Monday, April 09, 2007

Coaching Philosophy

Note--I wrote this before we hired Coach Orr, but didn't get it published because, we, well, hired Coach Orr. But, dang it, I wrote it and its going up.

We need a new basketball coach, and as you listen to the speculation, it is clear that there are a few directions you can go.

For example, here are some types you could find:

The Urban Meyer: The next up and coming coach who makes a name here and moves on. Normally, an assistant at a major program. Both of our last two hires (Dakich and Larranaga) fit this mold. This is probably the most common MAC method of replacing a coach. See Charles Ramsey, Ronny Thompson, Ernie Ziegler, O'Shea.

The John Weinert: Find a very successful coach at a smaller program. WMU had a lot of success with Bob Donewald. Upside is that this coach might be less likely to move on the first time he has some success.

The Traitor: Getting an assistant from another conference school, like Josh Oppenheimer at Kent. Bob McDonald left UT to coach at Kent once, but this is very rare).

The Promotion from within: As in Jim Christan @ Kent, or Steve Hawkins at WMU. Joplin, Dambrot, too. Generally requires the program to be, oh, winning, before it is likely. Not in the cards at BG.

The Retread--the Urban Meyer is designed to pick a guy on the way up, capitalize on youth and enthusiasm, and catch a ride. The retread is the opposite--find a wily, guileful veteran who is on the way down, hoping his superior coaching ability will lead him to success. This is the model behind the Louis Orr interest. This is how we got Denny Stolz, for example. Good example: Charlie Coles. Extreme example: Ricardo Patton at NIU, who found a way to fall off the bottom step.

The Local---See Reggie Witherspoon. Local man known for ability gets chance, despite apparent lack of D1 coaching experience. Theory upon which some fans want to see Ron Niekamp of Findlay hired.

What should we do? Got me. The Urban Meyer model has proven itself over time, and I think that is the safest route. There are lots of hungry, aggressive young coaches who have the energy to turn a program around to meet their own ambition.

But, I think we often undersell ourselves on a really successful coach at a lower division. Some of those guys can really coach and really recruit. From another sport, I'd like to introduce you to a guy named Jim Tressel. Or Brian Kelly. These guys are used to working in facilities like ours and know the coaches in the midwest as well as a D1 coach. Not a sure thing, but I think we fail to find these guys under our nose while we look for a marquee name. Like this guy.

I'm not much on the Retread model, and I don't think we have the balls to get an assistant from another school. Plus, I guess Josh Oppenheimer is waiting for Christian to move on. The local? You'd have to be sure the guy could recruit. It isn't the same in DIII.

You wanted uninformed opinion? You came to the right place. Odds are big on the Urban Meyer model.


Anonymous said...

Great Article.

My opinion would be that in our scenario (losing of late) we needed to either grab a Orr type of an Urban type. The others would not have fit with our current climate. The fan base is down, we needed someone who had, had success or who was from a very succesful program. Then again fans could turn any hire into the next Anderson.

Orange said...

Thanks for reading, Globey.