Coach Charles Belt and Coach Michael Gombos: Why be a Coach
We always remember the people that are there for us, when we are not being the person that we know that we can become.
Coach Charles Belt’s Story
For Coach Belt, his story is a little more unique than the average coach. Growing up, he attended a high school that was known for their basketball team. Being 5’6”, he had to work REALLY hard in order to start for the varsity team which enjoyed success. In fact, the other 4 starters ended up playing basketball at the Division 1 level.
After graduating high school, Charles Belt played basketball at a division 3 college. All while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in math and corporate finance. After college, Coach Belt worked within financial aid for a number of years until he was approached by a friend. This friend wanted Coach Belt to help him out with a travel basketball program he just started. This was the start of Coach Belt’s coaching career. From there, he went on to coach at several different colleges, making substantial sacrifices in order to take advantage of every opportunity he was given. Since 2019, he has been the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at William Woods University, an NAIA program located in Fulton, Missouri.
Coach Michael Gombos’s Story
For Coach Gombos, it all started with the love for the game. Growing up in Michigan, he was a huge fan of the 2003-2004 Pistons Championship Team. During college, Coach Belt’s former GA and someone he grew up with, helped bring him back to the game of basketball. This was after a couple years of being apart from basketball. Coach Belt’s former assistant was coaching aau and broke his foot, so he needed help coaching. This was the start of Coach Gombos coaching career. He went on to coach for the West Michigan Lakers Travel Basketball Team for 4 years, two different JUCO programs for a year each, and is now the GA for William Woods going on his second season with the program.
For today’s All In Takeaways, Carter with All In asked Coach Belt and Coach Gombos two key questions, ultimately trying to tackle the topic, “Why be a Coach?”
All In Takeaway #1: What keeps you in the game of coaching?
For Coach Gombos, it really boils down to 3 things. First, the competitiveness. Every former athlete and coach will say that they enjoy the competitiveness of the respective sport they are in. However, for Michael Gombos it stretches far beyond just enjoying the competitive nature of the sport. His second reason for coaching are the relationships he is able to build with the other coaches and athletes. Michael Gombos has been able to build such powerful relationships with his athletes, that many of them will reach out to him for references for the jobs they are applying to. The third reason is being able to do something that he is passionate about. After coaching for a number of years with a variety of coaches, Coach Gombos can officially say that he is doing something he loves.
Working in Coach Belt’s system and culture, it helped reinforce that you can do this the right way and be successful. It’s been a blessing and I am excited for year 2.
For Charles, it comes down to the athletes and their families. Being able to see what a degree does for their family, is everything for him. It was clear, Coach Belt takes a lot of pride in being one of the few coaches who can say that the graduation rate for their athletes is 100%. No excuses.
I have had more tears during the graduation ceremony than in the locker room.
Coaches, what is your why? Why be a coach?
All In Takeaway #2: Why do so many athletes look up to their coaches?
For Charles Belt, between the ages of 18-23, are some of the most developmental years in a young adult’s life. You are on your own for the first time. You are not only on your own for the positives, but you are also on your own when you make mistakes. For student athletes, 9 months out of the year are primarily spent within their sport. Thus, whoever the leaders of the team are, the coaches, are usually who they are going to look up to during a time of transition and change in the life of a young adult.
For Michael Gombos, he agreed with everything Coach Belt voiced. In addition, there is a lot of trust that happens between the athletes and players. At the end of the day, the coaches are drawing up plays, coming up with different schemes and gameplans, trying to put the athletes in the best position. But it is ultimately up to the player to believe in the coach’s gameplan, offer suggestions, and execute on the gameplan. Through the trust that is built, comes powerful relationships between the coaches and athletes.
Coach Belt, Coach Gombos, and the rest of the team are preparing for the 2022-2023 season. Coming off of a great year finishing 3rd in the AMC and only one win away from the conference championship, it will be exciting to see what the team is able to do in the upcoming season. Go Owls!
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