Tag Archives: Coaching

A Second Chance: Coaches Getting Another Shot on the Bench

Most college coaches are given one real shot at making an impact and leaving a legacy. It’s a win or go home type career path, with tons of fame and fortune if you’re the former but endless disgust and resentment if you find yourself in the latter category.

Hopping Herb, could find himself on this list soon enough...

Sure, there’s plenty of bench bouncers and job jumpers, who seem to find their way from school to school, mid-major to mid-major or from Raleigh, NC to Arizona State (Hello, Herb Sendek and Lon Kruger). But, many college basketball coaches open and close their head coaching careers with one bad screw up.

The lucky are afforded another opportunity, or two, or five. But, how do they fare?
This year the likes of: Billy Gillispie, Mark Gottfried, and others were all given a second chance at life in the NCAA ranks. They’ve each enjoyed some success in their career but the questions still linger.

Will Gillispie prosper as he did in College Station or will he flounder like he did at Kentucky? Is Mark Gottfried the right man for N.C State, in the post Sidney Lowe era, or will his days of mediocrity in Tuscaloosa stick with him?

The queries will keep piling up amongst fans and foes alike. The unnerving “what if” scenarios will continue to fuel the fire if immediate gratification isn’t found in the form of wins and losses. And legacies will endure further criticism and scrutiny, as analysts and experts view the actions of each journeyman with a microscopic lens.

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Filed under Coaching Carousel, General, Opinion

Why did Stanford renew Johnny Dawkins’ contract?

Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke basketball player and assistant coach, has signed an extension with Stanford to remain their head coach through the 2015-2016 season. But with three years remaining on his original contract and a ho-hum 49-48 overall record, why would Stanford sign him to an extension?

Will Dawkins' extension help him on the recruiting trail? It better.

Only one reason seems possible: to help Dawkins on the recruiting trail. Jon Wilner of the Mercury News explains it well:

The extension is partly a show of support for Dawkins, who’s 49-48 in three years (no NCAA appearances) and oversees a program slipping into irrelevance — even on its own campus. But it’s largely a recruiting necessity: It allows him to hit the road this month and tell rising juniors and seniors that he’s under contract at Stanford for the entirety of their college careers.

This makes a lot of sense. Stanford wants to improve its basketball program and this will hopefully help Dawkins turn it around on the recruiting trail and land some impact players for the Cardinal. Plus, it’s relatively risk-less. In the world of college athletics, a lot of these contract extensions are meaningless as the school’s protect themselves with “out-clauses” that let them get rid of the coach with limited financial loss.

Dawkins better hope that recruiting improves and results follow, but it won’t be easy. The Pac-10 has been relatively weak the past few years but it won’t be down for long (see: improving Washington, Arizona, UCLA, USC). If Dawkins doesn’t have the Cardinal dancing in one of the next two years, he won’t get a dime from this contract extension.

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Filed under Coaching Carousel

Source: BU’s Chambers likely to become Penn St. coach

After nearly a two week search for their next head coach, Penn State seems to have found their man.

Jeff Goodman from CBS Sports reported early Thursday night that Penn St was in heavy pursuit of Boston University head man Patrick Chambers. The acclaimed college basketball writer also noted that no formal offer has yet been received by Chambers.

Could this be an omen of things to come in Happy Valley?

This hire could be a huge move for Chambers as he would jump from the America East conference to the Big Ten with a program that is looking towards a bright future.

Although it may be a good chance for Chambers the move seems like more of a push by the Nittany Lions. Chambers has only been a head coach for two years and he doesn’t have much more than last year’s success in the America East and tournament appearance to work off.

The positives that most people may overlook are that Chambers is a homegrown Pennsylvanian with a track record for success in the state. He played point-guard at Philladelphia University in the early 90’s and after spending three years as an assistant there took a job on Jay Wright’s staff at Villanova.

Chambers was one of the head recruiters during his tenure at Villanova and helped Wright make his way to the NCAA tournament, including the 2009 Final Four, in each of the six seasons he served as an assistant.

Moving up the ranks pretty quickly, Chambers is 42-28 in his 2 season at BU with a conference title  and NCAA berth (both 2011) under his belt already.

If, or more likely when, Chambers becomes the head man in Happy Valley look out for him to set out a full court press on talent in the local region. He’s got some great skills at convincing good players to take a chance and could invade on both Wright and Pitt’s Jamie Dixon’s recruiting territory.

