Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hats off to OU

OU hired its coach yesterday. I am not sure how to say this, but I respect schools when they "think outside the box" or make the nontraditional coaching hire. And OU did just that. Capel is the third youngest coach in Division I.

"I know that this announcement, probably in the college basketball world, is shocking," said Capel, who signed a five-year deal worth $650,000 annually. He can make $200,000 more in incentives, but Capel is still one of the lowest-paid coaches in the league.

And again, no committee was hired. The athletic director sat down, decided what was important to him and the University, and identified who he thought was the best candidate. It is easy to look around and hire a coach from a "lesser university" and hire him under the pretence that if he can do it there, then he can do it here. How hard is it really for NC State to identify a Rick Barnes or a John Calipari? It is something altogether different when you hire a thirty year old coach. The decision rests on the head of AD. It does anyway.

Likewise it is something different entirely, when you are a mid-major school, when you don't have the money or tradition to hire whoever you want. You need to focus on identifying (a) what success is for SMU; and (b) what it will take to achieve that success; and finally, (c) identifying the coach that has the appropriate skill set.

So, the first test for Orsini's is figuring out what are the short term and long term goals for SMU basketball. Fortunately or unfortunately, at the top of the list for the short term is stability-stabilizing the program. Stabilizing the program probably means experience is required. Recruiting is a must. Integrity is also important. Of course, a knowledge of x's and o's is necessary.

Long term, it makes sense to identify a young candidate. However, I am not sure a young candidate, or someone with their first head job can be a stabilizing force. Though, perhaps I am overrating the stability concern. A quality coach that has success will stabilize the program in a second. Maybe the hot assistant at Blank University can come in here and turn things around immediately.

No comments: