Hire learning: The good (and the bad) hoops hires

Hire learning: The good (and the bad) hoops hires

Hire learning

So far, 43 Division I men's basketball programs have or are in the process of changing coaches. That includes four from the state of Illinois — including Illinois State, which is in the process of replacing Tim Jankovich. Here are the 10 best changes — and five that left us shaking our heads.


SMU: Larry Brown

The last time we heard anything about the Mustangs was when the school's football program was shut down. So even though Brown is old, disloyal and long removed from the college scene, his name recognition is huge.

Kansas State: Bruce Weber

Frank Martin — right or wrong — has a reputation for playing outside the rules. No one has ever made those accusations against Weber, a straight arrow who fits perfectly in the Kansas cornfields.

South Carolina: Frank Martin

Right or wrong, the SEC has a reputation of letting things get by. So Columbia is the perfect spot for the evil-eyed Martin, who somehow turned Kansas State into an NCAA regular.

Illinois: John Groce

A lot of fans wanted Shaka Smart. But in his short time in C-U, Groce has won over many doubters. Most important, the current players — and recruits — also are buying in.

Tulsa: Danny Manning

Not every Bill Self protege makes it big on his own (Norm Roberts, Billy Gillispie). But the former NBA star, NCAA champ and big-time recruit has the goods.

Nebraska: Tim Miles

Anyone who can produce winning basketball in Fort Collins can do it anywhere — even Lincoln. A stud recruiter, he has a spiffy new arena on the way to pitch.

Florida International: Richard Pitino

If he gets Dad's sloppy recruiting seconds, he'll do just fine. Plus, his move to Florida allowed former Rantoul star Kareem Richardson to get a great job with the Cardinals.

Colorado State: Larry Eustachy

Having resurrected his reputation at Southern Miss, the one-time poster boy for Coaches Gone Wild should keep the Rams on a roll.

UAB: Jerod Haase

If the former Kansas star takes the Blazers to the NCAA tournament a few times, he'll become a candidate to replace Self in Lawrence.

Rhode Island: Dan Hurley

Hot-shot recruiter with a popular last name, Bobby's older brother should get the Rams back in the NCAA tournament soon (they last played in '99).


Central Michigan: Keno Davis

A better fit on BTN

Charleston: Doug Wojcik

Cougars wanted Bruce Weber

Ohio: Jim Christian

Should have offered Groce more

SIU: Barry Hinson

Why not hire Dick Versace?

TCU: Trent Johnson

It's a football school


News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

pblillini wrote on May 06, 2012 at 8:05 am

Lol...Weber a "good" hire.  Obviously didn't consult any K-State fans on that one.

I'll be laughing when the classless Weber falls flat on his face at K-State.  I am looking forward to hearing his narrative over who will be to blame for that.  Mike Thomas?  John Currie?  Eric Gordon?  Jamar Smith?  Should be hilarious.


jjohnson wrote on May 06, 2012 at 9:05 am

Don't like Bruce as a coach? Fine, but to call him "classless" is clueless. Get over it.

illiniphil85 wrote on May 06, 2012 at 12:05 pm

If the shoe fits and in this case it does with his propensity to blame anyone but himself for his failure here, he's earned the right to wear it. Classless may not be best term. Pathetic is probably more appropriate.

Empire2Ed wrote on May 06, 2012 at 12:05 pm

A coach calls out his players who aren't preforming and they quit so he's classless. 

A coach calls out his players who aren't preforming and they respond so he's called a leader.

Webber is not classless, he simply had lost his team and his last desperate shot to get through to them makes him a villan to those who already hated him. I do believe I read a quote of Weber saying "It's my fault". Yep, sounds like he is deflecting the blame to me. The truth is it was everyones fault and because Weber stated the truth he is classless. 

Don't get me wrong, Weber needed to go but to call a guy you don't like classless, sounds like you should be looking in a mirror.

Stay classy folks. Hating on a man who is already gone should be beneath you.


illiniphil85 wrote on May 06, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Perhaps you should read some of his recent interviews, Ed. He's gone and he won't STFU and move on. He and his surrogates are still trying to blame our AD, Mike Thomas, for his failure last season to anyone that will listen. 



This was his most recent:


Weber said things began to snowball once his players received word that he would likely be fired.

"[Otherwise] we would've made the NCAA tournament," Weber said. "It was really hard on our kids. They really took it hard. They could sense what was going on. I mean, kids cried in my office, on the phone.

"We had been very competitive, but that caused us to lose some of that sense of togetherness, a sense of a future or whatever. That's what gets you over the hump in some of those games. We didn't have it."


Talk about trying to rewrite history. Which came first, his years of continuing substandard performances or him getting fired? Who is it that can't move on? This stuff has been going on for about a month and he still can't let it go.


Ed says: I do believe I read a quote of Weber saying "It's my fault".

Yes, sounds exactly like what Coach Classless has been saying for the last month.

Empire2Ed wrote on May 07, 2012 at 5:05 am

Hmmm, looks like I was wrong. I tend not to pay any attention to the 4 letter network so I obviously missed this. It's one thing to answer a question honestly but at this point he needs to move on. 

BTW thanks for proving your point and not just calling me an idiot Webber lover etc. 

cuvoter wrote on May 06, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Sloppy recruiting seconds? Did you really write that?

kzimmer001 wrote on May 06, 2012 at 3:05 pm

If Bruce and the tools in the media keep repeatedly blaming our AD, eventually it becomes the truth, right?

CecilColeman wrote on May 06, 2012 at 10:05 pm

"Classless" is the proper term. Had anyone seen Weber working the crowd inside and outside of Bankers Life Arena at the Big 10 Tourney in Indy (after sitting with the MSU crowd in back of King Izzo) they would have been reminded of Rod Blagojevich working the crowd during his impeachment and ensuing trial.

I sure hope that the KSU fans enjoy 6-7-8 minute scoring droughts, becasue that's what Bruce brings to the party.

And by the way - - - regarding SIU and "why not hire Dick Versace?" Not to bring back an old scab, but Bradley and ex Coach Versace were clobbered by the NCAA enforcement staff after being lied to, misdirected and mislead by Versace and his staff. 

bluehavana wrote on May 07, 2012 at 7:05 am

I wrote weeks ago what I'll write again now about Bruce Weber...Don't go away mad, just go away.

A major D1 basketball coach receiving the "good guy done wrong but look how great it is he's got it going at a new school" treatment from some media and frankly himself is getting beyond old.

The last true success this team had was that 2005 season.  A fun win here and there doesn't a great program make.  Couple that with the dizzying compilation of mediocre recruits, and it puzzles me how Coach Weber can be considered an elite coach.  It truly boggles my mind.





crackerman wrote on May 07, 2012 at 5:05 pm

This article was noninformative, and only stirred up more crap about Weber!