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Mike Sherman's Valedictory

I saw this over at BTW, if you haven't already bookmarked the site, you should.

Narcolepsy jokes aside, I think a lot of Coach Sherman as a man. Hey, any overweight, 50 year-old guy who would call out Warren Sapp to his face has either cojones or Antisocial Personality Disorder.

In any event, Coach Sherman took the time to pen a thank-you letter to Texas high school football coaches, and Chris at smartfootball reprinted it in its entirety.

It's worthwhile to read the whole thing, IMO, but I found one portion of the letter particularly insightful. Under the heading, "Dismissing a Staff Member," Coach Sherman had this to say:

If someone is not doing their job the way you want it done, it is imperative you tell them immediately. I think it is unfair to fire someone without letting them know they are not meeting your expectations first. I believe you give a staff member three opportunities to fix what needs to be fixed. You hired him, you fix him. You owe him that. If you can’t, you owe it to the rest of the staff and team to make a change. (Emphasis mine)

I tell the staff every pre-season what my expectations are. I tell them I will be up front and honest with them about their performance. I tell them if during the season I don’t like something, you’d better fix it.

It’s important to separate the professional criticism from the personal. (Emphasis mine). You may like the person but you may not like how he is doing his job. When relieving someone of their duties, never let it get personal. This was always the toughest part of being a head coach. Your obligation is to the overall team and you cannot allow poor performance keep you from getting there. If you have been up front and honest with the coach, he can have no qualms about the direction you eventually decide to go.

Not that it's appropos of anything in particular, I just thought it was an interesting perspective.