Coaching Carousel - Who are the winners and losers?
Bob Huggins to West Virginia - It's tough to blame a coach for returning to his alma mater, as Huggins is doing by taking over the Mountaineers, where he played and got his first coaching job as a graduate assistant in 1977. But in this case, it's hard not to feel bad for Kansas State. The school took a tremendous chance on Huggins, whose notorious low graduation rate at Cincinnati coupled with a drunk driving arrest in 2004 made him a high risk proposition for any school. Kansas State students and fans have every reason to be angry with their ex-coach.
Billy Donovan staying at Florida - On the opposite side of the spectrum is Donovan, who turned down Kentucky and a chance to coach in the NBA with Miami to stay at Florida. What makes Donovan's move even more impressive is that as much success as the Gators hoops squad has, it's always going to be second fiddle at a football-crazy school like Florida.
Billy Gillispie to Kentucky – Although he was the school's third choice for position (behind Donovan and Texas' Rick Barnes), he may be the perfect man for the job. As SI.com's Luke Winn points out, Gillispie "is divorced, has no pets, has no food in the fridge, and has little time to concentrate on anything other than the job at hand, which now is returning Kentucky to the ranks of the elite." His track record speaks for itself (he took UTEP from 6-24 to 24-8 in two seasons and A&M from 0-16 in the Big 12 to 13-3).
These are the three big moves, but there are plenty of others to discuss -- John Beilein to Michigan, Tubby Smith to Minnesota, Todd Lickliter to Iowa – so we want to hear what you think. Which school made the best (and worst) hires?
Hey when you a movie in which the mantra is "show me the money" what do you expect. It's a sign of the times. I feel of K State, but Butler can't too thrilled either, look what a bus stop they've turned into!
I am a student at K-State. So I'm definitely surrounded in an atmosphere of hate. Though disappointed myself, I see why he would want to go back to his alma mater. My only question would be why now? He just pulled in the top recruiting class this year according to rivals.com. Some say that between Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, they are his best recruits ever. Not to mention we took a big risk bringing him in. However peoples' attitudes are quickly changing around here. We pretty much have his whole staff returning, and do to that all of our recruiting class (#1 in the country, did I mention that?) is staying in tact. Frank Martin and Dalonte Hill have a lot of people rooting for them and their players. Expect just as much passion from this small town and the whole wildcat nation to stick behind all of the people involved in the abandonment. That's probably my favorite thing about KSU, our fans are loyal to the end. Thanks for the help getting us here Huggie, and I hope that WV treats you well, but we have our own tradition to work on here now and championships to win. GO STATE!
The problem isn't so much that these coaches are leaving but that the system allows them to. Why wouldn't a coach want to leave a school that he has no real ties to so that he can coach his alma mater. If his contract was written so that this wasn't an option then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Obviously Huggins situation is unique as he has a past and his future seemed somewhat bleak at one point but his leaving is no different from any other coach that ducks and runs before the contract he signed runs out. Beilein shouldn't have left when he did. He was building a great team at WVU. Gillispie left after being at Texas A&M for only two years. Sure he got them back on track but what now? They have to hope they get someone who will continue the success he helped start and not get them back to where they were just a short time ago. Looking at what each coach I mentioned had said they all are extremely happy about their opportunities. Huggins at his alma mater, Gillispie getting possibly the best coaching job in all of college basketball, and Beilein has another team to rebuild so who can blame them if the system allowed them to do it. I sure do not blame any of them.
I think Huggins will do well at WVU given his allegiance to them combined with the recruiting power he has. He'll build a great program that may one day soon compete for the national championship. Gillispie has talent but he's only been doing it for 5 years or so. I'm sure he'll do well as it's not like Kentucky to make a mistake when it comes to hiring a coach even if they got their third choice. Beilein I think has the most hurdles to cross. He's going to a program that hasn't been to the Big Dance since '98 and is still feeling the affects from the booster scandal. If his past reflects his future they'll be fine but if they haven't won it all in five years whose to say he won't leave again.
I applaud Billy Donovan for sticking to his guns in the time of uncertain loyalties. I also applaud Billy Gillespie who left Texas A&M to coach at a basketball school. Apparently he's not afraid of the microscope.
John B to Michigan is a good move. This school has a rich basketball heritage that somehow co-exists well with the football program. The Mountainers now have Bob "the thud" Huggins and so WVU will remain a football school. Oh, the thud represents the lifeless body of the basketball program hitting the hardwood floor.
I applaud Donavan for not leaving a 2-time defending champion for a declining conference rival. That would have been terrible for the sport. I also like the fact that SIU and Washingon st. were able to retain their coaches in demand.
