Bob Walsh appears to be a bit of a philosopher. He actively seeks out ideas that might help him improve his own life or those of the people with whom he interacts, and he’s eager to share those concepts.
Walsh on Wednesday was named the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Maine.
Black Bear fans who want to get some insight into the 42-year-old Walsh need only visit his Twitter account, @CoachBobWalsh, or read entries in his blog: http://blog.coachbobwalsh.com or on his website at coachbobwalsh.com.
On Wednesday morning, his tweet attached to the link of UMaine’s announcement of his hire read simply: “Thrilled.”
Walsh, who spent the last nine seasons as the head coach at Division III Rhode Island College in Providence, was laying low for the last four days, apparently as the details of his UMaine contract were finalized.
He visited Orono on Friday for his interview, then accepted the UMaine job and returned to Providence to get his affairs in order at RIC.
He “re-emerged” subtly on Sunday by tweeting, “The most powerful thing you can do for another is believe in them.”
Walsh was more active Monday, starting out by posting a link on his blog to a CBS News story about how watching Disney movies helped a young autistic man understand his place in life and re-develop his communication skills.
Later, he tweeted about a breakfast meeting with some Providence-area basketball coaches.
With his departure imminent, Walsh also made sure to tweet that his Dynamic Leadership Academy, scheduled June 2-3 at RIC, will be held as scheduled.
Walsh’s sense of humor came through with a tweet that read, “How many unread text messages can your IPhone handle before it explodes? Asking for a friend.”
Former UMaine coach Ted Woodward was criticized for his desire to remain behind the scenes. His successor takes a much more active approach in engaging his student-athletes, fellow coaches and anyone else willing to take the time to listen to or read what he has to say.
Walsh goes to great lengths to share insights he has gleaned through books he has read and items he has seen on the internet or in the newspaper.
On Monday morning, he tweeted, “Kevin Durant’s ‘Real MVP’ tribute to his mother is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.”
On his blog, two items posted Sunday provided thoughts on dynamics involving leadership styles.
In the first — titled “Who’s Open, MJ?” — Walsh posts an excerpt from Phil Jackson’s book “Eleven Rings.” In it, Jackson helps NBA superstar Michael Jordan realize he was overlooking an important game dynamic.
The subsequent adjustment by Jordan helped the Bulls beat the Lakers.
Another quoted former U.S. Secretary of State and Army four-star general Colin Powell. It reads, “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure in leadership.”
It is clear Walsh is constantly searching for inspiration and new ways to look at things. According to his website, he does not want to become bogged down by convention, whether in basketball or in life.
“It’s very important to me to constantly look for new ways to lead, to analyze and to evaluate,” Walsh says on his website. “There are so many ‘truths’ in the game of basketball that have been around for so long that they never face a challenge. I think the mental side of the game is overlooked and undercoached, a lot of times because we simply follow the belief system that was put in front of us.”
UMaine hopes Walsh’s open-minded, big-picture approach can help turn around the men’s basketball program.