The Coaching Carousel

It is like unraveling a quilt.  Tubby Smith pulled one strand free when he headed to Minnesota in a preemptive move on his part to avoid being fired next season.  The other strand came loose when Michigan showed Tommy Amaker the door.  The resulting moves, which are still ongoing, have been interesting.

Billy Donovan made the smartest move he could possibly make and stayed at Florida.  And why would he leave?  Donovan caps of a second straight national title at a school where he is now utterly fireproof unless he gets caught playing footsie with the academic support coordinator.  Back-to-back national titles means he never has to worry about anything at Florida including the money.  Unless he was looking for the challenge of restoring glory to one of the more storied programs in the country he had no business going to Kentucky so he shut the door probably because he met with his AD and laid out his terms so I expect a new contract to pop-up over the summer for Donovan.

So UK asked Rick Barnes if he was interested and Barnes actually did them a huge favor because if you have ever seen a Texas game on television you know Barnes cannot coach his way out of a wet paper bag.  Barnes has the best player in the country and got blown out in the second round by USC.  So that put Billy Gillespie on the clock and he wasted no time.  It had to make your head spin to think how fast he dumped Texas A&M to take the UK job.  Who can blame him?  Aggie fans should not get their panties in a wad on this one.  Texas A&M is a football school and in no way, shape, or form a destination job for basketball.   The question is whether Gillespie can handle Lexington.  It will be an intriguing situation to watch.

The other thread unraveling came when John Beiline left West Virginia for Michigan.  Why on earth Beiline wanted to go to Ann Arbor is beyond me but I am pretty sure it was about the money.  I think WVU is a better job than Michigan.  That was not true 10-15 years ago but I happen to think it is true now.  Then again Beiline and Amaker are the respective reason why that is the case so I imagine things will get better at Michigan if not exceedingly boring in the process.  As for WVU they promptly went out and threw themselves at Bob Huggins showing that (1) they have little regard for graduating basketball players and (2) they must not be too worried about the thug image.  Huggins on the other hand when given the golden opportunity to get the heck out of Manhattan, KS could not get on the charter plane fast enough.  Never mind the fact he screwed Kansas State fans out their grandiose dreams they were about to get on more level playing field with Kansas.  Never mind the fact he hosed his players and recruits some of who were highly rated and only went to K State for Huggins.  Since they would have to sit a year if they were released from the letter of intent they are stuck in Manhattan while Huggins walked away.  Also, I don’t know who Huggins has negotiating his contracts but every coach should hire him since Huggins only had a $100,000 buyout on his deal at K State and he managed to get WVU to agree to the same thing.  How much are you, as a school, a glutton for a coaching change if you only have a $100,000 buyout?

And if all this was not odd enough, Dana Altman was introduced as head coach at Arkansas then went back to Creighton.  What do you think is going on in Fayetteville that once Altman got to his office he decided to get out of as soon as possible?  And ESPN is reporting that Wichita State’s Mark Turgeon has been offered the job at Texas A&M.  Iowa and Arkansas remain vacant, K State promoted an assistant coach to make the high profile players happy which means K State will be toast in 2.5 years.

And on a local note Gail Goestonkors left Duke to be the head women’s basketball coach at Texas which really does not mean anything to me since I have pretty much sworn off women’s basketball after being traumatized by the women’s Final Four last weekend.

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8 Responses to The Coaching Carousel

  1. Dan Schwind says:

    Actually, Iowa already found its head coach in Butler’s Todd Lickliter, which is a great move for Iowa, but a terrible move for Lickliter if you ask me. If he had one more decent year at Butler, he probably would have had a good chance at a bigger name basketball school instead of a biddling football/wrestling school.

    http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070408/SPORTS020504/704080362/1003/SPORTS14

    Also, Arkansas apparently has its new coach:
    http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/6658992

    Why they took a guy from South Alabama, I don’t know. But at least taking over a school in a vacuous conference. Seriously. Tennessee = good. Florida, Bama, Kentucky = better than average. After that, it’s a pretty steep drop-off.

  2. jack says:

    im no uk fan by any means, but if i were billy D i would have bolted to kentucky when i knew my entire team was leaving and had little chance to even make it to the tourney. I would go where the tournament games are more popular than the spring game.

  3. jack says:

    to add to that this is going to be one of the most nerve-wrecking week and a halves of the year to the fear of the nba draftees

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I am trying not to worry about it. I think Wright leaves, Lawson and Tyler stay.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Okay, I remember seeing that in a blur last week. I think that about does it for the major level programs then.

  6. Chris says:

    Interesting to me that K’s Duke alumni have not fared as well as one might think. These include Amaker at Michigan, Bender at Washington, and most notable Snyder at Missouri. These guys will probably keep Wojo and Collins on the bench for a long time. I suppose Mike Brey has been K’s most successful product although I certainly may be missing some…..Johnny Dawkins would appear to be in the co-pilot seat for the duration.

  7. Chris says:

    As for the NBA draft, Wright projected at number 3 will certainly leave. Tyler has absolutely nothing to prove, and viewed just from an economic and NBA career basis, should also go. Lawson has a lot to prove…..he was probably lucky that he didn’t have to be shown up by Mike Conley……….and needs at least another year.

  8. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Hansbrough has been projected in the low 20s so he is better off coming back to see if he can develop more to his game to raise his stick.

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