A blueprint for gaining player trust

One season wasn't enough for Billy Gillispie to earn the trust of his players at Texas Tech. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

There has been a great deal of debate regarding the Billy Gillispie situation at Texas Tech. Gillispie, who last week resigned as the head coach of the Red Raiders due to health problems, has come under fire for his demanding coaching style.

Former players have both condemned and supported his approach to coaching; while supporters argue that his style motivates players to achieve a level of success they would not be able to reach on their own, detractors say that his approach can break his players' spirits.

Gillispie does coach his teams hard, challenging his players mentally and physically while demanding commitment. In that sense, Gillispie is "old school."

But it's not as though the way his situation unfolded at Texas Tech is a sign that tough coaching no longer has a place in today's game. In fact, some of the most successful coaches in college basketball share many of Gillispie's coaching traits.

Kentucky's John Calipari, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, South Carolina's Frank Martin and West Virginia's Bob Huggins are demanding taskmasters who challenge their players on a daily basis. What enables them to walk that fine line? Is it winning? Is it the credibility and pedigree they have established?