"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New Marquette AD faces daunting task

Now that Tom Crean has cast his lot with the Indiana Hoosiers, Marquette faces the unenviable task of starting anew.

Steve Cottingham, Marquette's newly minted AD, will lead the effort to find a new head basketball coach just 36 days after taking over the reigns of an athletic department for the first time. Cottingham has never hired a coach before (a scenario which made Cracked Sidewalks ask "Why Cottingham" when he was originally announced). Cottingham now faces the daunting challenge of replacing the man who, along with strong support from the administration and alumni, rebuilt the Marquette program to heights only surpassed by the legendary Al McGuire.

Given MU's willingness to pay Tom Crean top-dollar to run the program, there's no reason to believe that the administration will pare back its commitment to maintaining a high level of success with the men's basketball program. In the past, Marquette University President Robert Wild has indicated that a successful men's basketball program is a key aspect of his overall strategy for the university. As long as Father Wild remains at MU, expect the Golden Eagles to invest in hoops.

Considering the administration's long-term commitment to hoops, Cottingham should have the resources to land a very desirable candidate. Of course, he'll need to because this hire will define his tenure at Marquette.

With first-class facilities, strong support from the administration, a large budget, a burgeoning fan base, expanded online coverage, and a strong roster of returning talent (we hope), the Marquette coaching job is as appealing as it's been in a long time. Now it's time to fill it with a candidate who can continue the momentum the program has built during the past nine seasons.

Steve Cottingham is on the clock.

......much more to come here on Cracked Sidewalks, check back often!


Championships Matter said...

Bring Kevin O'Neill back!

MarquetteNation said...

BRING SEAN MILLER TO MU! He has both Big East (Pitt) and Wisconsin (he was an assistant at UW) ties. Xavier's program is incredibly similar to Marquette (Jesuit, small, basketball is king mentality, new facilities, and a growing fan base), which would make the transition for Miller both easy and a step up. He'll be tough to lure away from XU (I hear he has a tough buyout clause), but his predecessor, Matta, left after a similar elite eight run in 2004.

Michael said...

Sean Miller has a huge buyout that has already scared other larger programs, i.e. California and Indiana, away. Some may consider this to be a lateral move.

"Poaching" our coach stings because it portrays, at least in my mind, a basketball program that hasn't yet reached national prominence. Lesser programs like Western Kentucky and Drake, for example, who have experienced recent success, find themselves in this situation. Makes me wonder if Marquette could have contractually matched IU's offer or if they already have someone else waiting in the wings. Maybe Crean wanted a change of scenery.

jpudner said...

Both are good recommendations, and what about the Illini coach - a Milwaukee native? Definitely on the clock as it has to be a good enough hire to keep all three Amigos here for the senior run and keep the good class in place. I don't mind Mike Davis either, who showed good things at UAB this year and bring Cousins with him as one of the top 5 front line rising prep seniors this year, but that one may be my Alabama bias creeping in.

Zach said...

And Nick William just said on Fox that he wants out.

We need to rebound within the week or there goes our entire recruiting class. If we dont land a big name like sean miller i honestly see this program falling into the mediocre level of the NCAA With the amigo era ending quickly the new coach will have very little time to regain recruits and start news on one year of success. We need a new coach really soon.


Championships Matter said...

Kevin's ready now! He's not coming back as Lute's assistant. Here's the post on it.

Kevin got us to the Sweet 16! How can we go wrong again!


Gene Frenkle said...

You must be his agent.

Kevin O'Neal is an abrasive ass. If you hated Crean, you'll hate O'Neal even more. No. No. No. He's a terrible hire.

Championships Matter said...

Gene, I didn't hate Crean. I'm going to miss him.

O'Neill is abrasive -- so what? He wins and if he had stayed at the University of Tennessee a few more years, there likely would have been an NCAA Championship banner hanging from Thompson-Boling Arena that was not coated in estrogen.

A lot of good ideas in these blogs. Here's hoping Bruce Weber is recognized for what he is -- not a good idea

jce said...

Kevin O'Neill was not successful at Tennessee. He was not succesful at Northwestern. He was not successful in the NBA. He was not successful this year in Arizona despite have a boatload of talent.

Bruce Webber is also a terrible choice. Great Xs and Os guy...got Illinois to the national championship...but it has been steadily downhill since then. He's not a good recruiter.

Hopefully, Cottingham is thinking a little more boldly.

James said...

I dont know why we're so upset about Crean leaving. He did his job - he brought Marquette back into the national picture. However, NCAA elite are measured by tournament wins to which Crean has dont nothing in the last 5 years. We can hid behind 20 win seasons and think we're an upper level team, but lets face it, 20 wins means nothing if don't win Championships. Marquette needs deep NCAA and BE tourny runs year in and year out to be an elite. Once that happens Marquette will be flooded with recruits. Thanks for the memories Crean, but we need someone to take us to the next step - the step you couldn't make in 5 years after Wade.