Hard to imagine the message being it being, it doesn't matter if we go winless or have a losing record. It would probably not matter if you don't care if people attend many games.

I am personally satisfied if my Gophers have good citizens, go on to be positive contributors to society during their post college years and my team has hope of winning seasons and occasional success on the court. I somehow think for most people this won't draw enough fans and justify the expenditures in the athletic department. By all accounts Hugh is a good person and coach so I believe he has something to offer and I am glad he will remain on staff at the U. I am a bit skeptical that he can provide some sort of paradigm shift in the athletic department where winning isn't very important and the athletic department can continue to afford the high salaries of it's coaches and multitude of personal with AD titles as well as it's fantastic facilities.
 

leib0039

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Interesting, look forward to hearing about his approach. Hard to imagine the message being it being, it doesn't matter if we go winless or have a losing record. It would probably not matter if you don't care if people attend many games.

I am personally satisfied if my Gophers have good citizens, go on to be positive contributors to society during their post college years and my team has hope of winning seasons and occasional success on the court. I somehow think for most people this won't draw enough fans and justify the expenditures in the athletic department. By all accounts Hugh is a good person and coach so I believe he has something to offer and I am glad he will remain on staff at the U. I am a bit skeptical that he can provide some sort of paradigm shift in the athletic department where winning isn't very important and the athletic department can continue to afford the high salaries of it's coaches and multitude of personal with AD titles as well as it's fantastic facilities.
I would agree on some things here but go the other way on others. Do I want the U to have great human beings who go on to accomplish great things (in any aspect of life) absolutely, but I would be lying if I said it drove me to get tickets/support the team more. Truth is almost none of us know these kids so what they do off the field/court doesnt really effect us. It sounds crass to use the "just win baby" Al Davis motto, but in a lot of ways thats the truth. PJ I think is a great example, I believe he is a good person, he has his priorities in the right spot (at least as an outsider it appears he does), but its all about winning. If he was 12-50 over 6 years I would want him gone, but he has done a good job so RTB SKI U MAH GO GOPHERS plays. Again for better or worse these are results based jobs. I think it is easy for McCutheon to say "winning doesnt matter" when that is all he does. That story falls flat if he is a low level d3 coach who has never been over .500. It hits when he is international/college success.

Like the post above, I have my doubts this changes much in the whole athletics department. I dont see him going to Ben, hey ya know you finished last in the B1G a few years in a row, thats ok man you are a good person no one cares about losing and it changes Ben into Coach K. Will it hurt to have him around, no, but I dont think we will just turn into a 10+ sport powerhouse just because he is offering sage advice.
 

Stan

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Just win. This is D1. Sorry but not sorry.

D3 is very good athletics too, but less focus on wins/losses, which is great as well.

But at D1, win baby win.
 

Gophers_4life

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Just win. This is D1. Sorry but not sorry.

D3 is very good athletics too, but less focus on wins/losses, which is great as well.

But at D1, win baby win.
Agree.

The OP strikes me as very "kumbaya".
 


Gophers_4life

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But absolutely agree that we should not be cut-throat and/or outright cheat, just to win.

Win ... the right way.
 

ecoperson

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McCutcheon isn't saying that winning isn't important. He is obviously extremely competitive and has been uber successful. He is likely saying that the most important competition is within ourselves and our team.

If you've done everything possible as a person and team to bring out your best overall performance and someone beats you, you are not a failure. You will be extremely disappointed but you have still achieved great things if you finish second.

There are a lot of mental health issues including severe depression in sports. McCutheon is trying to help athletes perform at their best. At some point, the chips fall where they will and the athlete has to cope with that. Hugh is exploring that.
 

leib0039

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McCutcheon isn't saying that winning isn't important. He is obviously extremely competitive and has been uber successful. He is likely saying that the most important competition is within ourselves and our team.

If you've done everything possible as a person and team to bring out your best overall performance and someone beats you, you are not a failure. You will be extremely disappointed but you have still achieved great things if you finish second.

There are a lot of mental health issues including severe depression in sports. McCutheon is trying to help athletes perform at their best. At some point, the chips fall where they will and the athlete has to cope with that. Hugh is exploring that.
I think all of your points are correct. In the game of life putting your best effort out there and letting the chips fall where they may is true. You won't always win/get the promotion etc and you need to cope with that. All true and it will be good to have a guy like Hugh there to help with that.