This could be a very good hire for Penn State AD Tim Curley and the Nittany Lion staff, especially if Chambers is able to re-establish his recruiting prowess down the east coast.


Filed under Coaching Carousel, General

Interview with BT Powerhouse: 2011 ACC-B1G Challenge Projected Pairings

With the upcoming ACC-B1G Challenge’s  pairings to be announced this week, we decided to interview SB Nation’s Big Ten Basketball blog, BT Powerhouse. We wanted to do a quick overview of the event and our wish list for potential matchups, but wanted to get a B1G’s perspective. Our questions and their answers below.

Our answers to their questions are HERE.

Every Month March : After the ACC won the first ten Challenges, the Big Ten has broken through these past 2 years and taken the title. Why did it take so long for the Big Ten to break through? The Big Ten’s had some great teams in the early part of the decade so was it just bad luck and tough matchups? Did the ACC expansion and recent coaching turnover help break the trend these past couple of years?

BT Powerhouse : The Big Ten has always had a tough time with the ACC. The Big Ten has been thrown in tough match ups year in and year out. It is true that the Big Ten has some great teams early in the decade but, the rest of the Big Ten wasn’t great. In the last couple years it has been that case in the ACC, there are a couple great teams and the rest of the ACC is weak. The ACC and Big Ten swapped places in that retrospect the last two years.

EMM : Looking ahead to next year’s potential matchups, what would your top couple of dream matchups be? Put yourself in charge of the schedule. No rotating schedules. No rules or restrictions. You choose who, what, when, where, etc. Anything goes.

BTP : Next year, my two dream match ups would be North Carolina at Ohio State and Duke at Purdue. North Carolina at Ohio State would be interesting because they are two young teams who are very much on the rise. It would be definitely be a show. I would also like to see Duke at Purdue because Purdue has had a history of getting beat by Duke as of late. It seems like Duke knocks them out every time they play. With Purdue’s Robbie Hummel finally coming back to the hardwood, it would be interesting to see him take out his anger on Duke one more time on his home floor as he would try one last time to beat the Blue Devils.

EMM :  What would be the best individual matchups to watch next year in perfect Challenge? Jared Sullinger going up against the Carolina front court has to be on the top of your list right?

BTP : Jared Sullinger against the UNC front court is at the top of my list. It would be interesting to see what Jared Sullinger could do against them. Also, I would like to see how a Big Ten defense handles that UNC front court. My other top individual match up would be Purdue’s Robbie Hummel against Duke’s Plumlee twins.

Sullinger against the Carolina frontcourt would be must-see TV.

EMM : The other BCS conferences all piggybacked off the Challenge and created their own versions. If you had to replace the ACC as the Big Ten’s counterpart for the next 10 years, which conference would you choose and why?

BTP : I would pick the Big East because Big Ten fans are always given a hard time by Big East fans. The last couple years the Big Ten has been expected to be the best conference in the country at the beginning of the year and the Big East has overtaken us, as far as rankings go. To see us finally battle it out for a true champion, would be a sight.

EMM : Last one, give us your prediction of what the pairings will be? And give us a waaaaaaay too early prediction for each matchup?

**Update**- I didn’t see that the B1G released the home teams a month ago. Michigan and Indiana will be on the road again while Nebraska and Minnesota will have home games. Sorry for the mistake.



B1G Home Games

Boston College at Iowa, B1G Win

Duke at Ohio State, B1G Win

Wake Forest at Michigan, B1G Win

Virginia Tech at Michigan State, B1G Win

Florida State at Purdue, B1G Win

Clemson at Indiana, B1G Win

ACC Home Games

Nebraska at Georgia Tech, ACC Win

Wisconsin at North Carolina, ACC Win

Minnesota at NC State, ACC Win

Illinois at Maryland, B1G Win

Northwestern at Miami, ACC Win

Penn State at Virginia, ACC Win

B1G Wins 7-5

EMM: Big thanks to BT Powerhouse! We’re already looking forward to next year’s Challenge.

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Coaching Hires

Here’s our first edition of Twithitters. Here’s the quick idea- have a rundown of important games, power polls, rankings, etc. with a brief “Twitter” response. So short and sweet. Mayo and Luke disobeyed the rules of Twitter but we’ll let it slide this time.

First topic, three best/worst off-season coaching hires.

