Leadership is about confidence. To be a leader you need to have confidence, but to effectively lead, others need to have confidence in you.
Here's a little about me, so you know I didn't learn this from a book, video or seminar. I have been managing people in high pressure environments (relatively, not like combat or anything) for almost twenty years. I am effective at what I do because people at all levels, inside and outside of my organization have confidence in my ability to lead. That confidence is placed in my decision making, assessment of situations and people, and integrity. Confidence is important in hiring. As a small company I have acquire highly talented people because we're small and every person is critical to our success. In doing so I have to beat much larger companies for talent. I have had plenty of success in that area because the person I'm recruiting has confidence in my ability to positively affect their career path.
What does this have to do with football. Absolutely nothing! I was just trying to brag.
J/K. Pretty much everything unless you're Alabama (which isn't entirely fair. Saban has good assistants).
I'm not going to go through every coach on our coaching staff and talk about confidence, I am going to pick a few that I think inspire confidence and a couple who I doubt do so.
When you are young football player and you want to play at a Power 5 school, there is little doubt that getting to the NFL is on your mind. When you are being recruited by a lot of schools, you have to choose the school and coaching staff you believe will get you to where you need to be. Some of what convinces you of that could be the coach's resume. It could be your interpersonal actions with that coach. In reality it's probably a combination of both.
Coaches that I believe inspire confidence
Why not start at the top with Justin Fuente? The conundrum with Fuente is that by all accounts, this guy should be a successful coach. His resume is good, it appears he understands football. From what I understand the current players (no need to go into the past, we're at year 1 after all) take to him well and believe in him. I have to believe that based on how hard this year's team fights. He's definitely lost the confidence of the fan base, donors and potentially the athletic department. That's unfortunate and I believe that is due mostly to his assistants, sound familiar?
Justing Hamilton is a coach that inspires confidence. Last year was awful, but he has the defense looking good this year. Is it astounding? No, but they play hard and they don't give up. His players believe in him. He played in the NFL and played safety at Virginia Tech. When he coaches a safety, you know they are going to take his advice seriously. He's been there, done that and he was good at it. I feel the same is true about JC Price and Jack Tyler. Trying to advise someone on something you have never done before is hard. These coaches also appear to be well liked by the players and recruits. That should help defensive recruiting greatly.
Vance Vice appears to be a good coach who inspires confidence. His offensive lines have been good and he seems to recruit talented players.
Coaches that I do not believe inspire confidence
The top one on my list is Brad Cornelsen. His resume is lack laster starting as a player. It's long with no notable stops. He had two stints at Oklahoma State; One as a GA and one as QC. But maybe we can ignore that because he has demonstrated a mastery of offensive football. Perhaps he's an amazing recruiter and as the QB coach top notch QBs want to be coached by him. Unfortunately none of that appears to be true. If you, as a quarterback had to put your development in someone's hands. Would it be Cornelsen's? Probably not and for good reason. Not a single quarter back under him has gotten better. They've only gotten injured.
The next on my list is Adam Lechtenberg. By all means a great recruiter and probably great guy. Again, if you are a talented running back, are you going to place your development in his hands. It's almost infuriating that the Hokie Sports website lists three "Prominent Pupils". One of them is Khalil Herbert. The other two are wide receivers from University of Tennessee Martin back in 2016. The last time we were able to recruit good running back talent was when Billy Hite was the running backs coach. Since then it's been hit or miss. Shane Beamer will probably be a good head coach. He wasn't a good running backs coach.
How can the confidence of the fan base, donors, the administration and recruits be regains? It's not going to be easy. It starts with winning. Then it has to move on to putting the right coaches in the right places. There are probably two things that really stand out to a recruit when they have to choose between two schools/coaching staffs that they like. Are you winning and are you putting people in my position group in the NFL.
For quarterbacks and running backs that answer (other than Herbert) has been no for a decade. A decade!
If Fuente wants to keep Cornelsen then he should hire a competent and accomplished QB coach. Lechtenberg should eventually move onto more administrative duties. I'm sure he's got a future in sports and I see him as more of a "business type." We need a running backs coach that has toted the rock.
As an added note, does anyone know where Galen Scott, the once future DC is? He's the linebackers coach at Louisiana University. Looking back Scott did him a favor.