What makes a good coach? Recently, I've joined my school's strongman club though I'm still doing powerlifting type work and since its paid for by the school, I've free access to the coach. However, what makes a good coach? The guy who might be coaching me comes from a strongman background and his numbers are not entire impressive to be honest.
Yes, I know, numbers aren't everything but I do think they still matter. Should I just go along with it since I'm getting free coaching (He'll program stuff for me too) or should I just stick to what I've been doing all along, reading and trying to learn as much as possible, not that I'll stop if I've a coach.
Has he produced results for himself or others? If so you have to decide whether to trust his decisions and follow his program/advice. There are many paths to success and it's easier to trust him if you see results through numbers or improvement in technique. If you half ass what he tells you to do and don't commit then it may not be worth it. For a beginner a coach also has to motivate his clients but I think people in this forum are already motivated and just want to see results.
I wouldn't discriminate against strongman coaches. The top coaches in each strength sport can still understand what it takes to develop muscles and a strong squat/bench/deadlift so the type of strength coach shouldn't matter too much if he's good at what he does. I'd rather learn from one of the best strongman coaches that is successful with nearly all his clients than an okay powerlifting coach that has only half the success.
With that said, even if he isn't the best I'm sure you can still learn something from him.
Give him a chance. The last four or so months of my involvement in kettlebell sport were the first time I worked with a coach for it - he's a nice guy, one of the top lifters for his weight category in the world having won various Russian, European and World titles but he was a pretty bad coach for me. Conversely, one of my mates working with a homegrown Aussie coach who by the sport's international standards is nothing at all special has made some of the most amazing progress I've seen.
A lot of it is going to be down to how good your relationship with the coach is and how well he understands you and your needs - even if that means he ends up telling you he can't help you beyond a certain point because he doesn't know enough.
The ability to make people STRONGER consistently. Any coach can stumble on a high talent athlete once but the ability to make any given client significantly stronger is what I would base a coaches ability on.
The best coach in the world of powerlifting right now is almost certainly Chris Duffin. And he can 'do' as well as he can teach. But essentially you're right, being unbelievably strong is not so important.
Having skins on the wall is what I look for. Who has the coach worked with? Has he made other people stronger, or more specifically, has he made other people who are similar to you stronger?
Every coach should have a clear resume of talent they've worked with. They should be able to show you things like, I helped X person add 200 lbs to their deadlift in a year. Or I brought Y person up to an Elite total by helping them drop 10 lbs and adding 150 lbs to their total. Stuff like that.
I think a big one is Patience. All coaches need that. Something else I just knowing how to explain the lifts and how to do them. I had a difficulty with my squats for the longest time, but that didn't mean I couldn't teach someone the proper way of doing them. Kind of a do as I say, not as I do idea. But being strong and all that builds credibility too.