The BDS Agency is three years old today and what a three years it has been! I began this agency in 2013 with the main objective of being an invaluable advocate and resource for women’s basketball coaches based on my unique combination of experience as a former Division I basketball coach and intercollegiate Director of Athletics.
While an intercollegiate Director of Athletics, I was advising several coaching friends on managing situations with their administration and contract negotiations. After many of these friends were having success in advancing their careers and enhancing their contracts, I realized that my first-hand knowledge of the inner-workings of both industries was a valuable asset to coaches. I knew having the experience of having conducted coaching searches and negotiated coaches’ contracts as an AD would provide a uniquely advantageous expertise to clients that no other agent in the industry possessed. I knew I had a strong, diverse, and national network of administrators that would only be further enhanced. Most importantly, I truly cared about my friends in the industry, many who are clients today, and wanted to help them reach their dreams.
I was then, and have always been, about working with not just great coaches, but great people. I am forever grateful for the clients like Kendra Faustin, Caroline McCombs, Gayle Coats-Fulks, Jada Pierce, Anthony Crocitto, and Bernard Scott who all believed in me and came on board when I had nothing but a dream. To see four of these clients, reach their dream of becoming a Division I Head Coach has meant more to me than anything else. The others are well on their way!
I didn’t become an agent because I went to grad or law school, liked sports, and thought that it would be fun. I have a real investment in coaches because I was one myself, and my first-hand knowledge gained as a coach and AD allowed me to develop an expertise in all aspects of representation through direct experience in both fields. I know how hard it is to obtain a highly coveted Division I Head Coach position and the sacrifices coaches make to try to reach their dream. I’ve been there. I’ve sacrificed relationships and vacations. I’ve been in the office at 2am trying to finish a scouting report, hoping to find just one more edge over our opponent. I still get emotional thinking about some of the calls I’ve gotten from clients when they finally were told that they were being offered a Division I Head Coach position or signed an extension that created more financial and professional stability. We’ve developed a proven track-record of success, working with 17 clients who became a first-time Division I Head Coach, several clients who have advanced their career to another Division I Head Coach position, and numerous Head Coach clients who have earned a new contract with enhanced financial stability. That is purely a testament to the tremendous coaches we work with. It goes way beyond the commission percentage earned. To be a small part in a coach reaching their dream means more than anything and those calls from clients when they finally achieve their dream will never get old. That’s why I try to make it to as many of my client’s press conferences as possible. Not for publicity, but because I want to be there on that special day that they worked so hard and sacrificed so much for.
During the past three years, I have seen our success translate into more agencies start representing women’s basketball coaches. They have talked negatively about our agency and copied many of our innovative offerings. I’ve never worried about this though. Because quantity of clients has never been an objective, I can’t represent as many coaches as I’d like, but I also hate seeing coaches being taken advantage of by other agents financially and by false promises. I have always strived to be honest with my clients, innovative in our offerings, and ethical within the industry. I have never promised a client I would get them a job, let alone an interview, but I will always promise them that I will work as hard as possible to help them achieve success. Some coaches will tell me how other agents pursue them so aggressively and that’s not me because I know how consumed a coach’s time is. If I don’t work with a potential client because they were being called or texted all the time by someone else, I’m ok with that. In fact, I always felt like those coaches should be more concerned about what the agent is doing for their current clients if they’re spending so much time contacting client’s they don’t work with or how much unnecessary time they’ll take up once they are working together. At the end of the day though, I will always have my client’s best interests in mind.
These three years have flown by and I anticipate all of the success our clients have had so far is nothing compared to the future. I have valued the relationships that I have developed with thousands of coaches, administrators, and industry professionals. I am fortunate to work with great coaches and their families. I am blessed for an amazing wife, Kristen, and the best little man I could ever ask for, Mason. I am forever grateful to all of our clients, their families, administrators, supporters, and friends! Here’s to another great year!