Students Sit in on Coaching Interviews

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Students Sit in on Coaching Interviews

By Sidney Hines

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With the retirement and resignation of three Niles West coaches, the search for their replacements has begun; this time, with students sitting in on the interviews.

The interviews originally allowed for the athletic department staff and other administrators to sit in and meet the coaches, but this new decision by athletic director Kendall Griffin and assistant athletic director Terri Laux allows for the students to meet and interview their potential coach.

Griffin and Laux both stress that this new addition to the interview process allows students to give insight on what they want in a coach and what they thought of the possible coaches, but does not allow the students to actually choose their coach, although their input is valued and considered.

Sophomores and varsity girls basketball team members Sam Galanopolous and Lidia Fakhoury believe that allowing athletes to sit in on the interview process is a key component of hiring a new coach.

Galanopoulos is excited about the new process that took place.

“I feel grateful that I was asked in the first place to be involved in the process. I think it’s a great idea because we bring the player’s perspective. Of course, the athletic department could base an interview off of what they know, but they don’t live through the practices or play the games,” she said. “Our goal as players is to be specific in what we want because we are given this opportunity, so we need to take advantage of it. We are going into this interview with any questions or opinions we have because that’s the only way to narrow down the one coach that will fit our team the best.”

Fakhoury was also really appreciative to be something new.

“Being included in this interview process feels like you’re a part of something great,” Fakhoury said. “It gives the girls a chance to put their input in on something important. Replacing our coach is a huge deal and being a part of this is a great opportunity. I think the athletes and I can bring a new perspective to this interview process because the administration isn’t the ones that are playing. We are the ones stepping onto the court and since we played together for a while, we will know what we need to improve next season.”

Fakhoury also shared some insight on what she hopes the new coach can offer and what she believes the goal of the students sitting in interviews is.

“I believe the goal of this new addition to the process is to allow the players to have an overall input on who is going to be the coach next year. It’s important for the relationship between the new coach and the players to be strong. Coach Konsewicz and his players had a great relationship and he made the program welcoming, and I hope this is what the new coach will bring as well,” Fakhoury said.

Varsity football member and sophomore Hayden Kipp thinks that the players’ input is a crucial element of the interview process, and agrees with the decision to allow players to be a part of the interview.

“It makes me feel like a bigger part of the program, like my input actually counts. The students bring an aspect that the adults don’t see. We connect with the coaches, and we see who we want to play for; the adults don’t have that relationship. I think allowing students in on the interviews is to bring into consideration our opinions on what is best for the Niles West football program,” Kipp said.