UCF coach Donnie Jones faces old friends in Marshall

Nice to see you again.  Or maybe not.

In the working world, often times people end up working for multiple companies and even rival companies.  Sometimes of their choosing, sometimes because they are let go and find work in that similar field.

Well, it happens in sports with coaching jobs all the time.  Difference is, we keep track of their moves.

Tonight, Donnie Jones coaches his new team, UCF, against his old team, Marshall, in college basketball action at the UCF arena.

UCF and Marshall are conference opponents.  Jones chose to leave Marshall for UCF.  There is some anger in Hunnington, West Virginia over that.

My thoughts on coaches and the fluid industry in which they work: They are no different than the rest of us.  They strive for success, happiness, and a pleasant work environment in a city they and their family enjoys.  I don’t take any issue with coaches that make a change, no matter the change.  Just like in life for the rest of us, there are right and wrong ways to go about doing things.  More often than not, I find the schools/employers to be the ones that fire shots below the belt.

Yet, coaches are the ones that are hung and made out by fans and media as the bad guys most often.  Coaches, just like college kids who leave early to turn pro, are in a business that they know you have to strike when the iron is hot.  You have to make the move up the ladder when the opportunity presents itself.  I can hardly fault a coach who is simply doing what is best for himself and his family.  Feeling will be hurt along the way.  Life lesson.  Not everyone is going to be happy all the time.

On the flip side, Rich Rodriguez probably feels betrayed by Michigan after signing a 6 year deal and only getting to work 3 years of it before the school decided to go in a different direction.  Nobody is crying a tear for him.  And we don’t hear or report on kids being hurt when a school fires a coach not allowing that coach to fulfill his commitment to his players…only when a coach leaves on his own do we hear how upset players and fans are and how betrayed they feel because he left early.

It’s a two-way street people.  It’s not personal.  It’s strictly business.  Business can get ugly sometimes.  Even when both parties don’t want it to be.

Marshall is hurt.  Fans and media don’t understand why Jones would leave an “equal” competitor for another.  Well, Donnie Jones has the right to make that decision for himself.  It doesn’t make him a bad guy.  Loyalty can be a dangerous thing.  It can get you into trouble when the other side doesn’t feel the same, and it can keep you in a place where you aren’t happy.

Balancing loyalty and rightousness is a tricky thing.  And like I said before, most of the time, somebody’s feeling are going to get hurt.

Sorry Marshall.