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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Coaching renaissance

Associate+Head+Coach+Lindsey+Walton%2C+Head+Coach+Jamie+Morrison%2C+and+the+volleyball+staff+line+up+for+the+Aggie+War+Hymn+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Liberty+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+15%2C+2023+at+Reed+Arena.+%28CJ+Smith%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by CJ Smith

Associate Head Coach Lindsey Walton, Head Coach Jamie Morrison, and the volleyball staff line up for the Aggie War Hymn during Texas A&M’s game against Liberty on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 at Reed Arena. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Acting, retail and journalism aren’t the jobs with the worst turnover rates. It’s college coaching.
It’s true that when you’re at the top, you’re the easiest to find, because as soon as something goes wrong, you’re the one to blame. With the nature of modern-day college athletics, coaches have the tough task of turning a team — usually on the decline — into a true contender, regardless of the cards you’re dealt.
This means even if you’ve been handed the worst roster in the country, the athletic department that brought you on expects results, and they want them now. There’s so much out of your control as a coach that to succeed, you have to be really good at what you can control.
This is why what’s happening at Texas A&M, from a coaching standpoint, is so special. A&M is undergoing a coaching cultural renaissance, and it’s happening right before our eyes.
Now, one might ask for the proof in the pudding. Where are the national championships, where are the trophies, the accolades, the national recognition? To that I say, wait. Because the thing being changed in A&M’s athletics is the culture, and culture takes time.
Joni Taylor inherited an A&M women’s basketball team that was frankly left on the way out by Gary Blair. Almost the entire roster was severely lacking in experience, and Taylor knew this. This is why the team motto last year was “Becoming.”
“Most of our returners did not have a lot of playing time last year, they didn’t have a lot of experience,” Taylor said. “The freshmen that came in and the ones that came with us have not played, and so we’re learning a lot. And we are becoming elite. We are becoming sisters. We are becoming rebounders and screeners and scorers. And so, we are nowhere near where we want to be, it’s going to be a process that takes years to build.”
A 9-20 season did not make it a memorable Year 1 make for Taylor, but her most impressive season has already happened before Year 2 has even began: the offseason. Taylor not only brought in a top-25 recruiting class, but the No. 4 transfer class in the country. She hasn’t continued Blair’s legacy and culture, she is building her own. It may not be long until we see women’s basketball becoming one of the top teams in the nation.
A&M has a long and storied baseball history, so when Rob Childress was let go, the right man for the job had to be found. Jim Schlossnagle seems just that, taking the Aggies the farthest they have ever been in Omaha in Year 1.
“We’re going to win championships,” Schlossnagle said. “Not play for championships, not win a game in Omaha, we want to play for and win a national title.”
Look at newer coaches, like Trisha Ford and Jamie Morrison, who have already breathed new life into one lifeless programs.
Ford took a middling softball program with rich history out of the attic, blew off the dust and has put the gears in motion to success, already landing two top-20 recruits for next year’s cycle after making regionals in her first year.
Morrison, the newest head coach at A&M, is already committed to the university, its culture and most importantly, its students. There’s never been a head coach that reposts and posts more on X about getting students to come support their team more than Morrison does.
Buzz Williams has shown nothing but improvement year-to-year in his tenure at A&M, reaching the SEC Tournament Championship game two years in a row and his first NCAA Tournament with the Aggies last season. Just this week, men’s basketball finished their “boot camp,” an annual week-long training camp highlighted by constant cardio, sweat and team bonding.
With football living in the limelight, Aggies fail to recognize the coaching staff that A&M athletics has accrued over the past few years. It may end up being one of the greatest collection of coaches this campus has had in a very long time, and the writing’s on the wall.
While it’s easy to shrug off a collection of coaches that have accounted for zero national championships, each one is building up their respective programs’ cultures, one of the few self-manageable aspects of coaching. Not only that, but they have all shown a commitment to the university and its own culture.
In a few years, Aggieland may go from an athletic department thriving in mediocrity, to one like Tennessee or Alabama, where multiple different sports are competing for the top spot each season. Aggies should take a step back from Kyle Field, look around campus and realize that in a few years, there may be a lot more gold in those barren trophy cases.

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