In this week’s coaching conversation, Willamette head coach Kip Ioane joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss special situations we aren’t prepping for. His “Teams of Men” program that the Willamette men’s basketball team has put into action in recent years is designed to develop character among Bearcat basketball players and is discussed at length on the podcast.
Kip Ioane (pronounced “eye-own”) is in his 14th season as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Willamette University in 2022-23. He is in his 22nd season on the coaching staff, including eight years as an assistant coach under Gordie James prior to being named the head coach when James retired prior to the 2009-10 season.
Off the court Ioane’s basketball program sets out to develop men of character, create a family and build a legacy — in that order. He recruits players with that promise, which is why no one protested when the coach added the educational component in 2013.
ATTENTION: For Coaches Who Are Serious About Building Better Men:
Kip Ioane Quotes:
“It really just turned into a four year, tiered program for any player that comes in . . you’ve got to be heavily involved in our Teams of Men character program.”
“Similar to all that we do to guard ball screens well . . I wanted to make sure I was doing that to build better human beings.”
“It starts in the recruiting process . . we’re going to build into conversation between each other first.”
“The Teams of Men is based off the program foundation of Men, Family, Legacy.”
“In a given week, you’re going to have at least one character development session.”
“We’ve try to ease them into sharing personal feelings or opinions in a written, anonymous format first.”
“Whatever . . up front in the launch might be troublesome . . it’ll be worth it in the long run to show the commitment to the values that we’re trying to teach in the program.”
“I think we all are dedicated to building better people . . I’ve just added this to their plate and . . I expect them to win games and be great human beings.”
“We’ve tried to build into our expectation of them of time and place . . don’t embarrass yourself or the family that raised you or my family here.”
“The consequences of these choices [are] not just being I missed a basketball game . . we try to add on top of this is going to put you in a position where your life is no longer yours to control.”
“As much as we preach help in a shell drill . . you have to talk and communicate and help on defense, it’s the same in these social settings with alcohol. “
“You know damn well when your teammate has probably had too much [alcohol] . . you know . . where this might lead. That’s where you have to help. You have got to rotate over.”
“We don’t want to hold him to rules, we want to hold him to ‘What choices are you making and why?’”
“If we can get their social media pointed in the right direction, the teaching and the learning that we want will happen without us in the room.”
“I think the transparency and the conversations we have around the legacy you want to leave flows easily into the classroom.”
“You want to reinforce an idea, praise it.”
“The character development forces you to look internally. Why do I believe it?”
Kip Ioane Selected Links from the Podcast:
Kip Ioane Breakdown:
1:00 – Willamette Basketball Program
5:00 – The Truth Exist Between Us
8:00 – Three Pillars to his Program
10:00 – Impressions of their Practical Week For Them
12:00 – Mentor
13:30 – Strategies to Help his Players become Comfortable
15:30 – Quantifying the Impact of their Stories
18:00 – By Product
20:00 – Handling Conflicts with his Players
25:00 – Selling Ideas to the Administration
26:30 – Character Development Focus
28:00 – Educating Sexual Assaults on Campus
30:00 – Educating his Players about Alcohol
33:00 – Phrasing and the Importance of Language for Coaches
38:00 – Team Within Team
40:30 – Irresponsible Social Media Usage
42:00 – Not Following their Players on Social media
44:30 – Adopting his Ideas
47:00 – Comments about his critics
48:30 – Conclusion
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