Sometime ago the 60 Minutes television program ran a segment on Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a State University that has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative schools in the country. In the segment Mr Hrabowski said, “We have to teach Americans of all races, from all backgrounds, what it takes to be the best. And at the heart of it is the same thing we saw when we were kids. Hard work! Nothing, I don’t care how smart you are. Nothing takes the place of hard work.” To many students today the idea of hard work would be novel. Larry Bird one of the great basketball players of all time noted that lessons his high school coach taught him about hard work still hold true today. “Coach Jones spent a lot of time with us as young kids and showed us how to play the game the right way,” Bird said. “He was telling us, no matter how long you stay out here or how many jump shots you shoot, there’s always somebody out there doing a little bit more.” To often teachers are hired and promoted based on degrees and years in the classroom alone. What school leaders should be looking for in their hiring decisions, to the extent it is possible to ascertain is a candidate’s grit, professionalism and work ethic. Characteristics Freeman Hrabowski is surely looking for at UMBC and Coach Jones passed on.