S2 #13. Welcome to season 2, episode 13 of The "I" in Win podcast. Thank you so much for listening! Before introducing this episode's guest, I have to ask a favor: Please continue to share the show. As I mentioned on the previous episode, we are just on a threshold of 20,000 downloads and look forward to surpassing and continuing to spread the message of people over outcomes.
Selfishly, I love hearing from listeners, so also reach out to me to discuss how we all can make the biggest impact through this podcast.
And with that I know today's guest is going to be great! Welcome BRANDON KRECZMER, who is a LB at Western Illinois University. Coach Kreczmer has experience at the high school level as a head coach and at the D3 level as an assistant coach, so he has a wide array of experience, and someone to keep an eye on as he continues to climb the coaching ranks.
Follow Coach Kreczmer on Twitter: @KreczmerWIU
In this episode, we discuss:
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welcome to season two, episode 13 of the "I and Win podcast. Thank you so much for joining us, and before we hop into our guests, who I'm really excited to introduce "I, have to ask a favor, please continue to share the show. As "I mentioned on the previous episode, we are just on a threshold of 20,000 downloads and the messaging that is getting out to all the coaches that need to. It's very inspirational. So selfishly, because "I love hearing from listeners, please continue to sh share the show so they can reach out to me and talk about the impact that we're all having through this podcast. And with that "I know today's guest is going to have just as big of an impact, if not bigger. How do you like that for Bill Up? Coach "I gonna welcome "I coach Brandon Kretz, who is a linebacker coach at Western Illinois. he has experience at the high school level as a head coach and also as an assistant coach at the Division "I three level as well. So he spans a wide array of experience in the coaching ranks. And someone that we need to keep an eye on is he continues to climb up through the coaching ranks, and maybe one day we're gonna be watching him in the s e C title game as the. Saban. So coach, let's talk about that transition from head coach to assistant coach. Cuz "I have to imagine, given my years as a head coach, "I, think "I would really struggle with that. So you were really successful on the high school level as a head coach, you were 23 and six a state championship, and then you find yourself as an assistant coach. So was that difficult transition or was it seamless and, and how did that experience go?Brandon:
First off, coach Mertens "I, just wanna thank you for having me again. Uh, you do a great job with this podcast and, again, there's a lot of life lessons that you're, you're helping coaches and people with this. So "I just wanna, uh, thank you for having me on. But, uh, as for the transition, "I mean "I think being a head coach, it doesn't matter at what a, any level that you're at. It's kind of a, a lesson and "I don't think anyone's truly prepared right away to be a head coach. And for me, I've had a lot of good mentors, uh, like Coach Galante at St. Pat's, uh, coach Def Frisco, who was at St. Pat's is at Illinois College now. And, uh, various college coaches of mine and coach posi, a legend in Illinois high school football. 300 plus wins five state titles. Uh, again, you take a little bit of every single one of 'em, and then once you're a head coach, you gotta, uh, kind of blend all of them and put 'em together. And as head coach, "I mean you got, you gotta do a lot of it, of everything. You gotta make sure the buses are on time, especially at the high school level and things like that. And you gotta put your, your footprints and everything, be it off the field, on the field, academics, things like that. but "I think that's helped me in the transition back to the college ranks here at Western Illinois. And that's something "I, that "I try to. Is kind of still be a head coach even though I'm not, is trying to relate to all the players. So I'm on the defensive side of the ball. But again, get to know the offensive guys, talk to them pre-practice and things like that. So that side of it. "I still try to act like a head coach even though I'm not necessarily a head coach. Cuz again, we'll get into this a little bit later. "I mean it doesn't. What level of football you're in. It's still a people business and "I gotta uh, see that you care about 'em. But are there times as an assistant coach where in the back of your head, like, this is what "I would do, or this is what "I wouldn't do? Absolutely. But again, all you could do is go to the head coach and say, this is what "I like, this is what "I don't like. And again, that's the job as an assistant and they're not always gonna agree with you or disagree with you. With what you're bringing to the table. But at the end of the day, it's our job and as assistant to from our prior experiences, kind of say, maybe this will help our program. Cuz again, the head coaches good or bad, get the flag. But an assistant coach is just as important as the head coach. And that's something that "I learned through my mentors and stuff like that is again, if everyone is just the head coach of their position room, the better off you're gonna.Luke:
"I have to imagine your experience of being a head coach has allowed you to really understand what makes a great assistant coach. So in your opinion, what are some of those characteristics or intangibles that make great assistant coaches?Brandon:
