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ironborn

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  1. ironborn

    Fire Steve Aird

    Maybe yelling at players is okay if you're not abusive and you're supportive in every other way. Coaches need to understand how to work with 18 to 22-year-olds. Russ Rose seemed to know how to push players hard without making them all go into therapy (as far as I know). Here's a short 2021 video about him pushing players: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYMHSGQE3pI . Aird and Maryland's Hughes say a few interesting words (both worked for Rose). If I were Indiana though, I'd seek a new coach who focuses on players' love of volleyball and emotional needs at this point. He or she might not attract top player talent right away, but it could change the culture. I think Hughes at UMD has fostered a much more supportive environment. Players feel more valued and honestly I think they're happier. The result is UMD has only lost 4 or 5 players in four years (aside from graduation), and this year their seniors are even coming back as grad students, including their All-Big-Ten middle blocker. Recruiting and retention follow naturally when students enjoy playing, and Maryland recruiting is doing well now.
  2. ironborn

    Fire Steve Aird

    Yeah. I don't think it will get better if Aird stays. But teams can and do get better with the right coach. I shouldn't have said Maryland is "stuck" in the bottom half of the Big Ten. It just takes a little while to regroup after your top players leave and I have high hopes for the Terps. And half the Big Ten was ranked in the Top 20, so it's an elite group.
  3. ironborn

    Fire Steve Aird

    Thanks! "ironborn" is a reference to Pittsburgh and some fictional pirates. Now that I look a little further I see that more starters quit IU volleyball than I first counted, so maybe it's not a stretch to say 15 players quit before their senior year. I would just buy Aird out and start over.
  4. ironborn

    Fire Steve Aird

    I'm a Maryland Terrapins volleyball booster, so I thought I'd weigh in. I think IU actually cared about volleyball, at least in terms of wins and support from fans. The Big 10 dominates women's volleyball (along with the PAC-12) and the schools take it seriously. Some have per-game attendance in the thousands. Most B1G schools don't want to be left behind, ashamed of their performance next to Nebraska and Penn State (which IU was, arguably). If nothing else, Aird's huge salary is an indicator that IU wanted more. Aird has a rep as a promoter too, wanting to build popularity and support for his team. I think he saw the new arena as a commitment on that front from IU. That said, according to my sources, the big paycheck is what drew him to IU. His 15 players who left IU seems to include students who simply graduated but had a year of eligibility left, which is to be expected. But he had two star freshmen leave after a year. I count 3 more good players who left the sport or popped up at another school after taking a year off. That seems high. The worst blow is the loss of his star recruit in February, which is very late in the process. I was bitter when he left Maryland, I confess. The school's entry into the Big Ten and Aird's hiring infused real energy into the program. (He was assistant for a legendary PSU team). So recruiting took off, with 4 or 5 top players committing or signing. But when he left, most of his top players/recruits left too. He was about 2 years short of "turning Maryland's program around". Now we're kind of stuck in the bottom half of the conference. Yes, some UMD players really loved him. One said she was heartbroken when he left (she's now a pro). But another top player suffered a concussion and quit mid-season even after she was cleared to play again. She transferred out before he left and later wrote scathing words about the program, calling it a "toxic" environment in a senior reflections piece about her college career (which she subsequently edited). Maybe Big Ten coaches feel licensed to be tough. I found this https://www.heraldtimesonline.com/story/sports/college/2018/03/09/aird-says-hoosiers-need-a-little-sauce/46874903/ Anyway, good luck. There are lots of good coaches that won't cost IU nearly as much.
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