Responding to failure measures a coach’s success
There are many ways to measure whether a coach is successful or not.
Some people prefer to go with the simple method of counting championships.
This is really a measure of team success, and may not accurately indicate whether a coach is a net positive or negative.
Other people may prefer to assess the talent of a given team, and then measure that with how successful the team is.
This is a fine method, but it doesn’t show the whole picture.
A key element of coaching success is how the team rebounds after big losses. Tenacity and resiliency are two characteristics that Wally Buono’s teams have exhibited over the years.
This was never more apparent than the 2011 season, when the Lions began the season 0-5, losing by a combined score of 161-126.
They would go on to alternate a win and a loss before winning 10 of their last 11 games by a combined score of 302-182.
They would go on to win the Grey Cup that year.
Mike Benevides made a Western final appearance in his first season as head coach
The 2012 season, his first as head coach, was not without its struggles. In week four the Lions lost to the mediocre Eskimos by 13 points in an upset.
How would the Benevides Lions respond? By dominating their western division rival Calgary Stampeders by a score of 34-8, one of their most lop-sided victories of the year.
The Lions had only one other loss by more than 10 points that season, to the Calgary Stampeders in week 18.
The Lions followed a dreadful 41-21 loss to the Stamps by stifling the contending Saskatchewan Roughriders 17-6 and sending a message to one of their most dangerous adversaries.
That brings us to this year
Mike Benevides sophomore season as B.C. Lions head coach.
The Lions opened the 2013 season in disappointing fashion, losing 44-32 in a game that was never close and was more one-sided than even that score indicates.
The Lions responded with back to back victories in which they controlled the pace of the game. They won these games by a combined score of 41-19.
The offense has looked more cohesive. The defensive linemen in this year’s rotating scheme have started to play to their potential, particularly Khreem Smith, who may be the breakout player of the year.
On the basis of how his team rebounds after a tough loss, Mike Benevides is a great head coach in the Canadian Football League.
Now all he has to do to win over the skeptics is add a few championships.
If his first season (and a bit) are any indication, that won’t take long.