Uh, just being there and supporting "I. And that's the thing, like the head coach and Coach Popsi, and Coach Galante told me like, when things are going bad, it's gonna be my fault. But if things are going good, you gotta give credit and just keep your feet planted, whatever the head coach asks you to do. They're asking you for a reason. Uh, it might be line in the field. There might be washing clothes, whatever it is, you gotta keep your feet planted and, and do what you're asked to do. It might seem like a senseless job at some times, but there's a a reason why a head coach is asking you. And not only that, don't be afraid to speak up again as an assistant. Again, I'd bring stuff to Coach Posi and other coaches that I've worked for and they're, they turn you down but don't get discouraged. It's something that, again, they're the head coach, they're gonna make that final decision, but at the end of the day, you can't be afraid to speak up and cuz then they might like it and then "I, it helps the program out. They might not, and you just, you can't get get offended by that. But again, just keep your feet planted, do whatever the head coach asks you to do. And at the end of the day, again, even though the head coach unfortunately gets all the praise and things like that, and that's one thing that kind of drove me nuts. Like again, "I was fortunate enough to win a state title. It was like, me, me, me. No, it's about my assistant. It's about the players. Like I've never been a big coach. Even now, again, no offense to you coach, like I've never been a big media guy, especially being a head coach or an assistant coach. It's like it's about the. so again, "I, think assistant coaches definitely should get more, praised than they do. Cuz again, with a head coach is nothing without their assistants. And again, "I think any co head coach would tell you that "I know you would agree with that. And again, they make the program go, but just be grounded. You know, whatever you can do or whatever the head coach asks you to do, just do it to the best of your ability. Don't be afraid to, speak up with your opinions again, even if they agree or uh, disagree with it, uh, that's your job. And as an assistant coach.Luke:
It's such an interesting, interesting dynamic, the relationship between the head coach and assistant coach when it comes to presenting ideas because, and I've been on both sides of the fence. "I get why the assistant coach, sometimes is hesitant to do it because sometimes you feel like, well, the head coach isn't going to take. What I'm gonna say, so I'm not going to waste my time anyway. But then on the other side of the fence, the head coach is getting frustrated saying, why are my assistants not bringing me ideas? And you know, also sometimes it's out of respect for the title. And sometimes assistant coaches want to be good soldiers, which is great. And as a head coach, "I, appreciate that. But sometimes "I, "I don't want soldiers, right? "I want collaborators. And there's such a, like "I said, an interesting dynamic there that "I think both sides of the fence don't always understand each other, which comes down to the communication piece and head coaches being really clear at their assistance on what they want. And then assistant coaches, like you said be confident enough to understand that, bring your ideas, and if it's not implemented, it doesn't mean it's a bad idea. People take it so personally. It doesn't mean it's a bad idea, it's just not the right idea at that moment for whatever reason. But it doesn't mean you stopped doing it. And "I know as a head coach, I'm sure you felt the same way as a head coach and "I guarantee you most head coaches out there, regardless of levels, they want assistant coaches to bring them ideas and bring them solutions to problems. because although people look at us as head coaches, like we're supposed to have every solution, we absolutely do not. We have to carry ourselves like we do. We have to act like we do. But the reality is, is we are relying on our assistants to help us through it, and it definitely is no different than a team. It's not. the head coach. So, great answer there except for the shot at the media. You know, "I, "I have to tell youBrandon:
"I Am sorry.Luke:
my family, my friends, they always told me that "I have, "I have such a great face for radio. So "I, you know, this is my opportunity to actually take advantage of that, you know, so,Brandon:
We're alive dear. That's for sure.Luke:
Uh, so sticking with this coaching at the Division "I level theme, and a lot of our questions are gonna, are centered around that because "I have a lot of high school. Coaches who listen to this podcast and "I know a lot of 'em have aspirations to elevating to the level you're at. "I also know that all of us have entered this business because we want to impact people. And the ncaa, especially at the division "I level, it really is a business. And that's just that "I don't think it's anyone's fault and we don't need to run from that fact. But with that said, "I do think you guys get a bad rap because people just assume that you guys are, are just using kids. And it's just about the. And "I know that's not true. "I, I'm lucky as a head coach. "I get to meet so many division "I coaches and they are no different than us at the high school level. It's about people and they wanna help people. So how does the coach at the Division "I level still make an impact on people despite all of those pressures of the business side of things?Brandon:
