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Why Dave Rose is Such a Great Coach

15 January 2011 Mark Bigelow 4 Comments

BYU Basketball Coach Dave Rose

I’ve been thinking of writing on this topic for awhile and after reading Dick Harmon’s article in the Desert News I thought it would be a good time to add my two cents on what makes Coach Rose — well, Coach Rose.

What’s interesting for me was I able to see Coach Rose in two different roles during my career.

During my freshman year Heath Schroyer was on the staff and was the main guy when it came to implementing a defensive game plan.

Schroyer also took on the role of motivator and as anyone of the hundred people who showed to watch our games can attest to he was the most vocal on the staff.

As a result, Rose was not in front of the players all that much.  He was often on the road recruiting and when he was around he wasn’t near as engaged as in my years after my mission.

With that said, players gravitated to him on the road and listened intently when he spoke.  He has a natural ability to understand the minds of athletes and as a result often could turn a switch on a players’ performance.

I’ll never forget something he said to me during a game my freshman year. We were playing Utah in the WAC tournament and the game was getting away from us.  I was playing OK, but not how I needed to if we were going to have a chance.

During a timeout in the second half he took me aside and yelled at me, “Mark, if you don’t start making shots all you have to look forward to is pushing copies of the Book of Mormon for the next two years!”  (Before anyone gets too excited about that statement this has nothing to do with Rose’s faith or attitude towards the church or missions)

For me, this made me smile, relax and as a result I started making shots.  Of course, I fouled out with ten minutes to go in the game but that is beside the point.  It was just a great example of his natural ability to say the right things at the right time.

After my mission things had changed.

Schroyer had left and Rose had become much more involved in the day to day coaching.  He was the main defensive coach and was definitely more vocal.  This is when his genuine competitiveness really began to show through.

Any player who wasn’t giving his all or wasn’t grasping the concepts he was teaching they knew it.  At the same time, the requirements to play under him were that simple, play hard, do what he said.  It was easy to see that he had no hidden agenda except winning and demanded the same from his players.

His knowledge of the game was also apparent. His game plans were complex but adapted to personnel of both teams.

Case in point was the Air Force game my senior year.  Air Force is always a pain to defend but that year in particular was more difficult because they could really shoot, especially their post players.

We knew that our posts were going to have a difficult time because their posts played like guards.  To give them a different look we implemented a 1-3-1 defense that we had never played before.  It worked and we confused the Air Force players and ended up winning the game.

All in all, what makes Coach Rose great is that he cares for his players and his players care for him.  As a result, his players play hard for him and trust him with their life.

To me this the key to any team, whether it be in sports, business, or church, if trust exists between leader and follower great things can be achieved.

Coach Rose exudes trust and the results speak for themselves.

Welcome to the Deep Shades of Blue Community!


  • Vesparider said:

    Nice to hear your thoughts Mark. I don’t remember what year you came in. It must have been ’97 or ’98 if it was still the WAC. I do remember that you and the talent you exuded showed that BYU was on track to turn things around with recruiting and getting better talent.(the best LDS players) Who else recruited you? If you didn’t sign with BYU who do you think you would have played for? Was it hard to leave after such a promising freshman year? Anyway, it’s nice to see you contribute here to dsob. Where are you living and what are you doing for a living now? Last of all, do you have any boys?(future BYU players to watch for?)

  • Hoax said:

    Great article, Mark! I’m a huge fan of and believer in Dave Rose. not only his coaching, but his recruiting has been fantastic. I hope he’s our coach for a long, long time.

  • doug said:

    Dave Rose is a genius. BYU will go as far as Jimmer will them. He recognises that and has let him carry them. Can you imagine R Reid, Boylen, Magerus, Sloan, or any other coach allowing Jimmer to force as many shots as he does.

  • CaseyA said:

    The great part about Rose as a coach is that the very ability Mark is talking about is apparent to the fans. I think all of us can see that Rose gets a ton out of his kids. Player after player is performing to their best under coach and is willing to do whatever he thinks will get them to their best (with the noted exception of Mike Loyd who didn’t know what was good for him.)

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