Tom Herrion is a seasoned, veteran college basketball coach. He was born in the Massachusetts city of Worcester. Herrion graduated from Merrimack College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1989. He played basketball and baseball as a Merrimack undergrad and worked as a student assistant coach in 1986–87. He also coached the junior varsity team at Cambridge Ridge and Latin High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts for two seasons.
Herrion had been a three-year letter winner in baseball and basketball at Oxford High School in Oxford, Massachusetts.
Herrion is the descendant of a long line of coaches. His father, Jim Herrion, was a very famous high school coach in the New York City Catholic League before becoming an assistant coach at Holy Cross and later the new coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Bill Herrion, his older brother, has been the University of New Hampshire’s head basketball coach since 2005. From 1999 to 2005, Bill was the head coach at East Carolina University, and from 1991 to 1999, he was the head coach at Drexel University.
At Marshall University and the College of Charleston, Tom Herrion was the head basketball coach. Herrion has a 58 percent winning record in his eight years as a head coach and led three teams to post-season competitions. On the heels of winning the 2002 Great Alaska Shootout Championship, Herrion’s 2002-03 team was placed in the top 25 nationwide.
Herrion served as assistant coach at the University of Virginia (1999–2002), Providence College (1994–98), and NCAA Division II Merrimack College (1989–94) during his collegiate career.
For eight seasons, he aided Pete Gillen at both Virginia and Providence. Herrion assisted Gillen in leading Virginia to a 70–50 (58 percent) record and three postseason games in four seasons. Recruiting student-athletes, scheduling and assessing adversaries, aiding with practice planning, and match scheduling were among his tasks. In 3 of his 4 seasons with the program, the Cavaliers’ recruiting classes were listed in the top ten nationally.
Herrion worked as a tv analyst for both ESPN Regional and Comcast during the 2006–07 season, offering insight for Conference USA games. Before he decided to join Pittsburgh as an assistant head coach, he served as a college youth development advisor at the Nike All-American Camp and the Michael Jordan Flight School.
Herrion co-founded a Nationwide Autism Awareness campaign to raise more awareness for the millions of people affected by Autism, in addition to his coach job.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
When I was a child. I grew up in a family where sports and coaching were important. I come from a family of coaches. Indeed, the environment that my father and older brother created around them as a result of their coaching careers pushed me to perform better and to be proud of my family’s chosen career. I tried my hardest over the years to stay in the profession and gather as much expertise as possible while keeping the spark of my enthusiasm alive.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As a basketball coach, I wake up at around 6 a.m. I start my day by drinking a cup of coffee, after which I go on to set my goals for the day. After that, I outline my plans and schedule for the day. My weekdays are extremely packed, therefore it’s vital that I make the most use of my day when completing my duties and commitments. While these could appear to be trivial elements, they make a difference in enabling me to bring my vision to life by supporting my team in becoming the finest they can be. As a coach, I believe that channeling one’s excitement into what they are doing and then concentrating on turning that effort into something concrete that can have an impact on my team is the key to prosperity. I also believe that for effort to be meaningful, it must be directed toward the appropriate goals. Otherwise, your efforts will be completely ineffective. As a result, I always keep a journal with me so that I can write down any ideas I have so that I may share them with my team during our training sessions.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I enjoy discussing my thoughts with my peers this allows me to achieve a level of development.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One area that interests me is psychological wellness in sports. Every team, in my opinion, must address its players’ mental health. Mental health issues among team members can affect productivity, efficiency, focus, and overall well-being.
If teams start concentrating on players’ mental health, we can observe a positive progress balance, less negativity, and higher rates of wellness.
Witnessing something like this is both thrilling and fulfilling.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe that establishing a healthy sleeping habit can improve performance and productivity, especially for sportspeople.
Moreover, I believe that accepting and appreciating one’s own physiological and mental limitations can have a significant impact on one’s development; nevertheless, the far more important aspect I focus is the amazing rejuvenating results of a full night’s sleep and how important it is for one’s mental wellbeing since it helps us recover both body and mind.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that perhaps, the world could be a better place if you can just put all your worries behind and enjoy the experience, since life is way too short to live on the edge all the time. No matter how severely people criticize you, you must not give up on your objectives, dreams, or aspirations. Everything will pay off in the end, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Once you, or the team you are coaching, hit a dead-end, the best course of action would be to stop, take a break, and reflect on what you have been doing so far. In fact, that would contribute greatly into finding solutions to the existing problem, in addition to finding the weak spots in the previous strategy.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keeping a level head and being ready for anything! In this way, one can deal with the unanticipated while keeping the job’s consistency and addressing any issues that may occur. Additionally, consistency leads to excellence, which is why I strive for as much consistency as possible in my job and habits.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Surround yourself with talented, loyal and quality people. You invest and spend so much time together on your journey, you need the individuals around you to share your vision and beliefs. I have been very fortunate to have terrific people work with me throughout my career.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As a sports coach, failure is bound to happen in my career. In fact, I had my fair share of failure, but what actually mattered the most was persisting through it and aiming higher every time.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As I mentioned before, the mental health side of sports plays a major role in the general outcome of the team. My idea, in fact, is to include a specialist who can handle the team’s mental health needs and monitor them in order to help them progress as much as needed without wasting any time or effort.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I invested in a health and welfare subscription to help me with improved workouts. The last year or so with the Pandemic has been quite challenging but I have taken advantage of the time by finding a consistent workout routine daily.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Google’s services are fantastic. My daily tools are Google Chrome, Google Docs, Sheets, Gmail, and Google Calendar. Having all of my content in one place is revolutionary. I typically multitask while writing my reports and making my team’s training plans so as to coordinate the data I amassed which, in turn, helps me keep it coordinated.
What is your favorite quote?
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
- One’s mental health is as important as their physical one.
- Success is a process and not an easy outcome.
- Patience is the key to achieving one’s true growth.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.