you, you made a good point there. But at the end of the day, it's, it's still a, people business. Like again, the first thing we do, or "I do and we do here at Western is when we start recruiting kids, we ask 'em, what do your parents do? What do they do for a living? Where do they live? And things like that. "I, it's more than. The player, you gotta get to know the family. One of the first things we do is we're gonna call the the parents and see, get a feel for them and understand what they're doing. And again, it's more about than just wins and losses. And unfortunately at our level, that's what we, that's how we keep our job or don't keep our job is wins and losses. But at the end of the day, it's still seeing the kids be successful. And one thing that "I do, and again "I, some people might think I'm, uh, different and things like that. After every meeting, after every practice, "I tell my inside linebackers that "I love them. And that's something that "I they need to hear they're going through, especially in college, the society and everything that that's going on in the world today. "I think just hearing that that man coach loves me and they "I think. They feel something, they feel special. And it's just three words. "I love you and you just see "I think the more they care you, they know you care about them, the better off it's gonna be. Or like "I said, just going around, how's class? Or you, you need help in class? Come in if you need to talk to me. "I, "I, it's really the, the same thing. And it doesn't matter if it's peewee, if it's high school division three 20. At the end of the day, the kids that know you care about 'em are gonna play harder for you. And again, with transferring and all that stuff, that's just nature of the beast now and, and things like that. But even kids that have transferred out from here, "I still tell 'em like, Hey "I, it's been an honor, to get to know you and coach you. If you need anything, let me know. And that's just the way it is. And again, you never know when they might. a coach at the division, "I level or anywhere else, and you need a job. It kind of goes same way with recruiting. Like, uh, we talked about yesterday when "I was in the building coach where you said like, This coach might be at somewhere else down the road, and they're gonna remember that first time you do it. And, again, it's at the end of the day, it's getting to know the person. And again, "I "I literally tell my kids every single day. I'm like, yes, "I wanna make you a better football player. "I wanna win games, "I wanna win conference "I wanna make the playoffs win a national title, all that. But at the end of the day, "I wanna make you a better person. And "I think that that truly means a lot to them. They literally know like coach, like if we have another rough season or things like that, you might not be here. And that's the difference between a high school and, and the college coach is, it's like we're putting our livelihood in the hands of 18, 19, 20 year old kids. But at the end of the day, like. If "I get fired for, but knowing that the kids care for that "I, knowing that "I cared for the kids and they know that "I loved them and things like that, that, that, that's what it's all about. And just seeing them get prepared to be good husbands, good fathers and things like that. And "I think that speaks volumes of, uh, and that's what the kids need in society today. Cuz again, it's, it's a, it's a rough society.Luke:
Yeah, powerful stuff. And the "I Love You piece, that takes me back to when "I was doing my research as a young assistant. "I knew "I wanted to be a head coach, and my philosophy was, I'm gonna go learn from the best. Let's go find the best people at this and I'm gonna read and I'm gonna study what they do and I'm gonna steal from it. And that led me to def. Program in California, dealer Sale and "I read everything on that program. And my brother lives out in California and you know, friend of a friend, he hooked me up that I flew out there. I was in their pre-game meetings. I'm on the sidelines After the game, Coach Lad sat down and talked with me. "I, I'm, you know, "I, what do you do, coach? Like, how the heck do you get to this point? Because you know, you "I read all this stuff about them. And the one overall theme is when you see them, the players, you're gonna be like, that's it. Like, how does this team not lose to anyone? And of course, that's what stuck out to me. So when "I asked them like, how the heck do you do this? He said, love, we love them. And they know we love. and that just stuck with me. And "I think the more, regardless of the level that the kids know that you care for them and you know you're there for 'em and you're not just using them for the game. we all win because they're gonna produce more on the field, first of all, which is gonna help you keep your job. And two, they're gonna help find their best selves, which is gonna catapult them to the next stage of your life and continue building upon how to be the best. So glad to hear you're doing that. Doesn't surprise me, knowing ya, but "I think we as coaches need to do more of that and. Wear our emotions on our sleeve and just let the kids know like, Hey man, "I may not love you every moment of the day, but "I love you. Right? Just that's, that's kind of what our, our calling and our duty is as a coach. and "I, you know, "I said, we may not love you every part of the day. Like there is some truth to that, right? So what do you do with the kid who. "I don't know, like how do you help that kid who just isn't listening or doesn't seem to want any of your advice or your help isn't very interested in becoming their best? What do you do?Brandon:
