If you were asked to name the great coaches of this generation, you might find yourself reflecting on images of Bill Belichick lifting his sixth Super Bowl or Jose Mourinho sprinting down the touchline to celebrate yet another tactical masterclass. But what if you were asked to name their assistant coaches? The more ardent fans among us might be able to identify one or two but, for the vast majority, these backroom staff remain unsung and underappreciated.
One coach trying to alter that narrative is Cape Breton University's own Deano Morley. Ever since his hiring in 2014, the head coach of the men's soccer team has made it his mission to shine a light on the coaching staff who surround and support him.
"I've been doing a lot of interviews recently and the question I am always asked is: how have we had the success that we've had? It's always around the success and what they want to ask me about is recruitment. It's easy to look at it that way, that the recruitment is the reason you are successful. The story I want to tell is that recruitment is simply a result of something much bigger, much more important, and that's the culture we've been able to build. I believe that culture is everything. The recruitment is an important part of it because we've been able to attract the right characters and the right people to our program but what I want to talk about, as a leader, is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with."
The latest addition to Morley's surrounding talent is Brian Tierney, an academic success coach who brings with him an impressive array of qualifications including a Masters in Educational Leadership from Memorial University.
Having covered CBU men's soccer's latest coaching addition in part one of this series, the focus now shifts to Assistant Coach Scott Clarke and Goalkeeping Coach Vernon O'Quinn, two proud Cape Bretoners who exemplify and embody what it means to be leaders in their community. Together, they have amassed over 20 years with the men's soccer program and during that time have guided the Capers to numerous AUS and U-Sports title wins and medals. These accolades, whilst not serving as their main motivation, will forever stand as testaments to the consistency, drive, and passion brought forward by two of Cape Breton's own.
Whether the banners and medals would have been possible without these anchors of stability is an interesting question and it is a question that Capers Head Coach Deano Morley does not shy away from. By highlighting the staff behind the trophies, the culture that precedes success, and the people who make it all possible, Morley remains consistent in his mission to examine and redefine what winning really means.