Billy Donovan almost didn’t become a coach. At least not a head coach. And not a head coach of anything important. Donovan is the Head Coach of the Oklahoma Thunder, the team that would be in the Finals against the Cavs if they had not collapsed in the third quarter of Game 6 against the Warriors.
Early in his career Donovan wanted to become a coach. So he called his college coach, who he had played for, and asked for a coaching job. His former Head Coach told him that he didn’t think Donovan had the communication skills to be an assistant coach. Eventually he hired Donovan and Donovan became his top assistant then a head college coach and then a head NBA COACH.
Think about an NBA team. They are all talented. Do physical skills really separate them? With 5 minutes to go the Thunder had a 90% chance of winning Game 6 and they blew it. Yet they came back strong in the first quarter of Game 7. That had to be due to the communication skills of the Head Coach Billy Donovan. How else do you get a team to come back from near death if not through communication?
As of today former University of Akron president Scott Scarborough IS the former president. He communicated poorly his new name for UA, he communicated poorly the closing of E.J. Thomas, he communicated poorly the almost million dollar renovation of his home, he communicated poorly-through email-the termination of the men’s baseball team, he communicated poorly the expenditure of almost a million dollars for success coaches, and the list goes on. He didn’t listen when told and re-told that he was ineffective at communication.
A lesson Billy Donovan learned early in his career, and look where they sit today: one is one quarter short of the NBA playoffs the other an unemployed president.