Yeah, "I, "I. It's tough sometimes cuz a, as coaches like, we wanna bring out the best "I in everybody. And as a coach we know like everyone reacts differently, right? There's some guys we could get on and they're going to raise their, their performance or the guys you kind of gotta coddle and stuff like that. And obviously being at different levels, being a head coach and things like that, there. There's, uh, some guys that don't, just don't want it, or they're, they kind of take a step back and, and it's frustrating because as coaches, I'm sure you've had nights like, how can "I reach this guy? You're just laying in your bed thinking, what can "I do for this kid? What can, is there, how can "I reach him? And you, you do everything you can and you kind of just pull 'em aside. And sometimes "I "I, it's difficult and it's kind of like pulling teeth, but again, So I've had several experiences where you, you kind of gotta be persistent, right? Because maybe some kids, it takes a while for them to warm up and they, they might've been in something in their, their life situation where like, oh, someone said they cared about me, but they really didn't. So it takes time. It's almost like, peeling layers off. And again, it could be frustrating at times where it's like, man, I'm just not making any headway, but. When you do and you just see the kid open up, "I mean that's, that's what it's all about. That's what's coaching is about. And again, it "I it for us as coaches. Like "I said, we're, we're always asking, and again, asking other coaches for us, man, "I just can't get through this kid. How would you do it? And again, like you go into Dealer Sal or things like that, it's as a coach, head coach, doesn't matter at the level. You're never done learning. And it's okay to ask for help and that's something "I tell my kids all the time as well. Like none of. "I know everything and don't be afraid to ask for help. And "I. They kids have to understand that, and especially in society today, it's like if you ask for help "I you, you're soft or "I. "I. Guess is the saying that "I can't put into better words right now, but ask 'em for help is not a sign of weakness. That's a sign that. You're confident enough and, and want to help yourself and help your program or whatever it is. So "I, think just persistent. And you can't get frustrated when kids don't open to you right away. But you just gotta be patient. Pull 'em aside. And again, "I think by doing that. "I. Think eventually it'll, they'll open up, and again, some, and they're not gonna lie, there are some cut kids that unfortunately "I wasn't able to connect with. And unfortunately it, they kind of went down the wrong path. And, but at least, you know, like you did everything you could to try and help him. And, but unfortunately, just like life, man, you can't help everybody. You can do everything you can, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if they're a high school kid, a college kid, at the end of the day, they do have to make their own decision.Luke:
It's so interesting the things we learn as A male coming up in society and what we learn toughness is, and then you become adult and you learn that almost it's the opposite, right? Like for example, "I, try "I, explain this to my players all the time. Like "I get. When you're challenged, do you feel like you need to step up to that challenge physically? I'm talking like a fight situation and I'm trying to always acc explain to him that true toughness is walking away from thatBrandon:
That's true toughness. You know, true toughness on the football field when a guy cheap shots you is not retaliating and getting that stupid 15 yard penalty cuz you're the guy that always gets caught. It's getting back into the huddle. That's true toughness. So there's definitely conflicting messages being sent to our young people, and especially in today's society. Man, there are so many conflicting messages. "I don't even want to touch upon what's going on today. But again, that really. All joking aside is the impetus behind this podcast because guys like you, guys like me, guys, like all the coaches out there and all of the females out there coaching, and our great teachers in our schools, we are needed now more than ever. And there's too many great men and women in this profession that are tapping out because of the conflicting messages, because of the external pressures. And I'm hoping that we could keep people motivated because. Do our kids need that?Brandon:
And part of what's gonna also help with this podcast are those that are looking to move into a role where maybe it could be more influential. Like for example, as a head coach, you've been there before and I'm sure there was things that just blew you away that you had no idea being a head coach really meant. So what part of being a head coach do you wish that you knew before you actually took that role?Brandon:
