Monday, April 24, 2006

Done deal: Doheryt to Coach SMU

Link. BTW, it is the top story on and

I am excited. I am excited for the SMU basketball program. I am excited for the SMU athletic department.

When some people wanted to fire Tubbs for simply not being a good coach, one of the frequent responses was, “Who are you going to get to take this job?” The answer, apparently, is Matt Doherty.

I never was a big fan of Tubbs. I always thought SMU could do better than the second or third assistant at a Big XII school. Tubbs, to be honest, if not for SMU, was never going to get a head coaching offer at any other institution in the country. How was I supposed to get excited?

Doherty, on the other hand, has been mentioned for at least three other coaching jobs this year. Doherty was at a place that really wanted him to stay. FAU really believed that Doherty could have taken them to better places.

Doherty is also a name-well known and recognizable. Yes, we should be concerned that he was run out of town at North Carolina Keep in mind that North Carolina went to the Sweet 16 the year he was let go. His leaving had as much to do with politics and his personality as his record.

Another thing I love about Doherty is his apparent due diligence. He’s talked to people about this job. Yes, he wanted more money. But look at the laundry list of things that he ahs demanded: an increase to the basketball budget; better salaries for assistants; a commitment to facilities. And here is the thing: SMU gave it to him.

I believe SMU is one of the rare schools that can accomplish anything it wants to accomplish. When it wanted to improve its campus, it raised $550,000,000.00 effortlessly. It has been twenty years since SMU committed anything to athletics save a brief commitment to build Ford Stadium. As someone recently mentioned to me, if the law school or business school were run like the athletic department, they would run the deans out of town on a rail. Truer words were never spoken.

Enter Steve “Steve-O” Orsini. The man hasn’t even moved into his office yet and he is already making waves. I like the Doherty hiring. I like that it is different than any other SMU hire in the last twenty years. I like that we are giving Doherty a lot of money. I like that he made demands. I like that SMU gave Doherty what he wants. One gets the sense that maybe, just maybe, SMU has decided that enough is enough. Time will tell. Sure, it is about ten years behind the SMU fans, but better late than never.

What time is tip-off on opening day?

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