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Howard Men's Basketball just hired a former reporter...to coach. Here's why:

Why an unconventional strategy is perfectly in line with Howard's unconventional philosophy

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

It isn’t common, but occasionally, journalists leave the college sports beat to take jobs in college sports. Travis Haney left reporting to take an analyst job with the Charlotte 49ers back in 2019, and longtime recruiting industry scout Barton Simmons is the General Manager at Vanderbilt. Professional franchises in the NHL, NBA and MLB regularly hire writers to work in analytics departments and other player personnel roles as well.

But those aren’t coaching jobs. It’s one thing to go from crunching numbers at FanGraphs to crunching numbers for the Minnesota Twins. It’s another thing to go from being a reporter to an actual on-the-field coach. That...doesn’t happen very often.

But it did at Howard.

On Friday, Howard announced the hire of Tramel Raggs to their basketball staff. Raggs has the title of “assistant coach”, and is responsible for not just helping the program in communications and digital marketing initiatives, but grabbing a whistle and coaching, just like everybody else on staff.

Raggs didn’t come from another D-I basketball staff, or the DMV AAU circuit, or any number of the DC area’s excellent high school programs. He came from the Washington Post, where he covered prep, college and professional basketball, as well as other Washington-area professional teams.

I asked Howard head coach Kenneth Blakeney if Raggs had any secret coaching experience we didn’t know about. Was he coaching middle school players on the side? Coaching churchball?

He laughed. “No, this is completely new.”

So why on earth would a D-I program, especially one that went to the NCAA Tournament last season and is near the top of the conference standings again, hire a guy without real coaching experience?

The answer comes back to what makes Howard, Raggs, and Blakeney, unique. It comes back to The Dream Factory.

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