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Fwd: Effect of firing coach on team's performance

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  • Pattie Anderson
    Last weekend I finished reading The Drunkard s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. In the prologue, he states, In sports we have
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 17, 2014
      Last weekend I finished reading The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow.  

      In the prologue, he states, “In sports we have developed a culture in which, based on intuitive feelings of correlation, a team's success or failure is often attributed largely to the ability of the coach. As a result, when teams fail, the coach is often fired. Mathematical analysis of firings in all major sports, however, has shown that those firings had, on average, no effect on team performance."  The endnotes include references on basketball, football, two on baseball, and one on soccer, but nothing on hockey.  

      Is anyone aware of any studies on the effect of firing a coach in hockey?  

      Thanks,


      Pattie

      --
      Pattie Anderson
      http://www.pattiea.com/
      http://about.me/pattiea 
      "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." George Smith Patton
    • john heffron
      I m waiting for a new case study of the Penguins post-Bylsma.
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 17, 2014
        I'm waiting for a new case study of the Penguins post-Bylsma.


        On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 7:46 PM, Pattie Anderson <pattiea@...> wrote:
         

        Last weekend I finished reading The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow.  

        In the prologue, he states, “In sports we have developed a culture in which, based on intuitive feelings of correlation, a team's success or failure is often attributed largely to the ability of the coach. As a result, when teams fail, the coach is often fired. Mathematical analysis of firings in all major sports, however, has shown that those firings had, on average, no effect on team performance."  The endnotes include references on basketball, football, two on baseball, and one on soccer, but nothing on hockey.  

        Is anyone aware of any studies on the effect of firing a coach in hockey?  

        Thanks,


        Pattie

        --
        Pattie Anderson
        http://www.pattiea.com/
        http://about.me/pattiea 
        "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." George Smith Patton


      • Andrew
        I m not sure about qualitative studies, but I think simply from a business standpoint, it s easier and cheaper to change coaches in the short term than to make
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 17, 2014
          I'm not sure about qualitative studies, but I think simply from a business standpoint, it's easier and cheaper to change coaches in the short term than to make roster moves.

          -Andrew


          On Monday, March 17, 2014 7:46 PM, Pattie Anderson <pattiea@...> wrote:
           
          Last weekend I finished reading The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow.  

          In the prologue, he states, “In sports we have developed a culture in which, based on intuitive feelings of correlation, a team's success or failure is often attributed largely to the ability of the coach. As a result, when teams fail, the coach is often fired. Mathematical analysis of firings in all major sports, however, has shown that those firings had, on average, no effect on team performance."  The endnotes include references on basketball, football, two on baseball, and one on soccer, but nothing on hockey.  

          Is anyone aware of any studies on the effect of firing a coach in hockey?  

          Thanks,

          Pattie
          --
          Pattie Anderson
          http://www.pattiea.com/
          http://about.me/pattiea 
          "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." George Smith Patton


        • William Underwood
          Ultimately the coach is only a part of the puzzle. And a change is not only done with the short term in mind. Hence when a coach is fired he is often only a
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 18, 2014

            Ultimately the coach is only a part of the puzzle. And a change is not only done with the short term in mind. Hence when a coach is fired he is often only a segment of the problem and thus the talent is simply not there for marked improvement. The data can also be skewed by the fact that it may well be a part of a generalized rebuilding in which the team may actually go backwards to go forward. Add on that there are times when a team was built around a certain coach and when he is gone the new man needs to bring in  his new bodies for a new style ,hence again there may even be a step backward before going forwards.

             

            In the end I think it is hard to straight jacket hirings and firings. Some are cases of blaming the wrong person and taking an easy way out as opposed to trading a super star or making huge personnel moves. Other times it is a sign of desperation, “we made a ton of moves none have worked so what next?” Then often the move that SHOULD be made is at the GM level. And then there are other times when the REAL issue is the guy who CAN’T be fired…namely the owner!: Of course a lot of the time it IS the coach who has to go…now or later. Her simply has lost the team. And indeed if you are having a lot of guys saying “I want out” it is often that reason…the coach There are behind the scenes issues that can have a less visible statistically impact. Are you having players who want out? Are there guys who are not coming because they heard of the situation? That gets down to stuff that we can’t quantify…they all add up to what may have happened if he stayed? Would you have gotten free agents when you were in one of those close races with another team, would guys have left?

             

            And of course we also have to factor in interim guys who are lame ducks and guys who are good coaches who leave for a better situation like say to become a GM or retire. They can be HARD acts to follow! And they also can leave you a “dream team”.

