I am assuming that everyone has seen the movie Jerry Maguire…the flick where uber-sports agent Maguire has a breakdown and decides to write a “mission statement.” He is angry about what his business has become and decides that he needs to change it. He goes off the deep-end and comes up with his game changing manifesto. Well, I’m not going crazy, but I do feel that I need to define the mission of HoopDirt – why we do what we do!
I have been a college coach since 1996. During that time I have coached at all levels – I have been a DI, DII, and DIII assistant. I have also spent a large portion of my career as a DIII head coach. During this time, I have met a lot of great coaches and have learned that the one thing all coaches like to do is gossip! My partner in this venture (also a college coach) and I wanted to find a way to pass on our knowledge for those coaches who may not be as well connected. We wanted to try to give coaches a leg up when it comes to looking for a job. This has now snowballed into something more than that. I remember the day that we got 1000 hits in one day on the website. We couldn’t believe that that many people were reading our stuff! That was 2009. This past spring, we were averaging close to 20,000 hits per day! We think we’re on to something here – we want to continue to grow, but also make sure that we do it the right way.
After developing a following, and cultivation some more sources, we have become a national player. From small college rumors, to high-major dirt, we have been the ones to break a lot of stories. We pride ourselves in not only verifying our sources, but double and sometimes triple checking the rumors for accuracy. We will not go with unconfirmed rumors – we only publish it when we know that what we’re hearing is legit. One thing that I’ve heard a few times is that we “toss out a bunch of rumors and hope that some stick.” I can tell you that this is completely FALSE. We want our reputation to be as strong as possible – if we publish something, we want our readers to know that there is some meat behind it. Scroll through our archives – we have been pretty spot on with our stuff, and will continue to work hard to keep our information accurate and relevant.
Along those lines, one thing that you will never see from us is a “hot seat” list, or speculation on who may get fired. Obviously, I have a list of guys that I think are in trouble (and have some great sources to confirm some of these grumblings), but I will never publish that. I know of at least 3 mid-major programs who will make changes at the end of this season (if not sooner). Rather that say who they are, I will monitor the situation, and as soon as the dismissals are confirmed by my sources, I will go with it. We are not in the business of creating more pressure for coaches, but we will release the info as soon as we can confirm it. We are not looking to stir the pot, but we do want to be on the frontline.
Also, there are some sites out there that will charge for the information that we provide – we will NEVER CHARGE. We want to help coaches, not profit from them. We have guys willing to move across the country for a volunteer assistant spot – they need to save their money so they can eat, not search our rumors! I can speak from experience here. My wife fully supported us through the first 8-years of my career. It’s not an easy business to break in to and we want to help any way we can. As an aside, I also find it funny that the “pay” sites are not run by coaches – they are fans who seem to spend their time on Google trying to find stories that they can pass off as insider info. I guess they’ve found a good racket.
To be completely honest, we do make some money by running the site, but are definitely not getting rich off of it. All of our revenue comes from paid advertisers and our Google ads. We spend a lot of time working on our site, and would like to be compensated in some way. Since we are coaches, and not very good businessmen, this has not worked out too well for us so far, but we are beginning to make a better effort to drum up revenue! The little money we made last year was used for swim lessons for my kids, Mr. Dirt went to the casino, and our web developer bought some flight simulator software (typical computer geek). We do have some ideas on how to grow, and will start to become more aggressive with them! We added our sister site WHoopDirt.com (for women’s college basketball news and rumors) last summer, and we are very excited as that continues to gain momentum.
Over the past four years, our jobs section has become very successful. Our goal is to have an easily accessible place to turn when looking for a job. We do cull the job sites for listings, but over half of our jobs come from small college coaches who don’t want to pay to advertise their job (again, something that we will not charge for). I love when we get emails from coaches who thank us for helping them get a job – a lot of them have told us that without HoopDirt, they never would have found out about the gig. I also like when coaches and athletic directors email us to remove the job posting from our site because they’ve received too many resumes. We had a guy in the Midwest tell us that he got more applications for his NAIA assistant spot in 24 hours than he could have ever imagined – he made us shut it down because he was so overwhelmed – we call this the power of HoopDirt!
Another challenge with HoopDirt, is the fact that we are not writers. We do not have journalism backgrounds – we are coaches. I have gotten blasted by a few national guys who have told me that I should stick to coaching. I find that funny when they are journalists with no basketball background, yet they are “experts” on college basketball. I may not always put an apostrophe in the right place, but I’d like to challenge one of these guys to give me 10 different ways to guard the screen and roll! My point here is that we work hard to present our stuff in the best possible way – we know what we’re talking about, but we are not pro’s. I think that this is a refreshing change.
Finally, I am The DirtKing, and my partner is Mr. Dirt – why don’t reveal our identities publically? This has been a tricky one for us. We’d like people to know who we are, but we think part of our allure is our alter egos. Also, we do not hide who we are because our info is bad, we do it because we are current coaches and don’t want this to interfere in anyway with our “real” jobs. We work hard to be successful on the court and if HoopDirt were to ever interfere with that, we’d pull the plug on the site. Over the past few years, some coaches have figured out who we are…no biggie though, they keep feeding us “dirt!” As long as we can continue to balance both personalities, we will.
What started out as one page became 25…..Dorothy Boyd, are you with me?
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