Most coaches are retired former players, despite a growing body of evidence to suggest that being a great player is, in and of itself, no guarantee of coaching success. Why is this? What is the best pathway to the head coach role? Do tertiary qualifications add value? In contemplating these questions, five empirical generalisations are advanced, followed by three recommendations to improve the calibre of coaches in general, and cricket coaches in particular. At no point is it suggested that star players cannot make great coaches, nor that coaches with degrees are in any way superior to those without. The goal of the article is simply to challenge the status quo, to stimulate debate, and to influence practice and scholarship.