Linked below is a terrific article from The Athletic on how Matt Painter, in the wake of a string of disappointing seasons, chose to revamp how his program recruited. Painter’s biggest angst back in 2015 was that he thought the Boilermakers’ culture had taken a turn for the worse. It wasn’t so much that Purdue didn’t have the right players, it was that the didn’t have the right people, or at the very least, didn’t know how to coach them correctly. Enter Chad Brown, a friend of a friend and a former college football coach, who developed a personality testing system for college programs. The system, modeled after the DiSC Assessment test, details a player’s personality traits, what his motivators are, and what his most important values are.
Mostly it’s allowed Painter to understand how to best coach the players he has (who is task oriented and can handle more responsibility versus those who need more nurturing), identify the players that suit him, and give his team a better understanding of what makes him tick. “A lot of times, kids don’t know who they’re playing for,’’ Painter says. “You give speeches, you talk to them, but this lets me say — ‘Here. This is who I am. This is what’s important to me.’’ Consequently as part of his annual presentation to the Boilers, Brown shares the coach’s results. Painter isn’t in the room, so the information comes off as conversational instead of a ‘my way or the highway edict.’ Privately Painter even will allow his players to read his profile if they ask. “I love that he’s putting himself out there, saying ‘This is who I am,’’ Cline says. “He wants us to feel comfortable around everybody and really understand who we are.’’