Inside the Mind of Snow College Basketball: A Conversation with Coach Andrew May

Jan 31, 2024

Andrew May and Jimmer Fredette

We recently had the pleasure of inviting Snow College's Head Basketball Coach Andrew May to a live stream on the athletes' community page. The atmosphere was upbeat, and the dialogue bounced back and forth like a well-executed fast break. Coaches of all varieties connected through the digital court, from strength and conditioning coaches to mental coaches, team sport coaches, and individual coaches. It's a testament to the community's reach that even those who couldn't join us live will have the chance to revisit the wisdom shared as the interview finds a permanent home on the community page.

Meet Coach Andrew May: A Player Turned Mastermind

Let me introduce Coach Andrew May for those who might be new to his journey. May has been entrenched in basketball all his life. From his college ball days to his tenure at Utah Tech and, now, his leadership role at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, his entire career has been a series of full-court presses toward success. Moreover, Andrew's time with BYU, serving in basketball operations, shows a footprint that's touched many courts.</p><p>"Appreciate you having me on. It's always a pleasure to talk hoops... what I'm doing every single day," said Andrew May, radiating gratitude and passion for basketball every step of the way.

A Day in Hoops Heaven

Life for Coach May is an around-the-clock basketball marathon. He shared a glimpse into his life during a typical Saturday: overseeing junior jazz in the morning, celebrating afternoon victories with his team, and wrapping up with bantam league games—truly a 13-hour hoops holiday. These moments resonate deeply with May, who sees reflections of his childhood, where following his coach father laid out the blueprint of his future.

Coaching Accumulates Culture

The conversation soon shifted gears to coaching philosophy. Anchoring his approach is the experience accumulated from exposure to top-tier coaching at various levels. "My learning has been exponential every single year," says May. Such a profound level of experience has positioned him well for his leadership at Snow College.

The Journey Through Junior College Life

May described the unique life at the community college level, which dances to a different tune than Division I programs. "There are big differences between budgets, athletic leadership quality, and resources across the board," he remarked. Yet, at Snow, May enjoys a thriving program complete with Division I level weight rooms and exceptional recruitment advantages.

The Hidden Value of Junior Colleges

The conversation fell upon the oft-misunderstood pathway of community colleges for high school athletes—a conversation poignantly timely given the surge in transfer portal activity and the fierce competition for D1 spots. May elucidated the pragmatic route of juco ball, which opens a realm of opportunities to showcase one's skill against formidable competition. "It secures that, 'Hey, I know this kid can go to school and handle the rigors of Division I life,'" May explained.

Culture Crafting and Roster Building

The ephemeral nature of junior college rosters presents a unique challenge for culture development. Here, May leaned on strategy and vision, touching upon fostering leadership and instilling a sense of shared team destiny—"If you can develop really good leaders... it changes everything.” Coaching, in May's perspective, is sculpture in time, molding different skills and talents into a single focused team unit.

On-Floor Philosophy and Recruitment

If Tim Duncan can be coachable, why aren't you doing it?

This gem among stories vividly illustrates the leadership-centric approach that Coach May admires and seeks within his players, summing up into a mental code block and a blockquote-worthy line that speaks volumes of his coaching ethos. As for recruitment, May gazes through a prism of leadership and complementary skills.

"I'm building it from my player backwards," May asserted about structuring his team, pinpointing the importance of role players and star talent synergy.

Leaping into the Nitty-Gritty of Coaching

As the discussion neared the buzzer, May reflected on the implications of NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) deals within the junior college spectrum, an evolution still more theoretical than practical at their level. May also waded into the tactics pool, sharing his affinity for sets that spotlight the strengths of his elite guards and forwards—a middle roll 'replace' ball screen that's as effective as it is simple.

Before closing the stream, Coach May underlined the importance of continuously learning and sharing knowledge among the coaching fraternity. "Be a sponge," he encouraged, pressing on the necessity of harvesting perspectives far and wide.

A Conversation Beyond the Court

As the stream came to an end, we couldn't help but feel that the journey shared by Coach Andrew May imparted lessons transcending the hardwood. The court is a classroom, and coaches like May are as much educators as they are tacticians—navigating, leading, and mentoring character along with skill. In this community, where the spirit of the game is revered, that is a class we are eager to attend again.

It seems the playbook on coaching and player development remains ever-open, inviting anyone with a heart for hoops to join the game. So here's to Coach Andrew May and all the passionate figures shaping the future of basketball, one jump shot, and life lesson at a time.