The biggest reason that character matters to a college coach is that they are professional coaches. They get paid to run and coach a college sports program. Think about that for a second. Their job is to coach athletes who are also individuals. Their livelihood and their family’s livelihood depend on being able to run a successful program.
John Wooden, who coached his UCLA teams to ten championships had this to say about character, “Discipline yourself and others won’t need to. Who you are as a person is far more important than who you are as a player.”
The hope for a college coach is that no student-athlete embarrasses them. Every choice a student-athlete makes, for better or worse, reflects on the college, coach, program and teammates.
Coaches do not want headache student-athletes. Coaches do not want to be in the news for poor choices, especially choices made by others. Ideally, student-athletes come to college as young adults: coachable, ready to work, ready to make adult choices daily, ready to learn from mistakes they make and don’t repeat them, and ready to communicate effectively.
One last thought from Wooden, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Build your foundation with character.