Following three successful seasons as the Head Coach at Valdosta State University, Carley Kuhns took over the Samford University program in April of 2019 and her impact was felt immediately. After finishing the season in a three-way tie for the Southland Conference Regular Season Championship, she guided the Bulldogs to the program’s first Southern Conference Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament berth in eight seasons.
Three things I learned in year one as the Head Coach at Samford are:
- How important it is to be surrounded by the right people and people who support you and your vision. People always talk about trust and I think it is so important to have amongst your staff. Kids catch on and pick up on so much and they can tell when we aren’t all on the same page or don’t get along. Having a unified front from a staff perspective will absolutely trickle down to the team.
- Yes, recruiting is extremely important but so are the players on your campus and on your team. I made sure to pour into them and spend as much time with them as possible. They will be your best advocate and recruiting tool so it is important to win them over. I think a lot of coaches get caught up in recruiting the next player and forget to invest in the ones you have on your team.
- Everything does not have to be done right away or in the first month. I think it is important to write down things you want to get done because every day new problems and issues arise, players stop by to say hello, you need to watch extra film and your list always gets pushed to the side. I have found writing it down helps me not forget things I want and need to get done.
Most importantly, to take time for yourself as well; whether it be working out, spending time with your family, or going to a movie. It is such a long season so we need to be at our best at the end and not burnt out!