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Twelve flew out of the pressure cooker
John Underwood
March 22, 1965
Reduced one way or another by the perplexities of their game, a dozen college basketball coaches have become ex-coaches since the season ended. Others may follow. What caused this run of resignations?
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March 22, 1965

Twelve Flew Out Of The Pressure Cooker

Reduced one way or another by the perplexities of their game, a dozen college basketball coaches have become ex-coaches since the season ended. Others may follow. What caused this run of resignations?

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These are the sounds of college basketball coaches getting out of college basketball coaching:

?"I could feel myself little by little just kind of shrinking."—Ed Jucker, Cincinnati.

?"I've always been pretty wild at games, but I could always calm down. The last couple of years I found I was unable to calm down, to get control of myself."—Ray Eddy, Purdue.

?"The kids have changed. Each year they are less willing to make the sacrifice, to pay the price. I found myself being excessively critical."—Chuck Ors-born, Bradley.

?"All of a sudden it seemed that all the students began chanting, 'Jordan must go! Jordan must go!' That one incident clinched it. I decided that coaching wasn't worth it."—Johnny Jordan, Notre Dame.

?"The seasons seemed to get longer and longer and the summers shorter and shorter."—Branch McCracken, Indiana.

?"There's no such thing as time to a basketball coach. They don't consider you have a home. You are expected to go 24 hours a day. I've got four kids. They grew up too fast. I want them to know me."—Ed Jucker, Cincinnati.

The two coaches who joined the swelling tide of evacuees last week—Ray Eddy of Purdue and Presley Askew of New Mexico State—brought to 12 the number that have either resigned or submitted to resignation (it is not always so easy to tell which) since the regular season ended.

Four quit in one week, an all-time record for this kind of action, and there are fresh tremors to indicate more will follow. The total number may not be impressive when you consider that by the popular undergraduate technique you could get them all into a Volkswagen. But in proper context—the job being as glamorous, notably rewarding, challenging and coveted as it is supposed to be—the rush of resignations is at the very least, stunning.

The thread that ultimately draws them together—that occupational pressure peculiar to basketball—runs a twisting course in a study of the principals. They range from the sublimely successful Ed Jucker—two NCAA championships in his first two years at Cincinnati and runner-up in the third—and Chuck Orsborn of Bradley to consistent losers like Red Lawson of Georgia. The majority had won more than they had lost. Some had done poorly this season ( Jim Williams was 4-19 at American University, Taps Gallagher 4-17 at Niagara), but some had had fine seasons (McCracken was 19-5 at Indiana). They are as old and experienced in their trade as Gallagher, who is 60 and has been at Niagara 31 years, and as young as Williams, 31, and Jim Nau of Idaho State, who has been at the job only two years.

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