Top 3 Hires:

Arkansas finds the perfect guy.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas – Proven coach who has won with “40 minutes of hell” at 2 different spots. Bringing fans back to the Nolan Richardson championship days. Perfect fit.
  2. Lon Kruger, Oklahoma – All 54 places he coached at he has won. Sooners fans will be pleasantly surprised to have winning basketball before spring football.
  3. Ed Cooley, Providence – Getting a local boy who turned around Fairfield ain’t bad. Stealing one of Jim Calhoun’s top recruiters will get the Friar faithful excited.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas – This isn’t rocket science. Not only does Arkansas get a coach with a proven track record, but also a guy who has been there before as an assistant. This hire has rejuvenated an admittedly stagnant fan base as memories of former head coach Nolan Richardson begin to percolate with Anderson’s arrival.
  2. Jim Larranaga, Miami – Miami looked doomed to make a desperation hire after being rebuked by Tommy Amaker, who thought that Harvard was a better job than The U. Yes, Harvard. Instead, they get a guy who has been to a Final Four and has a proven track record. Harvard?
  3. Bill Gillispie, Texas Tech – The Red Raiders go from a guy who used his nepoticious (ok, I made that word up—see Bob Knight) connections to get his head coaching job to a guy who has earned everything that he’s achieved. Gillispie was never a good fit personality-wise at Kentucky. Tech feels much more like Texas A&M where Gillispie put his name on the map.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas: A gift! In Anderson, Arkansas is getting a Nolan Richardson clone. He’s a solid recruiter and a master motivator, always getting the most out of his players. With a solid class on it’s way the former Mizzou man could bring the Razorbacks back to national prominence once more.
  2. Dave Rice, UNLV: A former player and Rebel at heart, Rice should return the Runnin Rebels style of the early 90’s and reenergize college ball in Vegas.  He did a terrific job at BYU and with some solid assistants -Stacey Augmon (Denver Nuggets)/Justin Houston (SDSU) – the Rebels should hit the ground running.
  3. Ed Cooley, Providence: After turning a seemingly non-existent Fairfield program into a conference champion two years running, Cooley has experience taking lemons and turning them into lemonade. Cooley is great on the recruiting trail and with a little luck could have the Friars back in the tourney in two years.

Bottom 3 Hires:

I guarantee I will make one NCAA tournament in the next seven years.


  1. Jim Larranaga, MiamiBecause “The U” didn’t hire Frank Martin. A terrific basketball coach who actually wants to coach at Miami. Not settle down and retire like Jimmy boy.
  2. Mark Gottfried, NC State – Debbie Yow made this coaching search into a pissing match between her and Gary Williams. She threw her new coach under the bus in the process.
  3. Frank Haith, Missouri – Strike out on Matt Painter. Panic. Hire Frank Haith. Couldn’t get a hold of Paul Hewitt or Sidney Lowe?


  1. Frank Haith, Missouri – Missouri fans lost a guy they loved in Mike Anderson. Then, they thought they were getting Matt Painter from Purdue. Instead, they get the next best thing. Well, if not the next best then at least close, right? Wait, what? WHAT was his record in the ACC while at Miami? 43-and-what? 43-and-69? Uh oh…
  2. Brian Gregory, Georgia Tech – Usually when an ACC school hires a coach from a smaller, mid-major type program, it’s a guy who has achieved great success there and the whole program is sad to see him go. If the guy’s previous fan base is breaking out into song upon his departure, you might have wanted to re-evaluate.
  3. Mark Gottfried, NC State – Gottfried did have moderate success during his run as the Alabama head coach, but just because he will be an upgrade over Sidney Lowe doesn’t make him a great hire. Here’s a guy who want after a Wake Forest recruit the day after Skip Prosser passed away and walked out on his team mid-season in ’09. Yeah, he’ll be able to recruit against Roy Williams and Coach K…
  1. Larry Krystkowiak, Utah: Rick Majerus why have you forsaken us? Just because a guy can win at Montana and Idaho doesn’t mean he can compete with UCLA, Arizona and the PAC-12 crop.  I’ll give it 4 years before Utah is looking for a new coach and Krystkowiak is back in the unemployment line.
  2. Frank Haith, Missouri: Really? I’m sure you’ll be receiving the complimentary fruit basket from Iowa State welcoming you to the Big 12 cellar any day now.
  3. Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee: Don’t dislike the coach as much as the situation. Martin did a great job at Missouri State but is entering a hostile situation in Knoxville. With an NCAA investigation pending, an already thin roster and possible penalties on the way this job would be a bad move for anyone.



Filed under Coaching Carousel, General