Monday, April 6, 2009

Arizona Basketball = Michigan Football

What happens when your a major program in your sport and your head man retires? You have to go out and find a replacement that will make a big splash with alumni, boosters, and fans.

Michigan Football had that same situation 2 years ago. The "man" that wanted the job and was a "Michigan Man" was in the middle of a National Championship run with another team. He couldn't leave his golden egg for his dream job. That left Michigan with a National Coaching Search that took many twist and turns before Rich Rodriguez surfaced as Michigan's next coach.

Arizona Basketball is experiencing something similar. Now I'm not comparing The Arizona Basketball Program to the most winnest program in College Football history, what I am comparing is the coaching search and need to find the right fit with the right name.

Arizona has known for about 5 months that Lute Olson was hanging it up for good. They went through an embarrassing situation with their "interim" coaches and now are having trouble finding the right fit to lead the program. This from a team that "most" thought shouldn't make it to the NCAA Tournament but ended up playing very well and making it to the Sweet 16. This is a good basketball team at a basketball school!

Arizona first offered the job to Tim Floyd, who turned it down to stay at USC. Now, just this morning, Xavier's head coach Sean Miller has turned down Arizona's latest offer. These jobs are not just about the "program" any longer.

Remember the painful searches, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Kentucky Basketball (2 years ago) had. Coaches can stay in the Atlantic 10, Big East for Football, or USA Conference and win a ton of games, get paid and have job security for years to come. Kentucky understood that when they let Billy Gillispie go and broke the bank to get John Calipari to come on board and he still had to think about it for two days. If UK offered a 10% raise to Calipari he would still be at Memphis recruiting the top class in the nation.

The lesson here is the pressure of the big programs better come with huge dollars or it's not worth it. Who wants to be Charlie Weis right now? Nobody. The only thing that gets him to sleep at night is the stack of $100 in his mattress.

If your a big time program in your sport and you need a "named" head coach, you better think about doubling someones salary, because the risk of running a big time program isn't worth the reward anymore. Or you could always look at the D1a or D2 schools and find a diamond in the rough like Jim Tressel. Could you imagine Ohio State Football hiring a D1a coach these days? It would never happen.
As Michigan fans, we could never fathom the head coach of Rutgers turning down the chance to lead the Maize and Blue. I'm sure Arizona fans are thinking today, "How could the Xavier coach turn down a chance to coach the Wildcats?"
Everyone has a price and if you don't bring your check book don't bother calling these named coaches.
NEVERMIND: It seems Miller has changed his mind when Arizona added a few zero's to his offer. They can send the 10% consulting fee to the Big House Blog! :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe no.

Apparently Miller took the Arizona job.