College Basketball: Vaughan taking short adjustment period in stride

Often new head coaches have at least a couple months to learn about their new program. Dickinson State men's basketball coach Josh Vaughan had a couple weeks.

"Going into the first practice not even knowing everyone's name was a little hard," Vaughan said. "They didn't know my name, and they didn't know anything about me and have any reason to listen to me."

"That first day he kind of told us that, 'None of you are my recruits, I don't really know any of your game,'" guard Carter Gallo said. "So the first day he was here we actually just played five on five."

Vaughan took the job after spending several seasons as an assistant coach at UMary, and he said making the decision to leave wasn't easy.

"Any job you have is going to be tough to leave, especially when you're the recruiter, and you're recruiting kids and talking to them for years," Vaughan said.

But the opportunity to go from assistant to head coach was too good to pass up, even if that step up comes with its own challenges.

"The biggest thing is just decision making," Vaughan said. "As an assistant, you have a lot of opinions but none of them really matter at the end of the day. As a head coach, everything you say is final."

For the players, having a new head coach means the minutes they may have gotten last year mean nothing this year.

"Clean slate for everybody. You've got to earn it," Gallo said.

And as Vaughan says, it's a learning process for both sides.

"I can learn from them as well. I've learned a lot from these guys about how they like to play and what would benefit us," Vaughan said. 

The Blue Hawks will be in Salt Lake City on Saturday for an exhibition against Dixie State.


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