Assistant Coaches

leib0039

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I would guess the plans of Conroy Nuness whoevrr could have a domino effect so that's why the delay. Say you want Conroy as lead ast, Nunues 3rd in line and say Damian Johnson player dev. Well what happens if Conroy would go to Utah st, does nuness move up? Does he get jumped by another hire? That type of thing
 

MinnGopher

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Well, Mplsgopher was named "King of Bad Takes" for a reason.
Lol you caught this before I corrected to GopherTeeth but also stands for MplsGopher. His goes more so...make a hypothetical statement that we have to view as truth and tell someone else to prove their viewpoint. Or that one persons viewpoint (star trib) means that everyone in the athletic dept is going to treat it as gospel and follow it to a t. Not sure which one is more absurd
 

Chris Monter

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I haven’t talked to Dave Thorson yet about the Gopher assistant coaching position. However, you have to wonder if fellow Colorado State assistant J. R. Blount taking a spot in the Iowa State staff would make him more or less likely to stay. He is close to Niko and might elect to stay rather than be the second assistant to leave in weeks.
 

hungan1

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It's Final Four time. We should be hearing about BJ's staff soon. The only IF is whether Ed Conroy stays or moves.
 

Holy Man

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I haven’t talked to Dave Thorson yet about the Gopher assistant coaching position. However, you have to wonder if fellow Colorado State assistant J. R. Blount taking a spot in the Iowa State staff would make him more or less likely to stay. He is close to Niko and might elect to stay rather than be the second assistant to leave in weeks.
I've read for years that Niko and Dave are very good friends. Would not surprise me a bit if he stayed in Fort Collins for that reason.
 

U2Gopher

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If BJ hires great assistants, the right assistants, I don’t care if it takes 3 months. Having said that, I’m a little worried about how long this is taking. Nuness I can understand the delay around, assuming he ends up actually coming here. The confusing thing to me is that during his introductory presser, when asked about assistants, BJ alluded to the fact that he was floored at the interest he had already received from folks contacting him, including “from blue bloods.” If you’ve truly got that kind of pool to choose from, then I’m confused as to why he has yet to hire a single assistant to help him hit the ground running with recruiting. He was either exaggerating in the presser, telling the truth and is interviewing 50 folks which takes time, or every single assistant he wants is on the final four teams still playing.
Just wondering which it is while I wait for an announcement.....
 

MinnGopher

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If BJ hires great assistants, the right assistants, I don’t care if it takes 3 months. Having said that, I’m a little worried about how long this is taking. Nuness I can understand the delay around, assuming he ends up actually coming here. The confusing thing to me is that during his introductory presser, when asked about assistants, BJ alluded to the fact that he was floored at the interest he had already received from folks contacting him, including “from blue bloods.” If you’ve truly got that kind of pool to choose from, then I’m confused as to why he has yet to hire a single assistant to help him hit the ground running with recruiting. He was either exaggerating in the presser, telling the truth and is interviewing 50 folks which takes time, or every single assistant he wants is on the final four teams still playing.
Just wondering which it is while I wait for an announcement.....
Have you ever paid attention to the hiring of assistant coaches before and how long it takes after a new head coach is announced? Its been a week dude
 

TWeber

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I've read for years that Niko and Dave are very good friends. Would not surprise me a bit if he stayed in Fort Collins for that reason.
Dave also has a young daughter, who has already moved schools from the Twin Cities, to Des Moines, to Fort Collins. Something else to consider.
 

Gopher Teeth

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GopherTeetch logic....Star Tribune makes observation/publishes story of racial make up of U of M coaches>MplsGopher is offended>U hires black coach>must be because of star tribune

Nice
I never said the U made the hire because of the Star Tribune. My point was they were pressured to hire a black coach and the Strib was easily seen evidence of that. I don't for one second believe that was the only pressure. If you read the articles (it wasn't one, like you try to pass off) you would see that the pressure to hire based on skin color was immense. For instance read Souhan's piece:
If Minnesota's most prominent academic institution isn't going to combat institutional racism in its most visible programs, why should we support it with dollars or pompons? If the University of Minnesota can't walk the walk, why should we listen when it talks?
Souhan is going for the throat with this. When you start making a rally cry to defund the U this is not some "observation" this is a call to action with a threat, a threat that university leadership are scared to death of.

In the Megan Ryan article you can see that even the Big Ten commissioner was applying pressure to hire based on skin color:

The University of Minnesota has gone 14 years without hiring a person of color as a head coach and remains the only Big Ten institution without a single person of color in the role of president, athletic director or head coach.

