Van Gundy’s “Coaching Analytics” at Sloan Sports: Media Wants “Huggable Coaches”

Coaching Analytics Panel,  MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conf, Friday Afternoon March 2, 2012,  Panelists: Eric Mangini Jeff Van Gundy and Bill Simmons. Brent Barry – a surprise addition, in place of Mark Cuban

This was Jeff Van Gundy’s second panel, and some of the attendees hyperventilated their tweet-praise; JVG and Brian Burke were the stars of the first day — even though both showed significant disdain for (and, at times, ignorance of) “analytics.”

Killer Quotes:

JVG:  They say Belichick couldn’t communicate well w/the media. Who gives a sh*t?!;

 “You cannot tolerate what you do in victory that you wouldn’t tolerate in defeat.”

 [On why he’s not coaching]: “I have a junior in high school who would kill me if I moved her“;  

[On the NBA]: “we have a league that rewards being bad“; 

The media wants huggable coaches. That’s why I laugh at how they try to portray Tom Coughlin.”

Tweet-Selections below:

Daryl Morey opens the Coaching Analytics panel by asking Eric Mangini why we are still punting so much in the NFL. Punt or go for it on 4th down? Mangini says the risk is not worth the potential reward (or loss)
Great give and take between Mangini and Simmonson the Pats failed 4th and 2 in Indy a few years ago
Loss aversion – Mangini says it’s about avoiding losing the game.

Mangini: Kickoff spot change – teams purposely not kicking touchbacks, relying on kick coverage. instead. New coaching philosophy here?

Brent Barry now discussing whether to foul when ahead 3 in final secs.

JVG: Defense has more advantage when fouling late, now that a heave during the designed foul does not make it a shooting foul
The one panel we have a player on? Coaching Analytics. I give up.

So far this panel is about coaching decisions, not coaching analytics.
Cool fact: Apparently the first 15 plays of most NFL games are scripted/standard to learn about the opposition. – Eric Mangini
Barry: “I think great coaches prepare their teams for any scenario. The drop off between Plan A and Plan B is none.”
#SSAC
Wow. Van Gundy is going off about the league rewarding teams for being bad.
adam silver was sitting on the same stage just a few hrs ago
JVG: “I think [Paul Silas] should be Coach of the Year for winning [Charlotte] 4 games
Daryl morey: more GMs should be fired. They’re on the hot seat media wise but not ownership wise because of the constant interaction
Jeff Van Gundy is THROWING IT DOWN at #SSAC. I’m loving this Coaching Analytics session.
Mangini preaching importance of owner, GM and coach being on same page; yeah, he really tried that with the Browns, not!
Simmons makes a good point – can’t measure how interactive and communicative a team is – spurs are epitome of this – always talking
Van Gundy:
They say Belichick couldn’t communicate well w/the media. Who gives a sh*t?! – Jeff Van Gundy
Simmons: “A big part of being a coach with longevity is the ability to work with the media. If you work with them, they buy you time.”

Coaching Analytics panel focused more on “micro” (in-game decisions) than “macro” (trying to quantify what makes a good coach)
Sounds like Mangini’s idea of analytics was checking if they followed their game plan, not whether that game plan was correct.
@eddiepettis Maybe that’s why Mangini is on the stage today instead of coaching..
JVG: “They hung me in the NY Post” Simmons: “What do you mean?” JVG: “They put a rope around my neck. I framed it in my office.”
Simmons just proposed a new theory for going for it. One question: Is the opposing fan base scared?

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About brewonsouthu

Michigan and Big Ten fan, former lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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