Rising Coaches 02/21/2021
DEI Spotlight: Latino Association of Basketball Coaches Founder Jason Ludwig
Jason Ludwig is an assistant coach at Santa Clara University and is the founder of the Latino Association of Basketball Coaches
1. Why did you get into coaching?
After spending 4 years as a student manager at UCLA I graduated on got a job in the business world. During that time I realized basketball was my passion and I felt I could use basketball to make an impact in my community and love what I do everyday.
2. How many years have you been coaching?
3. Who has been your biggest influence in coaching and why?
I have two mentors that have had a huge influence on me. The first is Ben Howland. I didn't have an interest in coaching until I become a manger for him. He showed me a different side of the game. Since then I had the opportunity to work on his coaching staffs for many years. He has always looked out for me and helped me through my journey. The second big influence in coaching is Herb Sendek. He gave me my first shot at being an assistant coach. He has allowed me to grow as a coach and prepared me to become a head coach one day.
4. What do you enjoy most about coaching and why?
I enjoy the relationships the most. I have had the opportunity to meet people all over the world from all walks of life. I love how basketball brings people from so many different backgrounds together and creates long lasting bonds. I also enjoy the opportunity to help kids achieve their dreams on and off the court. It's amazing to seem them grow and mature and fulfill their goals.
5. What has been one of the greatest lessons you have learned about life through coaching? Please explain.
You are always one step from the curb. It's a term Herb Sendek uses often. We can't ever get complacent. We have to always be on a mission to learn and improve everyday. The moment you stop you put yourself in jeopardy of losing everything you have worked for.
6. What is your ultimate goal in coaching?
My ultimate goal is to become a head coach and lead my own program.
7. What has been your greatest lesson as a coach during the pandemic?
The biggest lesson our program has learned is that each day is not promised. Games, practices and even our health can be taken away at any moment. So we have to appreciate each day we have to compete and play and make the most of it.
8. What has been one of the toughest lessons you have learned through coaching. Please explain.
The toughest lesson I have learned in coaching is how to bounce back after being a part of a staff that has been fired. Getting fired is very common in our business. You could have done a good job and because of circumstances out of your control you could still lose your job. You have to learn how to not take it personal and have faith in your reputation and work ethic. You have to stay resilient and know that other and sometimes better opportunities will present themselves. Like Coach Wooden says, “Things work out best for those that make the best of the way things work out.”
9. As a minority coach, what do you feel has been the biggest challenge for minority coaches in the profession?
The biggest challenge for Latino coaches is that there are very few who have made it to the top of college basketball. This discourages young coaches to pursue a career in college coaching - they don’t have a lot of examples. In addition, there are very few Latino administrators in college athletics - they ultimately are the decision makers in the hiring process. That’s a bad combination. We have to continue to break down those barriers and encourage young Latino’s that athletic administration and coaching can be real career path. It’s up to the select few that have made it in the business to encourage and inspire the next generation of possible coaches and administrators.
10. Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know about you.
If I wasn't a coach I would want to be a wine sommelier.