Coach Justin Hogue: How Hard Work Impacts Coaching

Coach Justin Hogue: How Hard Work Impacts Coaching
May 23, 2022 | Andre Harakas | 5 min read

You don’t need to thank me, just make sure you pay it forward.

This is what the Head Coach at Mesa Community College told Coach Justin Hogue before he left the program to be there for his family. Growing up, Coach Hogue has always loved the game of basketball. It was his love for the game no matter what phase of life that he was in, that has remained constant. Even during the stretches of life where he was not coaching or playing, he still loved keeping in tune to what was going on and helping other coaches in any way that he could. 

Fast forward to the end of high school, Coach Hogue decided to join the army. While there were several smaller reasons that factored into his decision, such as wanting to be in a warmer climate, wanting to mature, and many others, there was one more important purpose that led him to enlist:

I wanted a way to serve the greater good.

Coach Hogue went on to serve for 6 years in the army, his last being as a drill sergeant in the reserve unit. After that, he worked a contracting-type job for a couple of years. It was during this time of his life that allowed him to realize his desire to coach basketball. 

Through showing up at the college unannounced and introducing himself, he was able to land his first coaching job for the 2010-2011 season as the student assistant at Mesa Community College. Fortunately, he was under two amazing coaches, Coach Sam Ballard and Coach Michael Grothaus. Due to being out of the game for a number of years, he knew that he had a lot to learn. Thus, he spent most of his first year soaking up as much knowledge as he could from the other coaches. 

During his second season, he was promoted to the assistant coach. This was when he really started to take on more responsibility in developing the program. He was known for his work ethic, as he would ride his bike to and from practice. He would even participate in some of the drills with the players! Coach Hogue’s passion and work ethic was contagious as the team experienced much success, on and off the court. 

Coach Hogue went on to coach at Mesa College for two more seasons before having to leave the program to help his family. After stepping away from coaching for a little bit, through mutual connections he was given the opportunity to run an AAU program out of San Antonio. Coach Hogue ended up doing this for 4 years. After that, he coached at Graceland University for 2 seasons. 

Today’s All In Takeaways are around what makes Coach Hogue unique as a basketball coach. Additionally, what every coach should implement into their program.

All In’s Takeaway: There are Many Benefits of Hard Work

Almost every athlete is going to think they are a hard worker. However, many of them do not know what hard work even looks like. For Coach Hogue, he can relate to this when he was in high school, as he thought he was a “hard worker.” Little did he know, he was nowhere close to where he could be. Through his experience in the army, he was able to figure out what pushing your body to the physical and mental limit actually looks like. 

Due to this experience, he is intentional about being a good example of a hard worker. One thing he will constantly do is show off the athletes on the team who are developing good habits: eating healthy, staying late after practice, being a good teammate, and other admirable routines. As a result of this, the good habits become contagious as all of the other athletes want to model their behaviors after the player who is getting positive recognition. Coaches, make sure that hard work is a staple of your program. 

Currently, Coach Hogue is not a coach but works at a privately owned golf course near Graceland University. Although he has received several offers to coach at various programs, he is waiting patiently for the right opportunity. Whatever team he decides to coach at next will be lucky to have a coach who will be intentional in making a strong work ethic a commonality across all of the athletes in the program. We look forward to seeing where Coach Hogue takes his talents next!!

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