With the 2010-11 college basketball season officially over, introduce yourself to one of the most determined and disciplined managers in the sport, Adam Satz. Who in the world is Adam Satz, you may ask?
Satz is one of the most knowledgeable young basketball minds around today, and he's eager to prove his worth to all of his doubters. With great determination and hard work, Satz has quickly become one of the best managers in the country, while maintaining a 3.6 average at Seton Hall University.
Satz has recently been one of four finalists recognized for the Manager of the Year Award, presented by The UPS Store to celebrate the logistics experts of college basketball.
I had the chance to sit down with Adam and talk about his future managing and coaching plans, as well as what he did during the course of his stay at Seton Hall to make such a lasting impression on his team and university.
B/R: How long have you been managing? What sports have you managed?
AS: I have been a manager for eight years. I was a boys’ basketball manager all through high school, and it was something I really wanted to continue doing into college. I started at the University of Miami (FL), but came to Seton Hall University after one semester to find a better opportunity where I could be more involved in the program.
B/R: What are your career aspirations? Future Coach? What level of play? Possibly at SHU?
AS: Ideally, moving forward I would love to be able to stay in coaching. I don’t know if there is any precedent for someone who was born with a disability coaching professionally, but that’s something I try not to think about. There are a lot of really talented, experienced people in this business who are looking for a job just like I am. That’s just the nature of the profession.
I am just hoping that someone will give me the opportunity to show that I know this game, and I’m going to come to work every day with a smile and work my butt off. Obviously there’s a level of comfort and familiarity that I have with the program here, and I think Coach Willard and his staff are building the foundation to do something special that I’d love to continue to be a part of.
That being said, I am willing to go anywhere to try and establish myself, pay my dues, and contribute in any way possible to another program, if I’m lucky enough to have that opportunity.
B/R: Who is your role model?
AS: My role models are my parents. They could have taken a lot of different approaches when it came to raising me. The way they kind of just threw me out there and let me take my lumps and figure things out for myself rather than sheltering me and telling me what I was capable of played a big role in who I am today.
B/R: Who has been most helpful or influential to you while at your stay at SHU?
AS: It would be difficult and unfair to single out one person who’s been the most supportive or helpful during my time here, because the overall support I’ve received from both coaching staffs, the athletic department and the greater Seton Hall community has been tremendous.
I would like to make a point to thank my fellow managers though, especially the ones that have been with me all four years. Without their support and understanding, I wouldn’t have been able to be as involved as I was. The fact that my story has gotten such a great response is really a reflection of how hard we’ve worked together. It also shows how important the fact that they created an environment that was comfortable and fun for me to work in has been to me during my time here.
B/R: What are your strengths as a manager? Any weaknesses or places to improve?
AS: I think to be a good manager, you need to recognize your role in the program. Just bringing a positive attitude and being willing to contribute to whatever needs to be done, however trivial it may seem at the time, is so important. I think that’s what I was best at; I wanted to have my hands in everything, and I wanted to contribute in any way possible.
There’s always room for improvement, though, and looking ahead if I want to stay in this business, there’s still so much for me to learn about the game and finding ways for me to be effective as a coach given my abilities. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but I can tell you that I am going to love every second of it.
B/R: Where would you like to be, career wise, five years from now?
AS: Five years from now, hopefully I am on a college basketball staff in some capacity. I also hope to have started basketball camps for kids with disabilities.
B/R: What's your favorite sport after basketball? Ever thought about being involved with that sport?
AS: It’s kind of a shock to most people, but my second favorite sport is soccer. I am a big New York Red Bulls and Juventus fan. The passion you see from the fans is unrivaled by any other sport, and that creates an atmosphere that is special to be a part of. I’ve never really looked into a professional future on the business side of soccer, simply because I’m not ready to give up my basketball dream yet.
B/R: What is your prime motivation?
AS: I think my motivation is all the people who have supported me throughout my whole life. Yeah, I do have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and feel like I might have something to prove because of my disability, but that’s not the main thing that keeps me going. I have been blessed with a great family, tremendous friends and have benefited from the kindness and understanding of so many people that I feel I almost owe it to them to make something significant of myself.
B/R: What were your expectations going into your stay at SHU? And how did those expectations pan out?
AS: My experience as a manager here far surpassed any expectations I could have had. Coming in, I just wanted to work hard and be around the game I love, but my time here has given me so much more. I have come out of this experience with great friends and memories as well as being much more well equipped to pursue a future in this game
B/R: What were your duties/responsibilities at SHU and how did they develop or increase in importance throughout your stay (may be to similar to the previous question, skip it if you think it is)?
AS: As a manager, I was responsible for typical duties such as equipment and practice preparation, but I also took on various administrative tasks as well. I ran our film exchange program with other schools and coordinated our scouting video library through the three DVR's that we have available to us. I would also participate in basic scouting video tasks, scouting report preparation as well as duties associated with coordinating our recruiting efforts.
B/R: In which aspects of the game do you feel you are most knowledgeable?
AS: Like I said, there’s still so much I need to learn about the game. I feel like I have a good grasp on things for someone with my experience, but if I am really going to make my mark in this business, I need to develop into one of the best basketball minds out there. I am pretty good at scouting plays and tendencies, but I need to watch more basketball, more instructional DVDs and get to the point where it’s less mechanical and more natural.
B/R: Who are favorite coaches that are currently active, and favorite coaches of all-time?
AS: It’d be easy for me to sit here and rattle off the Auerbach’s and Carnesseca’s of the world, but I find that I have a special affection for guys that really had to fight and scrap to get to the height of this profession. For that reason I’ve always looked up to guys like Lawrence Frank, Tom Crean, Buzz Williams and of course Coach Willard and Coach Gonzalez.
B/R: How have you become a better manager since at SHU? Did you learn anything that may make you a better coach or person in the future?
AS: I think the biggest lesson I learned from being a manager is that I’m not above anything. What that means to me is that when you are part of a team and you know that something needs to be done, you do it without asking for thank you’s or congratulations. No matter what your title or role is, you are there to contribute and if you give anything less than your best effort then you’re cheating yourself and those around you, and perhaps more importantly those that would love to have the same opportunity that you do.
B/R: What would you bring to the table as an assistant coach?
AS: As an assistant coach, if I am ever lucky enough to get to that position, I can guarantee that nobody would work harder than me. I would work tirelessly to thoroughly scout opponents and prepare our team for upcoming games. Also, I know that there are going to be barriers associated with perception that will be difficult to navigate but I do believe I can develop into a strong recruiter. I am a very personable guy once you get to know me and I am very loyal to the people that I develop relationships with. It’s all about getting the experience that I need and taking full advantage of any opportunity to develop as a professional that is available to me.
Support Manager Adam Satz____________________________________________
**To view Adam Satz's video, view this link http://ups.promo.eprize.com/madness/video.html?video=2
***To vote Adam Satz as Manager of the Year, "like" The UPS Store on Facebook and "like" his video