Also true, sports at the college (esp the D1 level) and pro levels are are wins/losses. If the bball team is full of overweight slobs who don't care, are terrible in practice and are C students but go 38-2 that is just fine with me. I would prefer that over dead last in the conference with a bunch of good kids who work their tails off. Again, some do not agree with that, and I get it but give me 15 Emoni Bates and the other side can have 15 Will Ramberg's. I will be much happier when my team of whiny prima donnas wins every single time.
 

BBJones

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I think all of your points are correct. In the game of life putting your best effort out there and letting the chips fall where they may is true. You won't always win/get the promotion etc and you need to cope with that. All true and it will be good to have a guy like Hugh there to help with that.

Also true, sports at the college (esp the D1 level) and pro levels are are wins/losses. If the bball team is full of overweight slobs who don't care, are terrible in practice and are C students but go 38-2 that is just fine with me. I would prefer that over dead last in the conference with a bunch of good kids who work their tails off. Again, some do not agree with that, and I get it but give me 15 Emoni Bates and the other side can have 15 Will Ramberg's. I will be much happier when my team of whiny prima donnas wins every single time.
The day the Gophers fill their roster with "15 Emoni Bates" will be the day I walk away from Gopher basketball.
 



Ragnor

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I would agree on some things here but go the other way on others. Do I want the U to have great human beings who go on to accomplish great things (in any aspect of life) absolutely, but I would be lying if I said it drove me to get tickets/support the team more. Truth is almost none of us know these kids so what they do off the field/court doesnt really effect us. It sounds crass to use the "just win baby" Al Davis motto, but in a lot of ways thats the truth. PJ I think is a great example, I believe he is a good person, he has his priorities in the right spot (at least as an outsider it appears he does), but its all about winning. If he was 12-50 over 6 years I would want him gone, but he has done a good job so RTB SKI U MAH GO GOPHERS plays. Again for better or worse these are results based jobs. I think it is easy for McCutheon to say "winning doesnt matter" when that is all he does. That story falls flat if he is a low level d3 coach who has never been over .500. It hits when he is international/college success.

Like the post above, I have my doubts this changes much in the whole athletics department. I dont see him going to Ben, hey ya know you finished last in the B1G a few years in a row, thats ok man you are a good person no one cares about losing and it changes Ben into Coach K. Will it hurt to have him around, no, but I dont think we will just turn into a 10+ sport powerhouse just because he is offering sage advice.
I agree with paragraph 2 but I also know paragraph #1 matters to me significantly. For example, the Clem Haskins debacle really set back my gopher men's BB fandom for sometime. I did not want to go watch a bunch of cheaters/fraudsters. I would only watch games on TV and not go to games for quite a while after that. My gopher women's BB fandom increased at this time (just prior to the Whalen era). My men's BB fandom has now largely recovered but I am a bit more of a women's fan these days. With BJ I can see where my fandom will equilibrate with the women although I won't be buying men's season tickets and will keep my women's season tickets for the foreseeable future. The (perceived) quality of character on the team does matter to some people and thus will have a significant affect on the support of the team. I maintain this is a significant fraction too because I know of others like me.
 

leib0039

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I agree with paragraph 2 but I also know paragraph #1 matters to me significantly. For example, the Clem Haskins debacle really set back my gopher men's BB fandom for sometime. I did not want to go watch a bunch of cheaters/fraudsters. I would only watch games on TV and not go to games for quite a while after that. My gopher women's BB fandom increased at this time (just prior to the Whalen era). My men's BB fandom has now largely recovered but I am a bit more of a women's fan these days. With BJ I can see where my fandom will equilibrate with the women although I won't be buying men's season tickets and will keep my women's season tickets for the foreseeable future. The (perceived) quality of character on the team does matter to some people and thus will have a significant affect on the support of the team. I maintain this is a significant fraction too because I know of others like me.
And I 100% get it, my dad for example is the same way, if there were issues he wouldnt care if we were the best team in the country, he would be disgusted. That said, if we were #1 in the country and rolling, I bet the moral high ground wouldn't be as full as some say, easy to say when we arent there. I don't disagree with your take, again that is my preference we do it "right" and have great kids who are genuine role models. But I am simply being honest saying I dont know and will never know the kids so if the win I will be far more excited.

As an example, Self has been caught cheating multiple times, lost scholarships, self impoesd suspension. I don't see a single KU media/fan outlet saying to oust him anytime soon. They are winning so it works.
 

Gophers_4life

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Uber successful … except couldn’t win a natty here.

Would love to see it this year, but it’s not gonna happen with the way this team passes.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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But absolutely agree that we should not be cut-throat and/or outright cheat, just to win.

Win ... the right way.
This post is right.

The goal should be to win the maximum number of games possible without academic cheaters or rapists.
 






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