Baylor Bears Football

The Baylor Bears are enjoying an excellent football season. They currently rank 9th in the polls after trouncing The University of Texas. With a record of 10-1, they’re headed to the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time in school history for a rematch against Oklahoma. Hopefully, they’ll be able to avenge their gut-wrenching loss. If they win the rest of their games and get a little help from other teams, they may find themselves in the college football playoffs.

The turnaround is astonishing, considering the team only won one game in 2017. The 2017 season was Matt Rhule’s first at Baylor. His first job was to convince the young men on his team that they were winners despite the media saying otherwise. His goal is to develop young men and recruit new players to buy into his system.  At his introductory presser, he said, “If you come to Baylor and you come to play for me, that you’re going to get loved and you’re going to get developed each and every day because that’s hard. That’s not easy. Coaches say that but they don’t always want to do that. But that’s all that we did at Temple. That’s all we’re going to do at Baylor because that’s our purpose, to spend all of our time developing our players.”[1]

The Bears were on the brink of receiving the death penalty from the NCAA before Coach Rhule arrived. In addition to replacing their former coach, Baylor also hired a new university president and an athletic director.

When Coach Rhule took over the football program, he only had 45 scholarship players on his roster out of a possible 85, so he had some work to do to convince high school players to attend Baylor.[2] Coach Rhule had seen this picture before as the head coach for the Temple Owls. In 2013 his team won 2 games and lost 10. In 2015 the Owls won 10 games for the first time since 1979. The Owls aren’t known for football, but they ranked in the top 25 during Coach Rhule’s final two seasons with the team.

Coach Rhule has a vision, plan, and a process for turning around football programs in need. He trusts his process and so do the players.  “That’s what my whole message to our players is,” Matt Rhule said. “You’ve done this because of your process, this didn’t happen tonight, it happened every morning over the last two years.”[3]

Webster’s dictionary defines the process as “a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result.” Gradual changes. Success at any level takes time.

What can you learn from Coach Rhule’s turnaround?

You need a plan that captures your vision and gives you a process for investment success. If your investment process works, stay with it regardless of your short-term results.  When returns are lackluster, it’s easy to ditch your plan and start over. Investors who don’t have an investment plan usually chase returns and make irrational decisions. This strategy is not a good long-term solution for creating wealth. In December 2018, investors withdrew $183 billion in mutual fund assets as the S&P 500 fell 15.7%. In January 2019, they added $23 billion as the stock market rose by 15%. Investors were reacting, not investing. When adversity strikes, your plan and process will keep you in the game.

You need goals. A financial plan will help guide you towards your investment destination. It will be your playbook for financial success. Coach Rhule and other successful coaches have a plan for everything – practices, games, travel, meals, etc. He leaves nothing to chance, and he focuses on what he can control. He can’t control the outcome of the game, nor can you control the direction of the stock market. Focus on your plan and the things you can control, like savings and spending.

Coach Rhule is not alone. He has a team of coaches, assistants, and other personnel helping his team achieve their goals. Surrounding yourself with a group of advisors will pay dividends. Relying on a financial planner, investment professional, attorney, and CPA will help you fortify your foundation.

Last, celebrate your success. The Baylor Bears are having fun and enjoying their season. It’s been a long-time coming for the players and their fans; both are enjoying the ride. You must enjoy your success, as well. It’s okay to sell a few of your winners and spend the money on yourself or loved ones.

There is still much work for Coach Rhule and Baylor Bears to do, but so far, so good!

Sic ‘em Bears!

November 27, 2019

Bill Parrott, CFP®, CKA®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor.



[1], by Baylor Football, 12/2/2106

[2], by Sam Khan, Jr., 10/31/2019

[3], by Matt Roberts, 11/24/2019

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