Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Who's Next?

There are people who can't listen to an entire Who album.  These people are evil.Now that John Beilein has moved on to Michigan the question is who is going to be the next head coach of WVU. Early List with pros and cons on each:

Bob Huggins--WVU grad and former player has over 500 career wins and can recruit. Took Kansas State to the second round of the NIT in his first year. Has the #1 recruit in the country, Michael Beasley, signed for next year. Rumors are that he may have a clause in his contract in which his buyout is withdrawn if he wants to go to WVU. Huggins was the first choice 5 years ago and turned the job down. How likely is he to leave KSU after 1 year? Huggins is a lightning rod. His graduation rates were low at Cincinatti (most players could read short words though) and his personality can be grating. He also likes to drink so maybe he could come to the tailgate.

Jeff Neubauer--Head coach at Eastern Kentucky was John Beilein's top assistant for 8 years. Runs the same offense and 1-3-1 defense as WVU ran this year. Knows most of the current players. Took EKU to the NCAA tournament in this his second year. He could actually be hurt by the Beilein affiliation as some around WVU want to move in another direction right now.

Travis Ford--Head coach at UMass and also coached at Eastern Kentucky. This name is always mentioned in articles, but he has no ties to WVU so it would be just a step up in conference for Ford. Some may worry that after Beilein left Ford would do the same for the next great job around the corner due to his lack of WVU ties. His coming would show that we are now a much better program than UMass which would make a lot of old A-10 WVU fans happy.

Jerry Dunn--Former Penn State coach and current (I guess) WVU assistant. Has been at WVU for four years. Knows the offense and the defense as well as the players. Has never really seemed like a dynamic personality that would be needed to recruit her and wasn't exactly gangbusters at PSU. However, sometimes a second chance can make a big difference. Bill Belichick once coached the Browns to mediocrity then became the "genius" on the second chance. Dunn may be the same. Or he could be mediocre again like Norv Turner at every stop.

John Pelphrey--The head coach of South Alabama is most likely known as the guy who should have been guarding Christian Laettner when he hit his famous turnaround. He has no ties to WVU and would be considered a shock if he were offered and accepted the job.

Greg Marshall--The head coach of Winthrop beat Notre Dame this year in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Has taken Winthrop to 6 NCAA tournament appearances in 8 seasons. However, he has a terrible last name and was an assistant coach at junior college in Cabell County for 2 years. Has recently been rumored for jobs at USF and Marshall although he reportedly turned them both down so he has some taste.

Jeff Bzdelik--Coach of Air Force is also a former Denver Nuggets head coach. He is an Illinois native and Illinois-Chicago graduate who began coaching at Davison College in North Carolina. Another name that has been thrown out, but due to his previous experience would seem to be waiting now for a "big name" job. Would be a worry to move on if a better job came open.

Donnie Jones--Assistant coach for Florida for the last 11 years. Is thought of highly as a recruiter and coach. A West Virginia native who attended Pikeville College in WV. Received a Master's degree from Marshall University (didn't know they even had post-graduate programs) and is supposedly the number 1 hope to become Marshall's next head coach. So we could steal their coach, but he is tainted with Marshall.

Edit. As of this afternoon Jeff Bzdelik is apparently off of the list as ESPN is reporting that he signed with Colorado as their new coach. He likes that state. Nuggests, Air Force, now the Buffs.


Option Spread said...

Listened to Hoppy while I waited patiently behind farm tractors and grandmas while driving through Preston County today. He had a 2 hour "therapy session" for fans dealing with the departure of Beilein. Some of the callers raised valid points, while most of the callers were just like, "Oh no, we suck again!"

My analysis of the situation is this: WVU simply does not have enough boosters or alumni and therefore, enough money to be a national contender in both football and baskteball and baseball and rifle and beer pong. Based upon the monetary commitments to RR and attempted obilition of the rifle team, Pastilong has apparently made his decision: we're a football school.