Oh, that's a good question. "I mean you could go through a long list, but the biggest one is just that. There's really no pressure, especially at the high "I mean there is, but at the end of the day, it's really to me, and again, "I had coach Posi, who again is a legend at the end of the day, like in society and in coaching, It is again all about the X's and O's and that's what society thinks about. But it's not "I there. "I mean. I'm sure you've been through a coach where you lose a game but your kids left it all out on the field. You should feel like a winner. And there there's a handful of games that "I knew like it's like just cuz that scoreboard says you lost doesn't mean you're losers. And that goes with life too. You're gonna fail and things like that. But there's just so much. Especially for a first year head coach or things like that. It's like, you gotta win. You gotta win now. And that "I mean that's to a T. Yes. "I mean, again, that's your job security and things like that. But at the end of the day, it's, you're seeing, positives and you're moving in the right direction. "I mean, that's what it's about. And again, you're gonna get questioned why you do this, why you do that. But as long as you have your why and you know you're doing things the right. That it's okay. Again, you're gonna get questioned. It doesn't matter. That's why "I tell, uh, we're talking about leadership with my inside backers and stuff like that. Leadership is hard, and no matter what decision you make in someone's eyes, you're gonna be wrong. So as long as you have your values and you know the reason why you are doing it, Then at the end of the day, you get fired. You go winless, whatever the case might be, as long as you know you did the things the right way, the way you wanted to do. and that's all that matters. And again, unfortunately in the profession and things like that, people get fired. There's, turnover all the time and But at the end of the day, if you did things the right way, the things, the way you wanted to do it, and again, you might not get the wins that you wanted, but. You hear from your players 10 years down the road, coach "I, just want to thank you if it, if it wasn't for you, who knows where "I would be today and things like that. That's what it's about. And the scoreboard, obviously, that's why we played the game and but that's not the telltale sign of, of a coach or a program It's about, Did you leave it all on the field? Can you look in yourself in the mirror and say, you know what? "I, left it all on the field. Then they shouldn't have to be, feel bad about it if you literally left everything out on the field. And again, you're doing things the right way. "I think that's the most important thing as a head coach and it's "I it, it took me a while to realize that it, to me, it was always when at all costs at some point. But then it's not always about the wins and mosses. You could lose on the scoreboard but still win, win off the field and not on the field. Technic.Luke:
"I listen to podcast when I'm driving in and back from work. And "I love listening to podcasts except for the fact that when "I hear these tidbits, "I literally have to pull over and get 'em down cause "I. "I "I. Don't wanna "I, don't wanna miss the point. "I don't wanna miss the note and, and, and get better from it. And, and to those listening right now, pull over and write that down. Right there, coaches hit it on the head. "I. It just can't be about the scoreboard. Yes, we wanna win. We wanna be the best "I. Think there's a ton of value in teaching that to kids, but "I also think there's a ton of value that it can't just be about the school board, can't be the deciding factor. And "I had JT Curtis on, who's from Curtis High School, Don Louisiana. over 600 wins. He's the all time windiest football coach on any level. He's won 28 state championships. Unbelievable. And he was, he was the first guest "I had on this podcast. And what he said to me I'll never forget is if it's only about the scoreboard, we are wasting our time as a coach. And you wanna talk about validity. There's a guy that's done it the best, he's won more than anyone. And here he is saying it just can't be the deciding factor. We have to look beyond that. And it's difficult cause we're competitive and that's why we get into athletic. but especially as a coach, we have to model it better for kids. So powerful stuff. "I, "I loved it. definitely some, great things for people to take away, with your answer and now you're going to have to follow it up with another great answer. You're year in division "I coach. Now that you have that year under your belt, I'm sure you thought it was gonna be one way, and then you found out some things weren't what you envisioned. What about your current role surprised you?Brandon:
