About Me – Michael Austin
I’ve dedicated my professional career to advancing the education of basketball on a local, regional and national level, but my love of the game took off on the outdoor courts of my hometown in Massachusetts.
It was there in the early 1990s that my friends and I spent many summer mornings playing 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and if a group of outsiders showed up, we’d run 5-on-5 with them.
Even as it became clear my future wasn’t going to be spent in an NBA uniform, I knew basketball still would hold a role in my professional life.
In 1998, that dream became a reality as I started working for local newspapers outside of Milwaukee, Wis., shortly after graduating from Marquette University.
Covering those local games involved highlighting player achievements but also allowed me a glimpse at the preparation of the coaches. I developed working relationships with several coaches who came to me first for an interview after a big game … even if I wasn’t working for the largest paper.
My experience eventually led to a publishing company, which covered vastly different topics, but did feature a basketball coaching newsletter as well. Initially, I helped copy edit articles and diagrams, which provided keen insight into the Xs and Os of the game. Attending coaching clinics opened my eyes to how dedicated coaches are to their craft.
I eventually moved into a freelance role with that company but one of my main duties was to put together the basketball newsletter every couple of months. I dug deeper into strategy and philosophy, and forged a more complete understanding of the intricacies of the game.
As my role expanded into a full-time basis, I started attending more basketball practices, especially at the Division I level. I’d shadow the coach as he or she prepared for the workout. I’d take detailed notes during those hours spent on the court. I’d watch how the coaches connected with players in a basketball sense but also in a personal way. The best coaches, I found, didn’t scream constantly but found innovative, unique and positive methods for sharing their point.
One of the best compliments ever paid to me was by University of Washington head men’s coach Lorenzo Romar who told me at a Nike Basketball Clinic about a piece I previously had done on his coaching philosophy: “I really liked that article. You really know the game!”
My favorite project happened a couple of years ago when I spent two weeks following a local high school girls powerhouse in my new home state of Oregon during its playoff run. I attended practices. I listened to the coaches converse. I sat in on chalk talks. I observed the pre-game preparations and halftime adjustments. And, I watched the coaches attempt to console the girls after a horrible loss. That project covered all angles of being a coach.
Now, 16 years later, I take all of this knowledge and bring it to Basketball Coach Weekly. As a writer and editor, I don’t bring any preconceived notions of the best coaching methods with me to this magazine. I keep an open mind. I love hearing about unique offenses, different ways to defend and how a two-hour practice differs depending on the point in the season, the personnel, the coach and overall team goals.
From youth hoops to the highest level of collegiate basketball, I’ve witnessed and reported on it all, and I’m ready to take this knowledge to provide you with the best coaching publication available – Basketball Coach Weekly.