January 3, 2005 - by
Five Questions with the FSU Basketball Coaching Staff

Jan. 3, 2005


Leonard Hamilton, the head basketball coach at Florida State, and his assistants sat down with seminoles.com earlier this season and spoke on a number of different subjest pertaining to the coaching careers. Find out how Hamilton got into coaching, the best advice associate head coach Stan Jones has ever received, what assistant coach Mike Jaskulski might be dioing if her were’t coaching and what assistant coach Tony Sheals when he is not coaching in this feature stroy written by Michael Smoose.

Head Coach Leonard Hamilton

When did you decide you wanted to go into coaching?
I don’t think there was really any particular point, it really happened by accident. I always enjoyed playing, but I didn’t think I would get into coaching until I had an opportunity to become a graduate assistant my first year out of college. With that opportunity fell in love with it and that this is I wanted to do.

Who are some of the coaches you admire or model your coaching style after?
There are so many coaches that influenced my life and my career that it’s probably too numerous to mention all of them. I was very fortunate in my first job to work for a guy named Lake Kelly who really impacted me more than anyone else because he taught me so much about how to relate to youngsters and putting the proper value on the things that are important to the total development of a young man as much as he did putting an emphasis on winning.

What makes a good coach?
There are a lot of ingredients that go into being a good coach. You have to have a passion for doing things the right way. If you operate with that philosophy of trying to do everything the right way, then you don’t leave anything to chance. I think the game of basketball teaches you a lot about life. You have a chance to develop that competitive spirit that I think is necessary for you to succeed in just about anything you do.

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be spending more time in church organizations. I’ve always like working with young people, trying to help them become better in life. If I was working, it would probably be in church or maybe doing some real estate and I’d probably coach some kind of AAU team or a YMCA team. I’m not sure if I’d every really get away from coaching.

What are some of your pursuits away from coaching?
I don’t have very many hobbies, I’ve always just coached. That’s kind of my hobby as well as my job. I’ve always worked in the church. Those are the two basic things that I’ve done.

Associate Head Coach Stan Jones

When did you decide that you wanted to go into coaching?
When I just out of high school I was coaching a fifth and sixth-grade team. While I was a walk-on player in college I coached them on Saturday mornings. I started as a business major and after two years of coaching them I realized that I really enjoyed what I was doing and this was what I wanted to do.

Who are some of the coaches you admire or model your coaching style after?
The first inspiration I got to being a coach came from my brother. When I started to coach he sent me the book “They Call Me Coach” by John Wooden and coach Wooden had just retired and I started reading up on how he ran his program because I wanted to win championship and he had won a bunch of them.

What’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten from a coach?
Probably the best advice I got was from an old assistant when I joined coach Hamilton at Miami. He said a good assistant coach doesn’t need to know everything.

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
I’d probably do something in the ministry. My father and two of my brothers are ministers.

What are some of your pursuits away from coaching?
I am one of those fanatical guys in that I don’t have a lot of pursuits. I play golf badly about four times a year. I enjoy my family and just enjoy quiet times when I get away from things and going to church.

Assistant Coach Mike Jaskulski

When did you decide that you wanted to go into coaching?
I was in school going to be a lawyer and I got to the end of my sophomore year and started to say “gosh I can’t leave the competitive arena of sports” and started to think of other things to get into, everything from being sportscaster to coaching and that’s what I ended up trying to do. I really only intended to be a high school coach, that all I really wanted to be.

Who are some of the coaches you admire or model your coaching style after?
I think after so many years kind of a hodgepodge. What I’ve always tried to do is look across the board and see if I can’t pick up things, anything from philosophy to strategy, and then try to see if those things fit the basic scheme of what I’m comfortable doing. I think you have to make sure that all the pieces fit together.

What’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten from a coach?
The best phrase I’ve ever heard was “You’re either coaching it or allowing it to happen.” If you see something that you don’t like on your team, and you want to know that you can impact what’s going on, I always think back to that little phrase.

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a teacher, something with young people. I think that one of the great benefits of coaching is that you get to see people grow. I think most good coaches would tell you that that’s the greatest joy that they get out of this. The highs are unbelievable high and the lows are unbelievable low, but I think the thing that is able to stabilize your existence is the fact that you’re constantly able to see young boys grow into young men.

What are some of your pursuits away from coaching?
When I didn’t work for coach Hamilton I liked to play golf, but when you work for coach Hamilton there isn’t much time to play golf. Probably the biggest thing for me is to make an effort to spend time with my family. As a parent you want to get to do that as much as possible and off the court that’s the main task that I’m trying to get accomplished.

Assistant Coach Tony Sheals

When did you decide that you wanted to go into coaching?
When I finished college I had no idea that I wanted to coach or teach or do anything in education. I came back to Lakeland like most college students and like most athletes, thinking that my athletic ability would carry me to the next level. Then reality hit that that wasn’t going to happen and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had a degree, but didn’t have a plan. When I got home I worked at a phosphate mine and in pharmaceutical sales and after doing that for a little while I missed sports.

Who are some of the coaches you admire or model your coaching style after?
I got to start with my high school coach Bobby Bowman. A lot of the things I did as a high school coach started with him. He was a big John Wooden coach and then from there I modeled my coaching style based on when I came up through high school and college and Georgetown was one of the popular teams and I always like defense and the defensive teams back then were Duke and Louisville.

What makes a good coach?
First being a teacher. Being a teacher and being compassionate for the game. A lot of people use the label coach, but I think it’s the person who has the caring and the sense of responsibility to the profession. I look at myself as an educator first. What makes a coach a coach, more than anything else in terms of the word is that you are a counselor, a father, a friend and a disciplinarian.

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be teaching. I really enjoyed teaching and I think that my calling is in terms of teaching, educating, helping people, helping young people, helping them grow and if I can touch any life in anyway.

What are some of your pursuits away from coaching?
Number one, I enjoy my kids and my family and spending time with them. I like music, I like jazz. I like different varieties of movies. In terms of golf and finishing I don’t do any of that, but my kids enjoy that so I try to find people that can do it so I can go with them where my kids can also enjoy that part of their life.


By Michael Smoose
FSU Sports Information
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