Monday, April 6, 2009

Next Coach?

Who should the next coach be? This decision will be made by Mike Bobinski here the next several days and it wouldn't suprise me if we have another coach in place by this weekend. Who are the candidates?

CHRIS MACK (current Xavier assistant): this hire would certainly be welcomed by many in 'Xavier Nation' including the current players. There is no question our roster turnover would be minimized by hiring Chris. He is also a 'Xavier guy' who graduated from the school in the nineties and is a native Cincinnatian. He may be inclined to make X his lifetime job. The question would be is he ready?

FRAN MCCAFFERY (Siena Head Coach): Fran was in play when Skip Prosser left. Back then he was the coach at UNC-Greensboro. His Saints squad destroyed Vanderbilt in the NCAA tournament two years ago. He also beat Thad Matta's OSU squad in this years NCAA first round. He has been a program builder everywhere he is gone. Questions I would have for Fran would be how long would he stay? Of course that seems to be the question with every Xavier coach but in Fran's case Notre Dame is said to be his dream job. Mike Brey is lucky Charlie Weis is around to take some heat off his seat currently in South Bend.

BRAD STEVENS (Butler Head Coach): He is a fast rising young (32) star in the coaching ranks. He has been at Butler since 2000 and he just signed a contract extension. We know how much those mean to coaches these days. I like his approach on the sidelines and he seems to be solid on the X's and O's. Another plus with Brad is that he plenty of recruiting connections right here in the midwest. I would say he is a 'longshot' to get away from the Bulldogs. A couple more years in Indianapolis like his first two and programs at the highest levels will come calling.

JEFF BATTLE (Wake Forest assistant): Jeff knows Xavier as he was an assistant here during the Skip Prosser years. He is a fabulous recruiter and I will always remember he is the guy that turned Skip onto Mr. David West. His reputation as a recruiter has not been sullied during his time in the ACC. Reportedly he was considered before Sean was hired but his wife had grievous health concerns at that time. The only down side is Skip and that coaching tree has never won much in the NCAA tournament. I don't think most people realize Skip only won one NCAA tournament game in his seven years at X.

BRAD BROWNELL (Wright State Head Coach): Brad was white hot during 'carousel season' last year. A sub par year at WSU cooled him a bit this year. However he is another coach who has several intangibles that would make him attractive to X.

JOHN GROCE (Ohio University Head Coach): John is in his first year at Ohio U. after serving under Thad Matta all the way back to Thad's Butler days. He was not overly successful his first year with the Bobcats, but Miller wasn't overly impressive his first year with X either. Also John is bringing high level recruits to Athens already. He conceivably could bring along a few of those guys if he comes.

MARK SCHMIDT(St. Bonaventure Head Coach): I think 'Schmitty' is a dark horse candidate after being away from campus for 10 years. He left when Skip went to become Wake's head coach. He served 8 years at Robert Morris in a rebuilding project and he has been in Olean only two.

MIKE RICE (Robert Morris Head Coach): This guy deserves a loooonnnnggg look. He was an assistant at Pitt under Jamie Dixon and has done very well with the Colonials the last two seasons. He is an intense, fiery competitor (sound familiar) whose teams are built on defense.

Certainly there are others out there and I heard Jerry Wrainwright from DePaul has called to express interest. I say NFW to that guy and if Bobo hires him he truly is tired of the coaching carousel because that jokester (JW) is past his prime. My preference would be for our new coach to be more defensive minded versus offense because I think defense produces wins in March. I am excited to see what the future of X basketball holds. As always it has been about the program on Victory Parkway and I am sure several guys in the coaching ranks are excited about the opportunity to coach it.

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