Every once in a while, FOSG Gil Tyree will be dropping his knowledge on all of us as to the events of the day...
The Trigger has been pulled on coaching merry go round.
UCLA's firing of Ben Howland leaves Athletic Director Dan Guerrero in a quandary. Does he go for a big name like you did in football by hiring JL Mora? That move seems to have restored some dignity to the football program.
But the Basketball program is a different animal. Do you go big name and try to hire Butler's Brad Stevens (Hard to imagine him leaving Indianapolis because the Bulldogs will become part of the New BIG East and Stevens top assistant Matthew Graves just bolted to replace Ronnie Arrow at South Alabama.
The micro-managing alumni who yearn for the days of the legendary John Wooden want spice and sizzle, aka Shaka Smart.
I would urge Guerrero to talk to Alabama's Mal Moore and see what he did when reached out and hired Nick Saban to run Crimson Tide Nation. Saban's multiple national championships have quieted the Bear Bryant obsessed culture. What Bama is to football, basketball programs like UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Indiana, and Louisville live in that same world.
Bama seemed to eventually have gotten that hire right. Learning their playbook is key for Guerrero. How about Michigan State Tom Izzo? There is history of Big 10 coaches moving west, Lute Olson left Iowa to go to Arizona, and Bill Frieder left Michigan right at the tournament in 1989 to go to Arizona State. The then Sun Devil AD Charles Harris was admonished by the then Wolverines AD Bo Schembechler, who said he wanted a Michigan man to coach the basketball. Steve Fisher now at San Diego State led a team with stars like Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught, and Terry Mills to a National Championship. Could we see another Big 10 coach head West...?
You will also hear names like NC State's Mark Gottfried, and Washington's Lorenzo Romar (both served as assistants on UCLA's last National Championship team coached by Jim Harrick).
My darkhorse would be John Groce of Illinois (an up and comer) or somebody currently in the NBA who has had the great success in college. The Brooklyn Nets current interim head coach PJ Carlissimo could be that guy.
As far as March Madness is concerned...
Ratings are 23% higher on CBS/Turner/TBS/TruTV. The Nation right now is IN LOVE with Florida Gulf Coast University, coached by Andy Enfield (even as we speak FGCU hierarchy are trying to increase his base salary package of 157-thousand dollars.
Enfield is self-made millionaire but still to keep him you are going to have to take care of him. He is hot coaching commodity right now along with LaSalle's John Giannini and Wichita State Gregg Marshall, both their teams will meet in the West Regional in Los Angeles.
I met Andy, his former super model wife Amanda (Marcum) with their 3 kids at breakfast while I working for Georgia Public Broadcasting's coverage of GHSA basketball championships. They were staying at the same hotel as we were. They are an AWESOME story. They are REAL people, who exude everything that is right in our society. I wish them, their staff, and players the very best now they are in the Sweet 16. They became the 1st 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. How ironic as that as the NCAA celebrates its 75th anniversary of the Final 4?
Isn't ironic that both UCLA and USC are looking for head coaches at the same time. In the Land of Troy you hear names like Tim Floyd (former Trojans coach now at UTEP, and Gonzaga's Mark Few who is linked to the UCLA opening. I will give you a darkhorse what about George Mason's Paul Hewitt, who before he was at Sienna, Georgia Tech, and Villanova was a one-time assistant for George Raveling at Southern Cal.
Raveling was Hewitt's mentor and is still held in high regard at SC. Good Luck Pat Haden (USC AD). Hewitt will also be linked to a possible opening at Villanova should Jay Wright go to Minnesota now that Tubby Smith is out. The target of Minn AD is Shaka Smart, both worked together at VCU. I would also tell folk Alabama's Anthony Grant could also be in play in the Twin Cities. And then there is Buzz Williams at Marquette. What will his coaching future look like after the Golden Eagles are ousted from the Sweet 16 or Elite 8?
Lots of coaching dominoes will be falling and should be straight by the time the Final 4 rolls to Atlanta or shortly thereafter.
You can add names like Seth Greenberg and Flip Saunders to the coaching dominoes. Both are trying to stay relevant by doing television. They both have the itch to get back into coaching. I think to New Mexico's Steve Alford and Arizona State's Herb Sendek may look to exit their programs as well seeing what has happened to Tubby Smith and Ben Howland. You have some disgruntled and impatient alumni out there these days. It is what have you done for me lately mentality and show me deep tournament runs and National titles.