One of the most integral pieces of Urban Meyer’s staff while at Ohio State was director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, who is widely regarded as one of the best in the business.
Ryan Day’s ability to keep both Pantoni and strength coach Mickey Marotti on board after Urban Meyer’s retirement is probably Day’s biggest win to date. He’s a huge reason why the Buckeye recruiting machine hasn’t lost a beat since Urban’s departure, and the program has picked up some commitments from major targets in the last few weeks.
For the most part, Pantoni is the quiet man behind the scenes plugging away and doing his job at an elite level, but he recently appeared on Daddy’s Ball Podcast, hosted by Alabama commit Jahquez Robinson’s father.
The podcast seems to be laid out geared towards parents in the recruiting process, but there’s some good coaching nuggets in there too.
Hear Pantoni share many of the details we covered a few years back with this piece on what a highlight film should look like, and how to get on the recruiting radar of a top program like Ohio State.
One thing that I found interesting is the open line that Buckeye coaches and support staff give to parents to discuss anything on their mind, with just one thing off limits – their child’s playing time.
“The one thing that is a sensitive topic, especially for coaches, is playing time. A lot of times the head coach will address it early on with the parents, at least once a year. ‘You can call me anytime, my door is always open, but I just don’t want to hear complaints about playing time, because we are going to play the best players, regardless because our job, a big part of it, is to win games. Obviously we’re going to make sure that happens for the benefit of the entire team,'” Pantoni shared, speaking from the perspective of Ryan Day.
“So if you want to call and talk about your son’s progress, his lifestyle, his academics? We’ve got our phones on all the time. But no complaints about playing time. That’s usually how it works.”
I know a lot of high school staffs out there that take the same approach when it comes to playing time. Whether you have a stance that it’s open for discussion, or off limits completely, the important thing is to have a stance and stick to it so the expectation is set right off the bat and parents understand it. That’s really important for aspiring head coaches.
Listen to the full podcast with Pantoni below, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.