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The Good Liars – Coaches Part One – If Its Not In The Contract It Does Not Exist

If it is not in the contract, it does not exist. This is what I have told every player for the last twenty seven years. If a coach promises you sticks, get it in the contract. If a coach promises you skates, get it in the contract. If the coach promises to have flowers delivered daily to your grandmother, get it in the contract.

Understand? If it is not in the contract any promise made simply does not exist.

I want to make this point because there are some coaches out there promising the moon to players and parents right now after all the Tier II cuts. Then the players and parents get angry when the promise isn’t kept. They get mad because the promise was not written in the contract. So they should only be mad at themselves.

Starting with the Coaches though, they are responsible. Many coaches at the pay to play level are making promises to players and parents without the team owners knowledge, without approval to make those promises, and without putting those promises in writing.

Before everyone starts saying I am deliberately trying to hurt specific coaches, I am not. I am writing this particular piece because I was an owner who was lied to by a Coach who lied to no less that 10 players in order to get them to sign contracts that did not have the “promises” he made to them in writing.

Brad Zangs. A coach I have known for more than 12 years is the perfect example of what coaches will do and say to get any player they want in the recruiting process. Brad Zangs who is now responsible for the Albert Lea Thunder NAHL disaster, the Rum River Mallards recruiting disaster, and now the recruiting disaster that took place in Opole last month.

While I was aware of Zangs trouble in the NAHL yeas ago, it was believable that he was not at the core of the issues there. It is easy to get caught up in controversy and things spin out of control.

I was completely unaware of Brad Zangs promising skates and other items to players when starting the Rum River Mallards program just a few years ago. Players who later made complaints and some left the team while he slipped away silently.

So I hired Zangs to coach my team in Poland. Paid him, paid all expenses for recruiting all summer. Typical business transactions.

Contracts started to come in. Some big time players were being signed. Lots of experience, and lots of skill.

What I didn’t know, and what was not in the contracts, were all the promises being made by Zangs to players.

Four players were promised completely free rides. Two of those four were promised to additionally make about $400 a week cash while working for the team. Those same two players were promised specific housing details that are not given to any other players. Another player was promised additional free ice time in exchange for “private lessons”. Three other players were promised to be moved up in certain periods of time.

None of those promises were in the contracts. In fact in those contracts signed by the players who expected free rides, there were payment plans. Payment plans that Zangs said he would pay on their behalf.

All of this started to unravel when one day I told him that some papers were missing from two contracts. From two players he had living with him in an apartment I paid for and against my specific team rules.

That same day, the players in question packed their things and left without saying a word. That same night, Brad Zangs packed his things and left 20 other players in Opole without saying a word. Like a thief in the night he left town without even calling, and left the apartment and arena keys with a player without telling me.

The next morning, I figured it out, when I called him from his vacant apartment. He didn’t answer the call and only started answering texts when he knew he was caught. He was caught in another lie saying he would return in two weeks that he had to take care of his mother who was having open heart surgery.

Two days later I unraveled more lies and fired him. That’s when all the players started to come forward to tell me all the promises he made them. Again, none of the promises were in the contracts. I told the players I would not honor any of those promises, and anyone who wanted a release I gave them a release.

Over the course of the next two weeks, I hired a new, and much better coach. I released seven players even though I didn’t have to, and the team moved forward with a short roster.

The one thing each player had in common that was released? Not one of them spoke to me, the owner, during the recruiting process to verify if any of the promises being made were authorized. Not one player or parent reached out to question why they were so special to receive these promises that no one else was receiving. Every player only spoke to Zangs, an isolation tactic the Good Liar uses in the recruiting process.

The financial costs for Brad Zangs lies? Well over one hundred thousand dollars in losses for myself. Tens of thousands of dollars in losses for each family of a player who left, and hundreds of hours of time spent recruiting to replace those players after recruiting had stopped for a month.

This is the Good Liar. This is the coach who makes promises to players that are not in writing. leaving players, owners and others to figure out the mess the Good Liar leaves behind.

I write this article now not to point fingers, because our roster is almost completely rebuilt. But as an example for players and parents who are now having to choose pay to play teams after being cut from Tier II teams.

If it is not in the contract, it does not exist. And if you sign without having it in writing, there are two people to blame. You and the coach who signed you.

Brad Zangs is just one example of multiple coaches who make promises they can not keep and are not authorized to make. Be careful and if it sounds too good to be true, its probably a Good Liar.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

i[email protected]

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