             

            I’ve been involved in these situations and they are often hard decisions. In the end just as is the case with players you may make the right one or wrong one but it is not always a cure all. In the end I am not surprised at the findings, as they probably correlate with any other personnel decisions, trades free agency, having a top draft pick…

             

            At any rate it would be interesting to look at it all closer and to see hockey stats for this. Another interesting facet for all sports would be to isolate the factor of interim appointments. Of course in the end it is all more forensic than practical as like I said each situation is different. And when you fire a coach there is usually a reason, either obvious or behind the scenes why he must go in your eyes, fair or not.

          • DAVE SOUTTER
            I suppose Al MacNeil with Montreal in the early 70s would fit into some sort of lame duck category. I remember reading at the time that the Canadiens were so
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 18, 2014
              I suppose Al MacNeil with Montreal in the early 70s would fit into some sort of "lame duck" category. I remember reading at the time that the Canadiens were so loaded with talent that anybody could have coached them to a Stanley Cup win that season.

              Perhaps the same for Tom Johnson with Boston during that same general time period.

              --Dave Soutter
              Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

              -----Original Message-----
              From: William Underwood <wausport@...>
              Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 15:17:44
              To: <hockhist@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: [hockhist] Re: Fwd: Effect of firing coach on team's performance

               





              Ultimately the coach is only a part of the puzzle. And a change is not only done with the short term in mind. Hence when a coach is fired he is often only a segment of the problem and thus the talent is simply not there for marked improvement. The data can also be skewed by the fact that it may well be a part of a generalized rebuilding in which the team may actually go backwards to go forward. Add on that there are times when a team was built around a certain coach and when he is gone the new man needs to bring in  his new bodies for a new style ,hence again there may even be a step backward before going forwards.
               
              In the end I think it is hard to straight jacket hirings and firings. Some are cases of blaming the wrong person and taking an easy way out as opposed to trading a super star or making huge personnel moves. Other times it is a sign of desperation, "we made a ton of moves none have worked so what next?" Then often the move that SHOULD be made is at the GM level. And then there are other times when the REAL issue is the guy who CAN'T be fired.namely the owner!: Of course a lot of the time it IS the coach who has to go.now or later. Her simply has lost the team. And indeed if you are having a lot of guys saying "I want out" it is often that reason.the coach There are behind the scenes issues that can have a less visible statistically impact. Are you having players who want out? Are there guys who are not coming because they heard of the situation? That gets down to stuff that we can't quantify.they all add up to what may have happened if he stayed? Would you have gotten free agents when you were in one of those close races with another team, would guys have left?
               
              And of course we also have to factor in interim guys who are lame ducks and guys who are good coaches who leave for a better situation like say to become a GM or retire. They can be HARD acts to follow! And they also can leave you a "dream team".
               
              I've been involved in these situations and they are often hard decisions. In the end just as is the case with players you may make the right one or wrong one but it is not always a cure all. In the end I am not surprised at the findings, as they probably correlate with any other personnel decisions, trades free agency, having a top draft pick.
               
              At any rate it would be interesting to look at it all closer and to see hockey stats for this. Another interesting facet for all sports would be to isolate the factor of interim appointments. Of course in the end it is all more forensic than practical as like I said each situation is different. And when you fire a coach there is usually a reason, either obvious or behind the scenes why he must go in your eyes, fair or not.
            • texliebmann
              I have doubts about such a study. Certianly Scotty Bowman seems to not follow what the author said. Phil Jackson is an example from another sport. Without
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 19, 2014
                I have doubts about such a study. Certianly Scotty Bowman seems to not follow what the author said. Phil Jackson is an example from another sport.

                Without details, I would think the study may be flawed. Did the study consider the effect of owners who will not hire a good coach, nor a good team? 

                Frank
              • reorgman
                Yes, I live it every day - being a season ticket holder for the New York Islanders. Charles Wang is a LOSER and he refuses to bring in professional managers
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 19, 2014
                  Yes, I live it every day - being a season ticket holder for the New York Islanders.   Charles Wang is a LOSER and he refuses to bring in professional managers - and thinks he and his buddies are smarter than the average bear.
                • William Underwood
                  In their cases I am not so sure.Montreal genuinely thought that Al MacNeil was their coach and what lost him his job was twofold.one was he had a toxoc
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 20, 2014

                    In their cases I am not so sure…Montreal genuinely thought that Al MacNeil was their coach and what lost him his job was twofold…one was he had a toxoc realtionship with certain players and two a lack of support as he was nto French speaking. As for Johnson…I think the Broos had an odd situation with Sinden, they hoped he'd be back but were not truly sure.

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