"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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I'm part of what is probably a small minority that would suggest that the success of our next coach is dependent more on the grace of God than any careful evaluation that Steve Cottingham might undertake over the next few days.

There isn't an AD on earth that could make a 100% perfect decision between the type of candidates that MU will have available to them. How could they? Is it really possible to come up with some way to accurately predict the future performance of ANY coach?

If there were a way to predict who will be successful in five years and who will fall short, there wouldn't be any failed coaches. Unfortunately, there is no book on how to pick the perfect coach--the one who will recruit well, win at the highest levels, graduate all his players, be loved by fans & media alike, and never ever leave.

All we know is that any candidate that MU would consider has three things in common:

--They all have some track record of success.

--There is absolutely no way to know how that track record will translate as the Head Coach at MU.

--Every one of them already has rabid fans and vocal detractors.

Unless Cottingham goes off the rails and rehires Bob Dukiet, there will be a defensible case for just about any of the candidates who's names are being mentioned: Altman, Few, Miller, Bennett, Brad Brownell, Martelli, Jay Wright, Larranga, Buzz Williams, McKillop, Jim Boylan, Anthony Grant, Krueger, Anderson, Horn, Trent Montgomery, Bruce Weber, Majerus, Bruce Pearl, Painter, Lowery, Keno Davis, Scott Drew, Frachilla, Travis Ford, Lawrence Frank, Kristkowiak. I'm sure there are some I missed.

Is it really possible to think that anyone can separate one coach who stands above all the others from the above list? I doubt it.

History gives us no guide. In the late 1990's, Pete Gillen moved from Providence to Virginia, and Rick Barnes moved from Clemson to Virginia. I think there was almost universal belief that Virginia made the home run hire, and Texas was simply hiring an interim coach to clean up for the disgraced Tom Penders. Gillen had taken Providence to an Elite Eight. Barnes above average but certainly not outstanding performer during his time at Providence and Clemson. We all know who wound up the better coach.

The obvious question--did Texas make the better hire because their AD was better? More experienced? Had a better selection committee or consultant?

Was this truly within the AD's hands? Or God's?

I'm going with the latter. Pray that the next head coach at MU wins consistently, maintains the high standards of ethics and academic performance, recruits well, and represents the school and the community well.


Anonymous said...

true, it is a lot of "luck", but not so sure God cares about college bball

Championships Matter said...

Simple question: "Will the next guy we hire at Marquette be hoisting a National Championship Banner in the Northeast Corner of the Bradley Center within five years?"

Folks, that's where we are. Crean had us to the altar. It's now time to move beyond being one of many to being the "the few.. the proud... the Warriors!"

Oops -- Golden Eagles. Oh, never mind. We're to the point with our program where if we hire right and manage properly, we will be a Final Four team. If we hire a Hank Raymonds or Bob Dukiet clone, we'll, think Terrell Schlundt for Team MVP! We'll be a mid-major and maybe UWM finally will beat us.

Hire well boys. A few prayers might help but unless God is willing to accept $1.5 million to coach Marquette and wear a suit rather than a cassock, divine intervention is unlikely. Besides, I think God probably has bigger problems to concern himself with than our next basketball coach.

If God doesn't, then maybe I have the wrong God!

Gene Frenkle said...

I'm just hoping that "God" will help Mbakwe stay and not transfer, as Rosiak says he's going to do.

This is not good. Not good at all.

jce said...

Honestly, only five schools (at most) are going to be hanging championship banners in their arenas over the next five years. The chances of MU being one of them isn't all that great. I hope you can live with that disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Why in the hell does "God" care about MU basketball?