The player makes the coach: Exploring player development among Division I basketball coaches

Academic Article


  • Head Men's Basketball coaches at the collegiate level are often portrayed as teachers with the ability to dramatically elevate the productivity of their players. However, there is also the perception that perhaps head coaches are only as talented as the players on their team. Thus, a debate has ensued, do Men's Basketball coaches develop the players on their team, or is it in fact the talent of the players themselves that make a coach successful? Over the course of 17 seasons, and through the use of absorbed regression, over 80 coaches, as well as 28,581 player observations at the Division I level, were included in the data set. Results indicated that there were no substantial effects that most coaches significantly alter the productivity of the players. Some evidence was shown that there are some coaches who alter the productivity of the players. Thus, recruiting is essential to a team's success, and coaches should (re)consider how to develop their athletes throughout their tenure.
  • Authors

  • Croft, Chris
  • Paulson, Courtney
  • Stokowski, Sarah
  • Berri, David
  • Mondello, Michael
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2023
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 695
  • End Page

  • 704
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 3