it's, it is football 24 7. Kind of do that going in and, With that being said, It's a lot of things are the same, believe it or not. Again, you, you hear it and it's like, it's not about Xs and Nos, it's about the Jimmys and Joe's and things like that. But "I think just the, the competitive. This, even of the recruiting "I mean D two, D three, D one "I mean, there's just so many good programs out there now, and you gotta be recruiting 24 7 and if you're not, you're falling behind the eight ball. And again, "I "I kind of knew that. Uh, "I was nd three, probably 12 years ago or something like that, even back then. But the recruiting now, It, it's 24 7 nonstop recruiting. And again, you gotta be calling, texting, hitting them up on Twitter and all that stuff. It's, it's just great. "I "I. I'm only 34, but I'm still old school. And it's like all the glitz and glamor you have to do for these kids. And again, it's not a bad thing that, it's not the kids' fault, that's just the society we're in today. But the photo shoots and all that, it's just like, it's like you gotta put on a performance, uh, to get these kids in. There's nothing wrong with that Again. You gotta do what you gotta do to get the, the kids, and again, we do it and "I love doing it again, getting the kids in there and getting 'em all, uh, putting on the Leatherneck uniform and things like that. But it's just, man, it's recruiting is something that you gotta do nonstop and gotta get out into the, uh, high schools again, which "I enjoy again, just, building those connections and stuff like that. But yeah, man, recruiting, "I "I is no joke. And. You're not recruiting every minute of the day, you're falling behind bef uh, for sure.Luke:
"I think it's something that the NCAA really has to take a hard look at for the sake of you guys as coaches. And also on the other end, the student athlete and his or her parents, because it's relentless. It never stops, and it's creating so much pressure on these kids. One of my seniors today, as a matter of fact, said to me we're talking about the signing day photos and all that, and he just had this huge smile on your face and "I said, oh, it's good that you're smiling. You found what you wanted. He said, "I did. But I'm more just happy that it's. "I feel so less pressure on me. And that's not the way it should be. It should be one of the greatest moments of an athlete's life because that's the moment when you go talk to a sixth grader right now. He or she has this vision of being recruited and these kids are going, man, "I just want this over. So "I do hope they take a look at it. Another thing "I really hope we take a look at is a transfer, uh, transfer portal. And you know, "I. It is what it is. It's the world we're living in and you're in it. And there's only so much you can say about it, but what "I wanna talk about, we're not here to debate right or wrong. We're here to just talk about fighting against it. In other words, keeping your players from entering it. Okay? So hearing from all of the coaches coming through my school, like this is a challenge. It doesn't matter if it's D one through D three, there's a lot of kids entering it and entering into it. Not understanding what it, what it even is. So what can you do as a coach to educate your players on what it is and or what can you do to your players to keep them around? How could you create that culture where they don't want to leave "I?Brandon:
again, it goes back to "I. Think really caring about 'em. But again, that's just, it's just the nature of the beast. And, I think the portals, "I don't even know exactly how old it is. And, I talked to "I, went to the coaching convention in Charlotte. A couple weeks ago and the, the lady that created the portal kind of gave us a bunch of stats. And just like anything as a coach, we want data, we want statistics and things like that. "I think kind of, uh, giving them the student athletes, the data that just cuz you get in doesn't mean you might necessarily get another scholarship or you might think you're going up, but here's the statistics of you. Not everyone goes up. They either stay but the same or go down sometimes. it's the nature of the beast, unfortunately. And, and it's hard. And kids always think the grass is greener on, they always side on the other side, and it necessarily always isn't. And you try to tell that to the kids and, but then they see both sides of it. It's like some of their teammates get in and they're going to the next level and it's kind. Russian roulette almost. It's like you don't know what's gonna happen. It's like you go in there and then you just go in there and "I think right now there might be over like 2000 names in there and it's just like, whoa. "I mean you, we have a software that as soon as a kid gets in the portal, it pops up and gives us a email and it's like, it's just constantly nonstop. And again, it's scary because there's "I, "I can't remember the exact percent, but it's like "I, "I think it's more than half that go in there and necessarily don't go out or at least go lower or end up going, uh, JUCO or things like that. And, uh, it's scary, but you just gotta try and get the kids to buy into a program and, and that, and that's what's hard nowadays. It's just you see this turnover and again, it's my profession. And you see both sides. coaches get to leave. Why can't players? And there's that whole. "I mean, like you said, I'm not saying what's right and what's wrong, but coaches could leave, but players can't. But, and so "I mean it's just a huge thing that, again, "I don't know what the right answer is. Again, "I think the NCAA is doing the best it can, but at the end of the day, "I mean, just like we, we talked about helping kids, like you could give your kids all the information, have will try to grow 'em and buy, buy into your program, but at the end of the day, "I, "I, it's their decision. Obviously, you, you don't like to see kids get in the portal. uh, want them to stick it out. And that's one thing that Coach Hendrickson, our, our head coach, uh, says here. And we we're telling our recruits right now, it's like when you commit to Western, you're committing to get a diploma from Western Illinois. It's not just to come here and play football. Our end goal is for you to walk the stage and get a degree from Western Illinois University. And that's something that we're really trying to, push to our recruits that we're saying. It's like, yeah, you're here to play football, but the end goal is getting your diploma.Luke:
