Coaching transitions can offer a mixed bag for both the athletes and the coaching staff.
On the one hand, a new perspective is brought to a program. The new coach can provide a team with a burst of energy to break up the normal routine.
On the other hand, that normal routine is a system the athletes have become accustomed to— they’re comfortable with what they have been doing and can be resistant to change.
Dan Potter, a north Idaho native and former Washington assistant, is making the returning members from last year’s golf team his top priority so as to avoid an awkward coaching transition.
“The guys currently on the team are my first priority,” Potter said while speaking to members of the local media during his first day on the job. “They’re in a unique situation with a coaching transition. I was in one when I was in college, so I know that they can be somewhat uncomfortable.”
The likelihood of an uncomfortable transition decreased when Potter was informed that Ryan Hietala would be returning as an assistant coach for the upcoming season.
Hietala has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Broncos after competing on the PGA Tour.
“(It) was a huge relief,” Potter said. “I’ve known Ryan a little bit. I know that he’s passionate about the program going forward. Him wanting to stay here was awesome news.”
Although Potter’s priority is to make the transition from Burton as seamless as possible, he’s not ready to write this season off at all.
“I’m very optimistic for this season,” Potter said. “We have some great tournaments on the schedule.”
The Broncos hope they will be able to improve upon last season’s last place finish in the MWC while under the direction of Potter.