Based upon that, we will always be a "stepping stone" for basketball coaches. We simply do not devote enough money to basketball and we simply do not have hot enough hookers to compete with other schools. That does not mean we can't be competitive. It just means that we, as fans, will have to deal with flux as coaches come and go and the occasional superstar player comes and goes.

I'll agree with your assessment that the feeling out of Morgantown this morning is away from the "Beilein Offense/System". Most of the callers to Hoppy's show just wanted to get the best available coach, regardless of system. However, we, as a poor recruiting team, have utlized the Beilein system to maximize the talent we are able to get (three point shooters). Presumedly, our recruiting woes will continue indefinitely. (As that one Michigan blog said, "Morgantown makes Pittburgh look like Miami.") So, we need to use a system that maximizes the potential of who we get. The Beilein system is proven in that regard.

Anyway, its way too early to even speculate who will actually take the job and how they will do. The list of potential candidates is nice though. Whoever comes in next year is walking into a rather talented team with serious NCAA Tourney potential.

If only they would have named the colliseum after him...

Johnny said...

Shouldn't Dan Dickich be on that list?

letsplaytummysticks said...

I believe Dan would like to be on the list, but until otherwise is only listed on Burger King managment attempts.

letsplaytummysticks said...

I would disagree with the idea that we are only a football school since we made a list minute offer to Beilein that was reportedly the same or very similar. The main difference was that the buyout clause was in again and Michigan took any buyout away. Why would this matter if you wanted to stay? I don't know, but maybe Beilein, an upper NY resident, always wants to keep a chance that Syracuse could come calling open. However, he has stated he doesn't want to coach into his 60s and I doubt he outlasts Boeheim then.

Option Spread said...

Well, I don't know what the Athletic Department's budget is, but I can't imagine we can compete monetarily with Michigan/USC/Ohio State/etc... probably not even with Florida. The sad, grim, depressing reality is that we have fewer alumni and boosters and a certain percentage of that group continue to reside in the state of West Virginia. Consequently, we have less money to contribute.

As coach's salaries continue to skyrocket, market dynamics take over. We may like to think that we can compete nationally for the best coaching talent in two sports, but sadly, we simply cannot afford to do so. Can we really afford to pay two coaches over $1.5m/year? Probably. But can we do so and continue to provide the additional incentives top quality programs require, vis-a-vis top level assistant coaches, quality facilities, hookers, etc... And further, can Manchin and the Board of Governers justify these expenditures to the multitudes of poverty level families in the great state?

I'm just sadly facing the reality that WVU lacks the financial resources to compete bid for bid (ignoring for now "program reputation") with other "big" programs. Consequently, we may have to face the choice one day: two second tier level programs or one national contender and one competent enough to entertain us after the other's season ends?

Option Spread said...

Regarding the Syracuse job, Hoppy this morning speculated that eventually taking over for Boeheim was probably Beilein's eventual goal. I wouldn't doubt it either. But you are right, by the time that job opens, Beilein may be in Joe Pa territory.

letsplaytummysticks said...

Basketball coaches and facilities cost a fraction of football. Our athletic department may spend less than other schools, but we are in the top 25. Are you honestly trying to say that you have to outspend to be good? George Mason made it to the Final Four. Who spent more last year them or 50 other schools.

WVU has the facilities to compete in both. Beilein wanted to leave. Why? I don't know, but he wanted out of West Virginia. To now say we can only compete in one sport is idiotic. We compete in one of the premire basketball conferences in the country and have a strong fanbase. We can't outspend some schools from the Big10 or SEC, but that doesn't mean we can't compete. I think your argument is fundamentally flawed. The Yankees outspend everyone in baseball. They haven't won in 7 years. We are not the Pirates either. We are closer to a mid-level spending team. We must use resources wisely, but to say we can only compete in one sport is wrong and is something Hoppy would say. He is the Chicken Little of WVU. The sky is always falling.

Option Spread said...

Now now now... I think I got a little negative there, but I wasn't trying to say we would never be able to be competitive in both sports.