you know, it falls under the umbrella of recruiting the transfer portal. That is because now you have to recruit players. You've already recruited. or you have to find replacements once they leave to, to come to come back in. And "I, "I think "I had a good handle on recruiting, but now I'm, I'm just lost. "I. "I really am And you know, the, the transfer portal, like all things "I think it was well intended. Maybe we didn't think about the long-term ramifications. Kinda like what's happening with N "I L. So those are things that "I do believe will get sorted out. They always do. You just gotta give it some time. But this recruiting piece, as a head coach at the high school level, "I sometimes don't even know what to tell my players anymore because it's so confusing. And then I'll talk to the college coaches coming through and you guys are just as confused as we are to some aspect. "I mean no one knows sometimes what's going on. What would be your best advice now that you are living inside of it, that you could give to those of us on a high school level of what we should be doing to best get our kids recruitedBrandon:
again, get on Twitter and social media. That's something that "I heard in a clinic, when "I was just becoming a head coach. Free publicity, and Most of our recruiting is done on Twitter nowadays and, and the huddle and all that stuff. So the more you get that out there on Twitter posting it and things like that, it's free publicity and that's something that "I still d when "I was the head coach at the high school level, "I did it shoot even here at Western "I. I'm trying to pump out as many pictures of things we're doing and the good things we're. It's free publicity. The more you can get it out there, the more you get the eyes on your kids or your program, that's what it's all about. And again, Twitter's free. Instagram's free. Facebook's free. Now "I don't have all those. But for us, especially, in the college writings like Twitter, that's the first thing. "I check every morning. Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, um, again, clicking on huddle links and things like that. But the more you get out there, that's the person "I trust the most is the high school coach. Now, "I know, again, a lot of, kids are going to seven on sevens and things like that, and that's great. Again, "I, "I "I encourage them to do that. Again, it's helping them craft their game and stuff like that, but no one knows a football player or student athlete more than the their head coach. Um, Just wanna encourage, like be honest with us about your, your players as well. Again, we all as head coach myself as well, it's like, do, do "I be honest, like, maybe this kid is missing class or is always late to school and things like that. You're not helping us and what you ha what you also have to instill into your student athletes, but as well as it's like you have one bad recruit. Come to our program. and we were like, this kid was, was always late, didn't do what he was supposed to do. Like you're hurting the next few years of your, your high school teammates, friends, and things like that. Cuz it's like, okay, well the coach didn't tell the truth or, this isn't the type of kid we thought we were getting. You're gonna, kind of, we might stop coming to your school or things like that. Not necessarily, but again, just be honest with us. Again, pump, pump 'em out as much as you can on Twitter. Um, again, there "I, it's just free publicity for not only for. Um, student athletes, but you're, you as a program and things like that. The more you can get it out there, the better.Luke:
I'm pumped that you said that about when you go to a school, you're representing the high school, because that's something I've preached to my players through these years. Hey, if you're gonna do this, you have to realize that you are paving the way or closing the door. For the next 10 years.Brandon:
And don't take that lightly because sometimes you will definitely have kids, which I'm sure you did when you're a head coach, that you could tell that their heart wasn't all into the choice that they were making. It's like, don't do it because you're gonna really close off opportunity. So, uh, thank you for sharing that point, cuz you know, sometimes people need to hear it from a different voice. "I. If any of my players are listening, that's gonna hopefully stick with them because that's the same thing that "I do. Preach to them all the time cuz it's so important. But like it could have the other effect too, right? Like, let's maybe say a kid's a bubble on the bubble. School takes a chance, takes him, and he comes in. You're like, all right, now "I know what's coming out of that program. So you could have the other effect as well. You know, so, and now that "I know you're on Twitter, "I, take offense, "I. Don't get more likes from you. "I didn't, you know, "I follow you. I'm always wondering like, where are the likes that's going on here? You know,Brandon:
As soon as, as soon as "I get off here, I'm gonna like and retweet every single one of your tweets. "ILuke:
