Visiting coach needs to watch his words

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Being a head coach for any college team is a hard job. Heck, at SDSU, they have to deal with a noisy Collegian sports editor when they may/ may not have time. They gladly answer my intelligent (or not so intelligent) questions, and I appreciate that.

And mistakes happen; you can check a weekly copy of The Collegian or my report card for a simple example of mistakes in action.

Most mistakes made by head coaches are to be overlooked, because they are human and stuff happens. Even Forrest Gump knows that. But then, there are mistakes that need to be addressed and questioned.

Such was the case of Western Illinois women’s soccer head coach Tony Guinn on Oct. 3. His actions during the match and even after are completely unacceptable.

What did he do, you ask? He worried about something other than his team. This is the one, and maybe only, thing a coach should worry about.

While his Westerwinds were being beat 3-0, Guinn was yelling at the SDSU stats crew that they were doing a bad job recording shots.

For the record, SDSU out shot W. Illinois, 35-4. In the second half, SDSU had a 20-0 advantage.

Not only did Guinn yell at the stats crew, he also told the Western Courier, “Statistically, the shots that South Dakota State kept were off by 25. People could be 30 yards out and shoot the ball 20 yards wide of the net, and they would call it a shot. When you look at it, we made four saves and they had 35 shots, so that means their shooting is unbelievably brutal or something is wrong. … I’ve never seen statistics in the Division I level done so poorly.”

I have yet to see such hard words for a stat crew, at any level.

I was there, and I wasn’t really paying attention to the stats. Was the SDSU scoreboard staff off by a shot or two?

It’s possible.

The W. Illinois coach knew in his heart the scoreboard was inaccurate on the shots count. But Guinn could not argue with the one thing that counted on the scoreboard: 3-0.

Why was the Westerwinds’ coach so obsessed with the criticism of the scoreboard? My guess is that he was embarrassed by the shutout loss. One can only wonder why Guinn was so upset about something that doesn’t matter. Was it for future recruits that he gave such criticism? For his players? Fans? The sport of soccer itself? Was he ever yelled at when he took stats himself?

I have my own theory why Guinn told the Western Illinois student newspaper that the stats were off: the W. Illinois soccer head coach is a bully.

He used his superior knowledge of soccer and anger from the blowout loss as a weapon against a voiceless object. Sure, Guinn has freedom of speech, but he should not air his dirty laundry about anything other than his team’s play.

The appropriate thing to do for Guinn if he really is upset is to write a letter to Fred Oien, SDSU’s director of athletics or Rob Peterson, associate director. Or he could have written a letter to Jason Hove, SDSU sports information director.

More importantly, Guinn should have prepared his girls more. They lost the game and the head coach is to blame.

Bottom line is that SDSU beat the Westerwinds, 3-0. The shot advantage could have been plus-three for SDSU, and it wouldn’t matter.

Coaches are not perfect, and I don’t expect them to be. But, I do think there is a code of ethics. I felt that Guinn did allow his emotions to get the better of him. A head coach has certain privileges, and Guinn crossed that sacred line.