All About the Culture
Football first, everything else next. That’s the reputation of Bishop Chatard athletics in Indiana circles. For years, other Bishop Chatard sports have been overshadowed by the football team in every way. And for good reason, too; the Trojans have amassed a state record 13 football championships over the years, compared to just two in all other IHSAA sports. Trojan basketball has never specifically been terrible, but the interest level among students and fans could be described as minimal. A new coaching hire could change all of that.
Enter Taylor Wayer. He replaces Brian Shaughnessy as head coach after he stepped down last spring after 15 years at the helm. A 2010 Chatard grad and former Indiana Hoosiers walk on, Wayer will be just 28 years old during his first season coaching the Trojans. That isn’t to say he is inexperienced. He has coached at the AAU level for Hayward Hoops, an Indianapolis based club run by NBA star Gordon Hayward. He also runs his own athletic conditioning center in Indianapolis. Quite a repertoire to say the least.
Wayer himself, as well as some of his new players and former IU teammates publicized their excitement about the hire.
A young, energetic, well-connected coach; it’s a perfect fit for a team ready to build a culture of success in the wake of monotony and disinterest.
Nick Nurse took over as coach of the Raptors in 2018 and had the tough task of replacing that previous season’s Coach of the Year, Dwayne Casey. Casey was a successful coach with a solid culture, but he was just never good enough. Nurse responded by leading them to a championship in just one season during a completely novel restructuring of team culture. His young energy completely revitalized the organization. Matt Nagy turned the Chicago Bears from perennial doormat under John Fox to Super Bowl contenders in just a few short years by doing things his way and building from the ground up. The list goes on and on of successful hires like these; it’s a tried and true trend at this point.
But perhaps the most striking example that comes to mind is Chris Beard taking over for Tubby Smith as head coach of Texas Tech basketball. Just like Wayer, Beard was a young and relatively unproven coach replacing a well-established figure at a school that was historically irrelevant in basketball. And just like Chatard, Texas Tech has always been all football all the time. Beard not only did the impossible by leading Tech to within just a few points from a championship, but he also drew fan interest to an all time high all season long. If fans and students in TEXAS of all places can become invested in a basketball program, then a team in the basketball-crazed state of Indiana should have no issues with that. A fresh culture and sustained success will draw in fan support regardless.
If you build it, they will come.