The other moves sum up the ugly side of college athletics - specifically basketball - when a rich school makes an offer that a coach can't refuse and then he looks like a disloyal liar.
Tubby is not a bad coach, Donovan is not a great coach and Gillespie seems built for UK, but that is to be determined. So as for their situations, they all seem to win. Tubby is too nice and well respected to be turned away the way I think the UK fans did. He is a coach that will get the most out of his players. Unfortunately, he did not have a consistent roster of players whom viewed UK as a career opportunity as student/athelets - but as a 1-year program before the NBA. Scouting these personalites should have been done better. UK has the resources. UK will again dominate the SEC, but every couple of years a Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas or Florida will pop up. It is going to happen - but UK always contends. I'll take that over any other program.
K-State should be continusously investigated, even more so now that the "recruiters" have been retained as the new head coach. KState sold its soul to the Devil with the Huggins hire and continue to play with fire. Even if some of those recruits plan to go to class, will they really do their own work?
Interesting that SI put Huggins as the first case study. How about Beilein to Michigan as the first, since it set the chain into motion?
Get used to the movement. Didn't anyone catch the comments during March Madness that Ohio and Florida represent the new model of college athletics? Both are the new breed of mega-programs, in which schools will start to build up the "weaker" program in order to move to the top.
How many times did the commentators/experts/fans state that West Virginia recruits the players that match the system and that they will never get the elite players that it takes to win a championship? Anyone think that this had an effect on Beilein? How about West Virginia? Beilein has moved on where he can bet the "better" recruits. West Virginia went out and got a coach who (even with all of the baggage) can recruit the "better" players.
One individual has a reference to Rivals.com, asking why Huggins would leave with the recruiting class that he has. Anyone notice that two of the top ranked high school players are listed as being from West Virginia? One has already commited; the other is listed as uncommitted. Anyone think that the fact that WVU cannot recruit instate players sticks out like a sore thumb with WVU? Anyone think that this is why WVU went after Huggins? If you don't, just ask those Wolverine fans who were embarassed when CBS pointed out that two of its' top high school players went to Oregon--and didn't even know where Oregon is.
Come on K-State fans,how can you play dumb and act like you didn't know what was coming? Everyone knew Bob Huggins was only there until something better came along. I don't feel for them ,they knew what they were getting into when they hired him!!
Some of the coaching changes this year are understandable. I understand the change from South Alabama to Arkansas, the possible move from Wichita State to Texas A&M, even though I like the Shockers, and the move from Butler. Those moves were for recognition and money. However why would Bob Huggins leave a program on the rise with the number one recruiting class in the nation, what is Gillispie thinking taking over the program on a decline from the horrible effort of recruiting and coaching left by Tubby Smith. And why is a D-I school giving Monson or Patton a chance this soon after their self destructive tendancies at respective schools. In all I guess I have to give credit to Dana Altman and Greg Mashall, and even Billy Donovan for their loyalty even when everyone is trying to tell them the grass is greener else where, they stick to their hearts and convictions.
I hate that the coaches leave at their own will. The system is set up so the "haves" can out spend the "have nots". Smaller schools will always be at risk to loosing a good coach. WVU gave Beilein a great opportunity & wrote a contract that would make it hard for him to leave. He must pay a 2.5 million buyout but he still found the means to leave. Blame Beilein,not Huggins. Better yet blame Michigan, not WVU
They should put Huggins and Knight in a locked room, in straight jackets and see who beats the other ones head in first!
Shame on any school who hires a thug or a bully as a coach!
I say good luck to WVU and Texas Tech.
No one said anything about how betrayed the WVU fans felt when Coach Beilein left for Michigan. He and his family were adopted here as one of our own only to see him leave for a so called bigger school because he felt that they have a better chance to win a national championship there than at WVU with all the talent that they have returning. WVU has invested a great deal in upgrading facilities that he wanted. You can't blame Coach Huggins for wanting to return home where he knows how truly appreciated he will be by those who really love him.
The one I don't get is Tubby Smith to Minnesota? Minnesota hasn't been to the Big Dance in forever and they have no big name recruits coming in. That is a bad move.
k-state should have no beef with huggins.........When was the last time before Bobby came there, that anyone even talked about the k-state b-ball program?
