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Building And Sustaining A Culture of Excellence: Ryan Hawk With John Calipari And Michael Lombardi

Guest John Calipari, Kentucky; Michael Lombardi, Gridiron Genius; Ryan Hawk, The Learning Leader Podcast
1hr 5min watch


Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari and former NFL General Manager, Michael Lombardi visited AthleticDirectorU during the Collegiate Coaching Consortium to discuss building and sustaining a culture of excellence. Moderated by Ryan Hawk of the Learning Leader Podcast, the conversation covered a wide array of topics from hiring staffs and evaluating assistants to trusted advisors and the one-and-done model.


(Click the timestamp below to jump to a specific question/topic)

  • - Expand on your credo of ‘Players First’ (Calipari)
  • - What was your experience with a ‘Players First’ mentality? (Lombardi)
  • - What is your philosophy on getting great players to play as a team? (Calipari)
  • - As a GM, what was your process of building team culture? (Lombardi)
  • - What are some things you look for when hiring staff? (Calipari)
  • - What did you look for when building coaching staffs? (Lombardi)
  • - Calipari on Bill Parcells and Larry Brown
  • - Lombardi on learning by listening to press conferences
  • - How do you evaluate assistant coaches? (Calipari)
  • - How do you use your administrators to help reinforce and establish your culture? (Calipari)
  • - How much of a challenge is roster management in the one-and-done era? (Calipari)
  • - Importance of trusted advisors and mentors
  • - Advice for advancing leaders looking for the next opportunity in their career (Calipari)
  • - How have you navigated the ups and downs of your career? (Lombardi)
  • - How much energy do you have left to continue coaching? (Calipari)
  • - Thoughts on winning with the one-and-done model
  • - What are some commonalities among leaders who have sustained excellence?