To be more specific, our lack of spending power precludes "coach security". For example, we manage to hire a quality, under the radar coach to replace Beilein. He comes in and coaches WVU into 5 consequtive Sweet 16s or better. We're paying him, say, $1.2M by then. A "big" program comes along and says, "Here's $2M/year (or more), come coach here". How do we compete with that?

We're unbelievably lucky to have RR coaching football. Any other coach would have jumped at the money offered by Alabama. But he's presumedly "devoted" to WVU for a myriad of reasons with which we are all familiar.

Unfortunately, the list of basketball coaches with allegiances to WVU is short. Further, the list of basketball coaches with strong enough allegiances to WVU to forego substantially more income is even shorter. Can we afford to pay a great coach $2M/year? $3M/year? Probably not. The administration will draw the line somewhere.

BUT, that doesn't mean we won't have great coaches. Anyone of the potential candidates you proferred could become the next great coach at WVU. Maybe that next coach will lead us right back into the Sweet 16 or beyond. But if so, how long before another university comes in and bribes them away?

So sure, we can continue to have competitive teams in both sports. But can we have coach security in both sports if both continue to be successful? And everytime we have to replace a head coach lured away by bigger money, we risk replacing him with a dud.

Johnny said...

This is probably more speculation than anything else, but someone inside the athletic dept. had RRod pissed off like a mother when Greg Hunter announced that Rod would be leaving on the statewide sports line. Hunter never said who gave him that info. My thoughts were that it was assistant AD Mike Parsons. From what I understand, he is the deal maker and Ed Pastlong is the hand shaker.

And if he pissed one off, I would expect he pissed the other off with squabbling over money and facilities. You guys any closer to the situation? Any thoughts?

Mike P. said...

John Pelphrey has been a miracle worker here in Mobile. He runs a high paced game. Considering the level of players he has to work with, he has gone above and beyond.

I'm biased but if you could get him go for it. He can and will win right away, especiall with your teams talent.


letsplaytummysticks said...

I've heard Parsons has been a problem as well. Both RR and Beilein were unhappy with him, but he has Pastilong as a supporter. After Rod almost left the rumor was that he was gone, but he is still here. Interestingly, I have heard that Rod and Beilein got together to complain about some "people" within the athletic department before the NIT run.

One final note to OS about coaching. While it is true we could be outspent by some schools it doesn't mean we can't have two successful coaches. Even the schools that can spend such as Florida have rumors of Donovan leaving. And there is always the NBA for Kentucky and Pitino. So the point is that a "coach for life" is very rare anymore but that doesn't mean we can't compete. We just have to find a coach that wants to stay. Beilein, for whatever reason, did not want to be here anymore. He tried to leave last year and completed it this year. Maybe he hated Morgantown traffic or the scoreboard or rolling out the carpet. But just because he left doesn't mean that all coaches will. Everyone loses coaches these days, it's part of the new age of athletics.

Anonymous said...

So what you guys are saying is you WANT to be like MD? Fridge and Gary Williams will never leave and they are competitive? MD 2 WVU 0

letsplaytummysticks said...

I would take someone like Gary Williams in a heartbeat. Fridge, not so much. I would like my coach to be able to at least pretend to recruit the homestate, something Williams is struggling with and Fridge has downright quit trying. I also don't want my coach to eat the backup quarterback at halftime. And don't pretend you would want Fridge over RRod. First couple of years behind them (when Fridge had a better team to work with) RRod has outrecruited, out performed, and kicked his fat ass.

Anonymous said...

No, I would take Rod in a heartbeat. But I dont think he will ever leave, might be fired but wont leave.Right now both have one BCS game, both have New Years days wins (md beat wvu). But look on the bright side, Pac man and Chris Henry keep making sports center... oh yeah buddy

Brave Sir Robin said...

Has anyone started pricing scoreboards? I thought we resolved on Tuesday that a new board would go a long toward building the dynasty we all want.

Aside from that- this may be the most intelligent string of comments yet- despite being dominated by contributors.

dan said...

Nice how you rip Univeristy of Cincinnati Players for only reading small words, and you can't even spell Cincinnati, in your blog.