Mark Ehlen enters his second season as an assistant basketball coach for the Miami Redhawks after serving two years as an assistant at Cincinnati. As the head coach for 13 years at Toledo, Mark led the Rockets to four regular season MAC titles as well as four MAC Tournament Championships. With a coaching resume that includes stops up and down I-75, Mark also guided the Xavier program for nine years.
What’s the best advice you received from a coaching mentor that stuck with you?
Skip Prosser was a great mentor and the best teacher-coach I’ve known in my life. He used to quote Emerson all the time, and one that I’ve never forgotten is “Our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can.” That’s coaching in a nutshell. He also used to say, “Never blame your players” after a loss, but to look in the mirror and ask what you could have done better in practice or during the game.
What have you learned in these last few years as an assistant that will impact your coaching when you become a head coach again?
The best thing I learned by taking a step back is that I could see what’s truly important, and that it wasn’t about X & O’s, wins or losses. When you’re a head coach, you can get so busy that it’s easy to be consumed by the wrong things, or at least the less important things. I hope I’ve grown!
What do you know now that you wish you’d have known when you started coaching?
As a younger coach, I was probably overly-concerned with what other people thought. As you get older, you realize that most people have their own problems and aren’t paying much attention to you anyway! I always liked the Dr. Seuss quote, “be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter… and those who matter don’t mind.”