By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RiceOwls.com sat down with the new Men's Basketball assistant coaches. The first installment features assistant coach Mark Linebaugh.
How did you decide to get into coaching?
"My motivation to get into coaching actually came from Coach Pera. I knew the impact he had on my life both on and off the court playing for him in high school. I knew in high school that I wanted to make coaching a full-time profession in hopes that I could have the same positive impact to a young person that he had on me."
What do you consider to be your coaching style?
"As an assistant I feel my coaching style is constantly changing and adapting to what the players need and what the head coach needs at any particular moment. I do not like to micro-manage players. It's a player's game and always will be. My goal is to help our players understand situations, reads, and decisions. Ultimately I need to learn about each player and understand what "style" will help them develop as a player and person."
Who are the coaches that have helped you in your coaching career?
"I've been incredibly fortunate to play for, and work with, great coaches and people. Each has a little bit of a different way of getting to the same end result. I've been able to pull things away from every staff I have been a part of, and every staff I've played for, which has helped me develop my own philosophies and styles."
Are there any coaches that you have tried to model your coaching style after?
"I've tried to pull some things from the Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches that I've worked with. There are so many terrific coaches out there to learn from. Even if I don't know them directly, I try and pick some things up from college or pro games on TV, interviews, etc., and see if it can be worked into what we're trying to get accomplished."
Is there anything from your playing days that you have been able to bring into your coaching career?
"My goal is to help our players understand the focus on details that are needed to be able to reach your potential. There are so many talented players out there. I want to help our guys find that edge that separates them from the next good player. Whether it's details of the game, the mental side, how they work out, or how they take care of themselves off the court to be able to compete at their highest possible level."
What was it about Rice that appealed to you?
"I've been fortunate to work at terrific institutions in the past, but to be at Rice is such an incredible opportunity. What has impressed me the most is the sense of support and inclusion throughout the entire campus community. People care about you at Rice. They want to help you succeed. Everyone at Rice is on the same team. To have that at one of the best academic schools in the country and being able to work with Coach Pera and this staff, I couldn't be more thrilled to be in Houston."
What was it like playing for Coach Pera?
"I've never been around a more passionate, enthusiastic person than Coach. It was hard for me as a player to understand why he was doing things sometimes. But though I didn't always understand, I never questioned it because I knew he ALWAYS had the best interest of me and my teammates in mind. I learned that there was a reason for everything. He always knew what button to push and when to push it to maximize my abilities.
I never would have had the opportunities I had without having played for Coach. My biggest take away from Coach was that he would never let me be satisfied and always pulled more out of his players than we ever thought we had in us. We never had the most talent but we always played harder, and more together, then any of our opponents. That was because of Coach."
How has Coach Pera influenced your coaching career?
"Coach was why I decided to pursue coaching as a career. So much of what I learned from him carried me through any situation I've been in. Any questions I had, joys, or concerns, I've always been able to talk to Coach about them. No matter how busy he was he always made time to be there for me and anyone else that played for him. If I can have the same impact on at least one student-athlete that he had on me, then I would have "made it" in coaching."