Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Coach Agler

Kevin Pelton takes a closer look at the success of the Storm under Coach Brian Agler.

I know that our two previous head coaches have received significantly larger applause from game to game in Key Arena than Brian Agler ever has received. It is something about which I have wondered. In the first year it was so obvious coming off the rabid cheering for Anne Donovan as the most successful female coach in the WNBA. I wrote that off at the time to the crowd needing to see him prove himself.

The numbers in Kevin's article make me wonder once again. Coach Agler is the most successful coach in Storm history by record. Coach Donovan only had one successful post season, though it did lead to a championship. What is preventing this crowd from recognizing this coach?

He is the first male coach in franchise history. While I know that many of our fans celebrated the success of our female coaches, I like to believe that our fan base is above withholding praise just because our coach is a man.

Coach can be rather formal and withdrawn with both the fans and the media. Seeing him work with players and other coaches proved to me that we fans DON'T get to see the real Brian Agler. I think this has led to a failure for the crowd to establish a personal connection with him. Coach Donovan was not much friendlier...but she did have success and the gender "bonus."

I think Coach Agler also likes to hide in the background a bit. His introduction by the PA announcer is more subdued than his predecessors and he tends to tuck himself away in the corner to make sure that the crowd focuses on the players. While I truly admire his choice, in some ways I think it has hurt the fan's relationship with him as their coach.

In the end, perhaps our fans are just fickle. Perhaps we won't accept and adore Coach Agler until he brings home a trophy. We adored Lin Dunn because she was adorable, and she brought the WNBA to our city. We loved Anne Donovan because she took this team to the next level, elevated our stars and brought home a championship trophy.

I ask you, Seattle...what does Brian Agler need to do to get a little more love from Storm fans?


pt said...

He's a great coach, but he probably won't be loved until he wins a championship. Hey, Marynell Meadors is a woman and lots of fans have a love-hate relationship with her. But now that the Dream are winning, the tide of critical thought is starting to shift. Winning can make anybody lovable.

Q McCall said...

I agree that winning is part of it, but it also strikes me that - as you said - fans don't get to see much of Brian Agler beyond the image he projects in games. I was trying to explain to someone that it's part of what makes the Stanky Leg thing so fun - it both seems out of character and shows that he does have a side that we simply don't get to see.

No matter what, he's a no-nonsense type of guy and to be honest, I can't imagine he cares that much about how the crowd receives him on a day to day basis.

Anonymous said...

Coach Agler may get the Aussies around the world onside if he puts more confidence in Alison Lacey and Abby Bishop before the Storm reach the finals abd he finds them under prepared. Perhaps he needs to remember the season as a whole rather than the first half win/loss percentage.

LakotaStorm said...

I love what Agler has done for the Storm, but not sure what kind of love he needs lol. I applaud him as loud as everyone else on the team. Besides I didn't realize the fans weren't warming up to him.