McDowell earns 4th consecutive LABC Coach of the Year award
April 18, 2007
Does winning breed tradition? Does tradition breed winning? Is a "successful coach" defined simply by the results found in the win column year after year? Or is it the number of lives one touches and influences through the relationships and experiences shared with young players who stubbornly remain so impressionable through their final teenage years? While the answer to these questions can be broken down in hundreds of ways resulting in different philosophies adopted by coaches, LSUS Pilots Men's Basketball Head Coach Chad McDowell has based his coaching style to follow an inspiring quote which hangs in his office on a plaque given to him by Mrs. Tanya’ Porter. The quote reads, "What is a great coach? A great coach is not only measured on the number of games he wins or loses, but by the number of lives he has changed along the way."
Coach McDowell’s commitment to keeping the player’s first, and his ability to separate the game of basketball and the game of life has allowed him to develop the relationships and gain the trust of his player’s which he feels is mandatory to become and remain a successful program.
"At the end of the day, it is all about the kids. I have always said that great players make great coaches. But the trick to that is finding athletes who fit your program, and who can accept the responsibilities that come with wearing the LSUS uniform," commented McDowell.
The definition of a "great player" is as debatable as the questions presented earlier, but for McDowell it is not about being the most talented or the best scorer on the floor. It is about being able to work within a system while keeping your team first at all costs, on and off the court.
"There are so many talented teams and gifted players at the college level, so you have to find a way to separate yourself. The way to do that is to exemplify great work ethic day in and day out and to become a unit, a family if you will, and play hard together every time you hit the floor."
Since accepting the Head Men’s Basketball Coaching position at LSUS in 2003, McDowell and his Pilots have posted an overall record of 101-32, which makes them the winningest college basketball program in the state of Louisiana over the past four years.
Since the reinstatement of the LSUS basketball program in 2003, the Pilots have won two GCAC Regular Season Championships (2005, 2006), two GCAC Tournament Championships (2006, 2007), and have made three consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances (2005, 2006, 2007). They have spent most of the past 3 years as a Top 10 ranked team in the country and even garnered the #1 ranking in 2006.
The Pilots collected their 100th victory on March 7th, 2007 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Semi-Finals with an 82-66 victory over the Xavier University Gold Rush.
LSUS eclipsed the 100-win mark by following with a convincing 82-62 victory over the University of Mobile Rams in the GCAC Tournament Championship; claiming their 2nd tournament championship in as many years.
Their 25-7 overall record in 2007 which was highlighted by their GCAC Tournament Championship and an impressive showing at the 2007 NAIA National Tournament has led to McDowell’s 4th consecutive Louisiana Small College Basketball Coach of the Year selection. The recipient of this award is selected annually by the men’s college basketball coaches in the state of Louisiana.
"It is always a great feeling when you are recognized by your colleagues and peers. It may be cliché to say this, but this award should be engraved to LSUS. This award is a tribute to the university, and most of all, to the players that get it done everyday on the floor and in the classroom," stated a humble McDowell.
Accolades and victories are often exemplified with trophies and plaques which commemorate winning seasons and accomplishments, but for McDowell they also serve as a reminder to revisit the past and recognize why you have been successful.
"It could be so easy to get caught up in the wins and losses and forget about why I truly love to coach. I love the relationships that I am able to build with the student-athletes that choose to play here. I love to teach them right and wrong on and off the floor and watch them develop into quality young men. I like building a team and a family atmosphere within the program. It’s so exciting at home games to look down at the baseline before tip-off and see so many former players front row still cheering for the Pilots. I could go on and on, but you see that there is so much more to coaching that I love than simply winning and losing. Make no mistake about it though, I love to win and can’t stand to lose. But the measure of success of a team or a coach cannot be judged solely on records and championships. There is so much more behind the scenes that people on the outside cannot see," said McDowell.
While the Pilots were continually put to the test through their vigorous 32 game schedule, their biggest test came when one of their own, Josh Porter, collided with a teammate and was left uncertain as to whether he would walk again.
"Our biggest victory of the year did not come on the court this season. The fact that Josh Porter successfully made it out of surgery after breaking his neck, and is able to walk again and function normally is absolutely the greatest victory ever for this program. I truly believe that it was the grace of God along with the love and prayers of his family, teammates, and community that allowed Josh to pull through the way he did. What a victory that will never be found in the win-loss column." said McDowell.
While the Pilots have never had a lack of talent, it has always been their up-tempo and tenacious style of play that has attracted capacity crowds at The Dock, the Pilots home court which is located on the campus of LSUS.
This is where you can find one of the most exciting basketball tickets in the state of Louisiana, and where you will see the LABC Small College Coach of the Year, Coach Chad McDowell and his Pilots continue to raise the standard of excellence at LSUS.