This feature is presented to you by the University of Nebraska — Lincoln Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration.
A year ago, we had the chance to sit down with Brian D. Stanchak. Since we last talked with him, his agency has developed into an industry leader and he has created a unique conference that focuses on helping aspiring and advancing head coaches.
At the time of our last conversation, he had 10 clients become first time Division I coaches, while last year alone he worked with eight more clients who became first-time Division I head coaches.
It has not just been working with first-time head coaches that has led to the success of his agency, but also numerous contract renegotiations, several Division I head coaches advancing from one University to another, and various clients obtaining non-Division I head coach positions.
“The success of the agency is a testament to the tremendous coaches and people we work with.”
— Brian D. Stanchak
Another addition to his business within the past year is the development of the Head Coach Training Center (HCTC), a conference for college basketball coaches.
The conference attracts coaches who aspire to be head coaches or advance their careers from one head coaching position to another.
“The goal of the conference is to teach coaches not just strategies to obtain a head coach position, but to also be successful in the role,” said Stanchak. “We accomplish this through incorporating speakers who are head coaches from all levels with various backgrounds, while also creating an opportunity to hear from and network with directors of athletics, senior women’s administrators, and executive search firms.”
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“Last year was an incredible conference with outstanding speakers, such as Jose Fernandez from the University of South Florida and Quentin Hillsman from Syracuse University,” added Stanchak. “We have more phenomenal speakers this year and will be incorporating even more learning tools, such as quick info sessions.”
This year’s conference will be held from Sunday May 21 through Tuesday May 23 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino & Resort in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Stanchak originally created the conference as a way to provide a tremendous learning and networking opportunity for his clients, but realized it was a way to give back to a profession that he was a part of for 10 years and help coaches beyond his client-base.
The conference allows coaches to talk amongst each other about the challenges they have or are facing and how to cope. Stanchak believes the biggest challenge that has manifested in the past couple of years in the coaching industry is the sensitivity in managing players on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s unfortunate that you must be beyond cautious about how you speak and interact with your players these days. Whether your actions or words are truly negative toward them or they interpret it that way, it can come back and hurt you.”
— Brian D. Stanchak
The change has been reflected in contracts and has made it much more important to protect coaches in certain situations.
“It’s frustrating that sometimes you see a player or former coach go to the media and say something negative about the head coach, whether it’s true or not,” said Stanchak. “The head coach, either out of respect for the investigation that might be going on or professionally does not want to engage in a back-and-forth in the media, is unable to comment. That’s not the head coach admitting guilt.”
As for aspiring agents, Stanchak’s advice is to figure out what your unique intrinsic value is that you’re going to bring to your client and to find your niche.
“There are so many people who go to law school or business school and want to become an agent because they think it’s a cool profession, like sports, and can make money from it, but what value via experience makes them an expert in representing coaches or players?”
— Brian D. Stanchak