Looking for New Leader of a Sport Played With Round Ball

dsewell writes: I gather that the person in charge of all of the sports at the University of Virginia announced tonight that the University will be searching for a new director for the team of one of the sports that is played with a large round ball, after the old director said he was “stepping down” (although, oddly, he had both feet on the floor at the time). This apparently has something to do with a $100 million building going up off Emmet Street. Quite possibly there are folks out there who would like to discuss this, if they understand what it’s all about.

Smart ass. ;)

7 thoughts on “Looking for New Leader of a Sport Played With Round Ball”

  1. a sports thread in here?

    whoa whoa, I thought this was cvillenews and not TheSabre. I had to get Waldo to post up a link as a compromise.

  2. I sent the following e-mail this morning. After two mediocre coaches in a row, it’s time to shake things up. This choice is important. Chances are good they’ll screw it up by making a safe choice instead of the right one.

    To: John Casteen, Craig Littlepage, and Leonard Sandridge

    cc: Jerry Ratcliffe


    It is encouraging to read in today’s paper that the University of Virginia intends to seek the best available coach. That’s as it should be. The University and the community deserve a top flight program, not the one that has been mired in relative mediocrity for many years.

    Reading the list of "rumored" possibilities, none of them rise to the title of best available. Tubby Smith is the only name that I would even consider to be a great coach. Carlisle has interesting possibilities, but none of the others are better than mediocre, particularly the coveted Rick Barnes. Surely you don’t think that a mediocre record in the Big 12 translates to anything better than mediocrity in the ACC.

    I do believe that the University will pursue the best available basketball coach, and since it seems that this is a crucial selection, with a new arena to build and sell out, and the program on the verge of being cemented as a lower-tier ACC program, somebody will hop on a plane and take the checkbook to hunt down the best available basketball coach in the world, Phil Jackson.

    Before you start to laugh, consider how good this would fit. True, his background is in the pros – so how’s that Al Groh decision working out?

    Want every game to be part of the Sports Center highlights? Hire Phil Jackson.

    Want EVERY high school prospect in America to consider playing at UVA? Hire Phil Jackson.

    Want to sell out every game, even Winthrop and Liberty? Hire Phil Jackson.

    Want to have a coach who immediately is mentioned in the same breath with Coach K and Roy Williams? Other than possibly Tubby Smith, none of the other names I’m hearing about will do that for you. Hire Phil Jackson.

    I’m told that his brother lives in the area, and that he’s visited before to ride motorcycles in the area. From what I know of his personality and attitude, he’d be a perfect fit in this community.

    How do you sell him on the job? Well, aside from the new arena and being in the premier college conference, the NBA has become a players league, but the NCAA is all about coaching. College players are teachable, and Jackson is nothing if not a teacher. He seems like the kind of man who would love a challenge, and this job is certainly that. Expectations are a little lower than at the pro level, and he’d be given time to build a winning program in the most competitive league there is.

    Would he be expensive? Probably. Would he be worth every penny? I think he provides the most value out there. None of the other names even come close. Please avoid mediocrity – we’ve had our share of that. UVA does deserve the best.

    Hire Phil Jackson.

  3. one word: interesting

    two words: wishful thinking

    getting Phil Jackson to Cville: priceless

  4. Oh yeah – DEFINITELY wishful thinking! I’d just like to see them start acting like they think they deserve to be an elite program. Going after Rick Barnes does NOT do that. The guy was 9-7 in the Big 12. He’d be eaten alive int he ACC. Rick Carlisle would be an intriguing choice, but he’s sitting at .500 right now, and he got run out of Detroit for a reason. Notre Dame’s coach is looking at the NIT. If we want the NIT, Gillen or Jeff Jones can get us there. Tubby Smith would be a great choice, but why in the name of Adolph Rupp would he want to leave Kentucky? And the odds of finding a relative unknown who is a young "Coach K" type are very remote.

    It took getting out of that George Welsh "home field advantage doesn’t matter, and we’re just happy to be considered for the Sani-Flush Toilet Bowl" mindset to make the football program exciting and fun to watch with a promising future. And there are still plenty of old, moneyed alumni who think George leaving was a bad thing. They still sit on their hands at home games, and probably think it’s getting way too loud to carry on a decent business conversation during the games now.

    It would be nice to actually be able to challenge in the ACC, and this program is a very long way from doing that without a radical change of direction. I’m just wondering if they administration has the cojones to do that. I guess we’ll see.

  5. I think they probably _have_ the cojones–they’re not listening to the old moneyed alums (OMAs) on this question, I think. They’re (including Casteen) frantic for exactly the kind of thing you’re talking about–an instantly elite program that hopscotches right over Wake and GT and goes toe-to-toe with Duke and UNC.

    The problem, I think, will be _getting_ the right coach to come. I’m not at all convinced that, from a coach’s perspective, UVa is a plum job. So we can try all we want to get Phil or Tubby or Mike Montgomery or (god forbid) Bob Knight or whomever, but the trick is going to be getting them to come here. They’re not going to be falling over themselves to come here, I think.

    That’s why I think we’re more likely to see a Brey or a Hobbs or someone like that rather than a marquee coach. The first 3 names on the A list will turn us down; then we start considering the younger coaches with promise but no real track record yet.

    The interesting question for me is this: do we want to build a dynasty or just-add-water/get instant elite? Duke and UNC didn’t go out and get marquee coaches–they built it up over years. I think that’s the _only_ way to go if we’re serious about b-ball excellence–just transplanting a superstar here strikes me as too much of a quick-fix, doomed to failure. yeah, it’s hard to pick that future Coach K, but that’s what CL’s job _should_ be all about, in some ways–having an eye out for that diamond in the rough.

  6. Yes I heard about the firing of Pete. The Cav. Daily actually had some crazy headline. It was "Gillen Gillen Gone" ????I dont get it??? It was long overdue. For some reason I think if he were a certain type of coach he would have been fired a while ago (you guess what im talking about).

    Anyone know of any possible replacments? I didnt finish reading through the Cav. Daily.

    (Sorry thoughts are all over the place)

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