Perfect. Because that's how "I gauge my success as a human being each and every day. SoBrandon:
as we're wrapping this up, "I know you gotta get back to, uh, recruiting, right? It's 24 7. Uh, "I Wanna end with something "I think is, is really important. And selfishly, "I love to hear this side from coaches. And "I wanna talk about victories off the field. We all have them and, and some are larger than others. Sometimes it's a high five from a kid that you thought didn't like you in the hallway, to someone walking across the stage with a diploma in their hands and tear streaming on their eye and saying, you changing my life, coach. So you're being put on the spot. No time to think about it. What are some victories or that one victory that pops in your mind off the field that helps to inspire and continue to drive you in this profession?Brandon:
Um, "I. Think "I kinda touched base on it a little bit. for me, there, there was one kid, and I'm not gonna name his name, but "I, think you've been there before. It's like sometimes kids don't understand tough love and you, you gotta be hard on him and things like that. And "I just remember, during his playing career, he is like, man, you don't like me coach, or you don't, you're too hard on me and this and that. And I'm. "I. That's tough love like that. Sometimes you don't like to hear things and, criticism is hard and, to comprehend sometimes. And again, he just always would like, man, coach, you don't like me. He, he, his friends would tell me like, yeah, uh, coach doesn't like me, this and that. And it wasn't until "I think, two or three years after, uh, he graduated and, and moved on. He was, he came up to me at a basketball game, "I think it was. And it was like, coach. "I "I knew you loved me. Like it took me time to realize that. but at the end of the day, you were just trying to push me. You knew "I could be pushed. Farther and "I could be better than, than "I was. And it stuff like that, that's just hit hits home. I'm getting kind of goosebumps just kind of talking about it. It's like sometimes it takes kids to realize that you love 'em. And again, it's hard sometimes to be criticized or take that, tough love. And they take it personally. But at the end of the day, like "I said, as long as you tell 'em you love 'em and things like that. But as a, as a teenager, sometimes that's hard. "I, they're just so, oh, "I want them to be nice to me. "I want them to joke around me and stuff like that. But, and there's a time and place for that as a coach. But it, it took this kid a while and then he was just like, coach, like now "I, underst. And that one kind of just hit me home. Again, "I, "I never disliked the kid or anything like that, but that's what how he interpreted it. And "I think we get that as coaches all the time. Like, oh, coach doesn't like me, this and that. But that's why we coach again, hearing that two or 3, 5, 10 years down the road, you might just bump into a coach. Coach if it wasn't for you. Uh, "I want to be where I'm at, or again, now "I, understand why you, why you, uh, coached me hard. You gave me that tough love, that you did. So that's one that kind of really sticks out to me. Again, this kid, like "I, remember just multiple times, oh, he doesn't like me. He doesn't like me. And then again, years down the road, he is just like, coach "I know you loved me. You were, you were, you were doing what was best for me. It just took me time to.Luke:
You beat me to the punch with the goosebumps. You were talking about it. "I felt it. "I. That's why "I said selfishly. "I love asking this question. Cause "I love hearing that. And we live in this, uh, immediate gratification society. And what we all need to remember, for those of us, listen, who are teachers and coaches, is our, our profession that we chose is the complete opposite of immediate gratification. And we may not hear until 10 years down the road. That we did one hell of a job, which I'm sure all of us listen in. We are. The fact that we're listening proves that we are invested and that we wanna be the best we can be. So thank you for sharing that story, for opening up our eyes to realities of the transfer portal to coaching at the division "I ranks recruiting. And why the scoreboard should not be the only thing that matters. Look forward to following your success at Western Illinois. "I. Have no doubt that you will be really successful. "I met with "I meant what "I said earlier, the podcast at beginning "I. Wanna see you keep elevating through the ranks, but first, like you said, be your feeter planted and "I. Know you'll do a, a great job And if you have a recruit that we wanna send a coach, what? What's your Twitter handle? What's the best place they should send it?Brandon:
Uh, Kretchmar, K R E C Z M E R, underscore W "I U. On Twitter, so yeah, please, anyone that has anyone that you're interested, please send 'em to me. Again, always looking for kids again. There's a always diamonds in the rough that we miss, even though again, Twitter and all that stuff. So anyone you think, could be a Leatherneck, we'd love to have it. And Coach "I, appreciate you having me. You know, "I couldn't get off this without saying Go Rock. So.Luke:
Thanks man. Appreciate being on and coaches listening. Please make sure that you, uh, send the correct recruits to coach and be honest about, as, as he said so best of luck and uh, look forward to following your success. As "I mentioned, take care coach.Brandon:
Thank you, coach.