I am a WVU fan...But I feel for KState..because we west virginia know how it feels when we have a good coach take from us from one of the so called bigger schools..and I think it wrong...But things like that happen and there nothing anyone can do about it...So we go ahead and move on and get another coach and then us fans have to wait and see if the coach is going to produce as good as what we think...I dont think it the school thats getting cheated I think it the fans of the school thats getting cheated..espically when they have a winning program...I am glad Florida Coach for staying and not going to Ky.These Big school like just go in and can take anyone they want cause they have to money to offer them..and thats hard for average or medium school to hold on to a good coach...Just Like if the Duke Job came open...Some would break there neck to get that job because of the sccuess of the school...in basketball..But I honestly..think this goes for any school....that if u sign a contract you should be accountable for that contract and the lengh of it and if you sign a extention to it..you sould be accountable of the extentiion as well...So KState alot of us schools know what your going through with..but you will survie like all other schools do and you will come out good in the long run as well..As for WVU..I think we got a heck of a good coach that wanted to coach from where he came from...so hopefully we will do even better then what Belin did for us...Oh yea...talk about Belin....Think of what he left behind at WVU only two seniors on the whole roster..freshman and sophmores...and he left to go..to one of the so called big schools...But i u dont see anyone talkng about him...But anyway..I think it going to be a great year no matter what..so everyone God Bless and take care..
As an Aggie, I am sorry to see Billy Gillespie leave, but he has been a coaching nomad his entire career, it's "three years and up the food chain" for Billy. Read his bio....
As far as Billy being under pressure at Kentucky, are you kidding? Billy's ego is bigger than the state of Texas. Billy's ego is at least the match of Kentucky basketball, and maybe even bigger. Time will tell on this one, but low self-esteem is a foreign concept to Billy.
Billy will take all of the scrutiny Kentucky's rabid fans can dish out, and then some. He will just consider it a complement. Period.
Come on folks, who in their own careers would turn down a chance to move to a "larger" office with substantial pay increases? I bet everyone who laments these coaches moves would cash the check if it came to them too.
That being said: Huggins to WV, good luck. I am from Louisville, so I know a bit about his "legacy" being just across the river. I think he is a good coach, but I also think he will bend about every rule possible....just not break them on purpose.
Billy D was my favorite, being in Florida, and I love his style of play....was just nervous having a "florida" coach head to Ky. In Billy G, I think we found a rare gem here. I feel sorry for A&M, but not because Ky "took" him, just because you lost a dang fine coach.
All in all, the coaching merry go round is a fact of life. Lament losing a coach you love, but do not lose respect for what they gave you while they were there. They are Human. There is always that Job out there for all of us that we would have a very difficult time turning down. I say good luck to them all.....and yes, that includes Tubby....:)
Coach Huggins leaves KSU for West Virgina (NIT chumps, oops misspelled), Coach Turgeon leaves Wichita State for Texas A&M... come on Self, why don't you leave too... Kansas doesn't need great coaches anymore apparently.
Coaches used to be educators and even taught a class or two. Now they follow the money. Gillespie verbally agrees to an extension but doesn't sign so it is OK; guess your word is not good enough. Huggins supposedly sought the Arkansas job but they did not return his calls so he moves to W. Va, his dream job that he turned down 5 years ago. And,"I will not leave Manhattan" or "I will be at Kansas for my career,"(Roy Williams),are great statements. Basically, a huge number of coaches are liars whose word means nothing. And money, TV money, is the reason or is it the new value system of the now generation?
And K State's AD and President never even asked their new coach why he was fired from his Florida job! Can you believe that? And they were shocked Huggins left? What turnip truck did they fall off? It is a joke.
I'm surprised at the level of animosity some commenters feel towards these coaches. Yes, coaches sign contracts, contracts with specified buyout provisions that contemplate these very events. Why begrudge a person the opportunity to invoke his contractual right to pursue his favored job? Whether it be his old school or a more elite program, the coach earned this right through his success. Let him enjoy the rewards of his accomplishments.
Coaches can leave schools and not be liars.
Gillespie-said he was staying and then left, not telling his players or anyone.
Turgeon-visited saw and like, let his players know he was going to visit, after he had made his decision went BACK to wichita and talked to his players and administrators before announcing.=CLASS ACT.
You can be classy and leave, so far this year, there has been little of that.
I think everyone needs to realize one thing . . . it is K State! Did you really think Huggy Bear was going to be in Manhattan for 20 years and build a true dynasty? Iowa great hire! Michigan and Minnesota awesome hires! Arkansas? Why didn't a lot of coaches want the Arkansas job? Maybe because the coach they fired is the best coach they could have had. Amacker is to Harvard as Pacman and is to the New England Patriots. Why didn't the Titans show some competence and step in after Pacman's 5th arrest okay 6th arrest alright maybe wait till his 7th arrest and then do something.
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