Coach Beilein regularly allows television access in the locker rooms before games, so I have grown accustomed to seeing his Assistant Coaches (Bacari Alexander, LaVall Jordan, Jeff Meyer) facilitate and lead the team during pre-game.
Throughout the article, the similarities between Head Coach and Principal are harmonious, almost to the point where you can interchange the two without changing the connection:
Head coaches get more publicity in college basketball than in any other sport, especially at this time of year. TV cameras love them. Reporters constantly write about them. You rarely hear about assistant coaches. But modern-day programs are too big, with too many responsibilities, for one man to run himself. The best programs need more than one great coach. (Rosenberg, 2014 March 19)
Take the same paragraph and replace "Head coach" with "Principal" (along with other context-changes):
Principals get more publicity in education than any other position, especially at this time of year. TV cameras love them. Reporters constantly write about them. You rarely hear about assistant principals. But modern-day programs are too big, with too many responsibilities, for one man to run himself. The best schools need more than one great principal. (Rosenberg, 2014 March 19)
Rosenberg writes about how Coach Beilein is one of college basketball's "best CEO's" by delegating to his assistant coaches, empowering them individually to incorporate their own ideas and strategies. Each assistant possesses different skill-sets, strengths, and growth areas.
A successful administrative team requires the same kind of empowerment to assistant principals by the principal, who ultimately serves as the "CEO" of the school. Successful principals are willing to delegate to those within their leadership team and their school. Assistant principals, like myself, appreciate the opportunities to incorporate their own ideas, take on their own responsibilities, ultimately under the confidence and trust of a principal.
Coach Beilein's assistants are constantly bringing ideas and he jokingly admits to embracing half of the ideas and turning away the other half. The key is Beilein's staff continues to bring their ideas.
March 31-April 4 has been declared National Assistant Principals Week and this post coincides with the nationwide recognition of my Assistant Principal colleagues. On April 1st, through the promotion of NASSP, I participated in the #APweek Chat with numerous other AP's to discuss how the assistant principal can find more time for instructional leadership.
Happy Asst Principals Week--one of the toughest & least recognized jobs in education. Thanks for all you do to promote learning! #apweekI realized how lucky I am.
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) April 2, 2014
Throughout my career as an Assistant Principal and Dean of Students, I have been fortunate to work with two principals who share the similar delegation and empowerment mindset as Coach Beilein. They (Mr. Joey Clinton and Dr. M. L. Jones) have allowed continuous opportunities for all members of their respective administrative teams to grow as school leaders; In my case, becoming a more effective assistant principal. They recognize the need for delegation to successfully manage large high schools (1400 - 2000 students, 75-100 faculty), which cannot be done alone.
Assistant Principals inherit the opportunities to lead from their Principals, just as Coach Beilein's Assistant Coaches seize theirs.
The ultimate benefactor is the team. In our case, the ultimate benefactor is the school.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Go Blue!
Rosenberg, Michael. "Hands-on success a key for John Belein, Michigan" Inside College Basketball. 19 March 2014. Web. 1 April 2014