Lakers Q&A: Quin Snyder on being fired at Missouri
The following email exchange with Quin Snyder, the final installment of a three-part Q&A with the Lakers assistant coach, continues a series of Q&As with members of Mike Brown's coaching staff.
Your head coaching stint with the Missouri Tigers (1999-2006) included six consecutive postseason appearances, four NCAA postseason appearance and an Elite Eight berth. But you were also fired and faced NCAA violations. What’s your big picture view on your stint there?
I’m very proud of what we accomplished. We graduated over 90% of our players and we won a lot of games. We played in the postseason every year I was there and we were a basket away from making it to the Final Four. Also, a state-of-the-art arena was built during our tenure. I had the privilege to coach quality young men and those relationships will endure. Some of the guys that played for me have gone on to have success in the NBA, some overseas and others in business, and I’m still very close with many of them. That stands the test of time.
I had blind spots, having never been a head coach before and going to a place where I was really unfamiliar. Learning how to deal with adversity is something that will make me better for the rest of my life. It honed my interest in the game. It challenged me from the standpoint that I had to truly decide what I love about the game and why I wanted to keep coaching. You get knocked down and you have to decide if you want to get back up and keep going. My tenure there helped shape me and has made me a better coach.
It required me to constantly make adjustments and to make decisions as a head coach in the professional game. I had been a head coach at the college level, but the two games are different. To have a chance to learn in a competitive environment was something I wanted. I wanted to be able to compete again and I wanted to be able to teach players. I didn’t want to have to think about and deal with the extraneous stuff that comes with not coaching professionally.
What did you get out of that stint?
I had a chance to fail. Whether I used a timeout in the wrong situation or said something stupid in a huddle, it allowed me to be brutally honest with myself and with my players, and learn from it. The developmental league is a developmental league for coaches too. I got reps out of it; I got to coach hundreds of games and that’s invaluable.
-- Mark Medina
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