In his most recent blog, Mike DeCourcy sums up the symbiotic relationship between Tom Crean and Marquette University better than anybody has, ever. This one is spot-on.
When Crean got the Golden Eagles to the Final Four, he was supposed to then trade that distinction for a job at a school where football money is plentiful and the school's brand name resonates with in-state recruits. And Marquette was supposed to feign poverty, wave goodbye and figure out who among the mid-major head coaches and high-major assistants was "the next Tom Crean." That's how it always works.
Instead, Marquette committed to continuing at a high level, and Crean committed to Marquette. Three top-flight, national-contender-type Big Ten jobs have come open since the 2003 Final Four: Illinois, Ohio State and Indiana. Essentially, Crean did not budge in pursuit of any one of them, and Marquette responded by raising his pay to help make it more attractive to stay. The university built the single best practice facility in college basketball, the Al McGuire Center.
Kudos to Alum91 at Ring Out Ahoya! for finding this gem.