Interview with Coach Larranaga

Jim “Coach L” Larranaga is the head coach of the men’s basketball team. He sat down with us for an interview, discussing Aristotle, Miami, and a little basketball. You can follow him on Twitter here.

What role does effective communication have in being a great sports coach?

Communication is one of the building blocks for success. In anything you pursue. Your ability to communicate your thoughts, your plans, your vision, allows you and others to join you on the journey to be successful. A great communicator is often a great leader. Great leaders draw great followers, and success then follows.

What is your favorite thing about living in Miami?

There are so many things. First of all, to be associated with such a great university, a university that’s so well-respected academically around the country, which is a major selling point for us in the recruiting process. Secondly, to be a part of the ACC, which we believe is the best basketball conference in the country. Third, to be around such great people. And last but not least, is having a chance to live in this environment, where the weather is fantastic, the town and community are great, we’ve got a great group of players to work with. So there are a lot of positive things about being here.

What advice do you have for prospective students considering the University of Miami?

The University of Miami offers you the opportunity to get a fantastic education in a very healthy and safe environment. And it’s an exciting community. If you’re a sports fan, there’s great football, basketball, baseball. There are a lot of opportunities outside of campus, with the City of Miami at our fingertips — the beach and the weather. This is a wonderful place to live.

What is your favorite quotation or sports metaphor about life?

“We are what we repeat. Therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” It’s by Aristotle.

Aristotle, one of the founders of communication studies.

I’m a big Aristotle fan. Aristotle and Socrates. I’ve found them to be very educational, and very helpful in my own profession. Each day when we start practice, we have a thought of the day. And it’s often a quote, like Aristotle, Socrates, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln.

How do you see the Heat championship, the Ray Allen trade, the Dream Team 2012 hype, all helping draw more students to the university?

The Miami Heat winning the world championship brought an awful lot of media attention to the City of Miami. That creates a buzz around the country where people are hitting on Web sites and reading about Miami. And the more you read about this area, the more excited you get about the possibility of wanting to live there and go to school there. I remember when our George Mason team made the Final Four. The number of hits on our Web site increased by 800 percent. When you get that kind of attention, it creates more interest in what you have to offer. One of the things we tell prospective student athletes is that people who live here refer to Miami as paradise. Because once you live here, you never want to leave.

What can fans look forward to in the next season?

If we’re able to stay healthy, and have a full complement of players for the entire season, we should be a very competitive team at the national level. We should be able to compete with the best teams in the ACC and the country.


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