The tough side to coaching

  • Nov. 21, 2012 4:19 p.m.

I think it was Kermit the Frog of Muppet fame who said something about being green not being easy.

With all due respect to Kermit (and Rider fans), the famous amphibian should try his luck at being a coach.

This past week the Red Deer Rebels organization made a coaching change, opting to remove the duties from long time coach Jesse Wallin and have owner Brent Sutter take the reins.

I understand there is a large business component to the industry whether it’s professional or amateur sport and a move like this one appears to be just that.

From what I have seen in my time here Jesse Wallin is a well-respected individual in the hockey world and there are more people in the region on his side than those opposed to his every move.

But when there is money to be made then you best have the ingredients to make the bottom line look good which is the impetus for teams to make changes to their rosters in order to get the right mix.

If those changes aren’t producing the required result then the next move in so many cases is the put the coach under the gun and see what transpires.

The best cure for any coaching angst is winning and winning plenty but that hasn’t been the case for the Rebels of late.

For Wallin, the talk had started last year about his potential dismissal with the fan base speculating how long his job would last and even early this year there were still some rumblings about not if he gets released but when.

Was it a lack of talent on the player side? Did it have something to do with how the coach was delivering his message? Was it the message itself?

Don Cherry has always related stories about how sometimes players don’t respond to certain coaches and their methods with the end result being the players put in the sort of effort in order to get the coach canned.

Is that what happened in this case? Most of the players I have spoken with this year had nothing but good things to say about Wallin.

Was it something between the coach and the owner? From all accounts Brent Sutter and Jesse Wallin are friends and remain as such, even to the point of a job within the organization being pitched to keep Wallin in the fold.

This just speaks volumes about the class of the organization and I’m certain Brent Sutter had a tough time with that conversation.

The old saying claims coaches are hired to be fired but that bit of wisdom never makes it any easier to accept.