With men's basketball coach Richard Pitino's tenure likely nearing an end, the Gophers' lack of diverse leadership is drawing renewed scrutiny. Even before the speculation about Pitino's future, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren had noticed how the university's president, Joan Gabel, athletic director Mark Coyle and all 19 head coaches are white.

"They're aware," Warren said of Gabel's and Coyle's recognition of Minnesota's diversity gap. "I trust them. And I trust that they will always be focused on doing the right thing."

The entire Ryan article was written in a way to put Coyle on his back foot in regards to race and hiring. In addition to other quotes from people who can put pressure on the U. I am not here to debate if the number one thing that matters is race first and then basketball second, maybe for some people they will buy season tickets so they can see a certain skin color on the sideline even if the team is not that successful. I will just say if you don't hire for basketball first, then you will not get to the top half of the Big Ten. If you believe that they passed on better coaches so they can check the box, then you have to ask yourself why would they do that? That is what I was addressing. I don't believe that Coyle looked at the resumes of Ben Johnson, Craig Smith and Niko Medved and said I am so sold on Ben Johnson being heads and tails above Craig Smith or Niko Medved so much that I don't even need to talk to Craig and Niko because there is no way they can be better than a guy who has never been a HC and really hasn't been part of a successful program at the college ranks. If you think that is possible, you haven't done a good job articulating that case.

Next your weak logic string above was not my logic and inaccurate to boot. First off it wasn't one story. Second, "observation"? Well that is quite a purposeful understatement to try and support your argument. Neither was simple "observation", they were both written to apply pressure in this hiring process. There is also no doubt that the Strib would have hit the U with multiple articles after the hire if the box wasn't checked. Misdirection and trying to misrepresent what reality is confirms my take is closer to accurate and yours is not. If I was incorrect you wouldn't have to try and twist the facts. The Strib was putting a lot of pressure on, it wasn't a throw away matter-of-fact single article. It was multiple written articles written with proposed threats of cutting funding to the university, in addition what they said in the context of what is going on in Minnesota right now and you consider that universities are extreme left leaning institutions the pressure was immense. In addition there was pressure being applied from other areas, like the Big Ten Commissioner.
 

MplsGopher

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Dave also has a young daughter, who has already moved schools from the Twin Cities, to Des Moines, to Fort Collins. Something else to consider.
If they have family around the TC, nice to have aunts, uncles, and cousins to be around too.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I'm not sure Liam follows Ed to Utah State. First, if Queto (sp?) stays, he obviously doesn't go there. Even if he follows Smith to Utah, does Liam want to go down a level of competition? Also, does he get a 2nd waiver?

Queta will be a 2nd round pick in the draft, and Robbins is not going to go to the Mountain West.
 

U2Gopher

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Have you ever paid attention to the hiring of assistant coaches before and how long it takes after a new head coach is announced? Its been a week dude
Dude, actually, I have, some are announced by now, some are not. Again, not an issue if he makes the right hires, but he himself said he had coaches “from blue bloods” calling him when asked about assistants. If so, he could have interviewed how many in 9 days? While not officially announced it appears it has taken Woodson at Indiana just a couple of days to retain one assistant while we continue to wait. So......let’s just see what happens.
All I said was that it was concerning to me. If it isn’t for you, that’s ok too.
 

MinnGopher

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I never said the U made the hire because of the Star Tribune. My point was they were pressured to hire a black coach and the Strib was easily seen evidence of that. I don't for one second believe that was the only pressure. If you read the articles (it wasn't one, like you try to pass off) you would see that the pressure to hire based on skin color was immense. For instance read Souhan's piece:

Souhan is going for the throat with this. When you start making a rally cry to defund the U this is not some "observation" this is a call to action with a threat, a threat that university leadership are scared to death of.

In the Megan Ryan article you can see that even the Big Ten commissioner was applying pressure to hire based on skin color:



The entire Ryan article was written in a way to put Coyle on his back foot in regards to race and hiring. In addition to other quotes from people who can put pressure on the U. I am not here to debate if the number one thing that matters is race first and then basketball second, maybe for some people they will buy season tickets so they can see a certain skin color on the sideline even if the team is not that successful. I will just say if you don't hire for basketball first, then you will not get to the top half of the Big Ten. If you believe that they passed on better coaches so they can check the box, then you have to ask yourself why would they do that? That is what I was addressing. I don't believe that Coyle looked at the resumes of Ben Johnson, Craig Smith and Niko Medved and said I am so sold on Ben Johnson being heads and tails above Craig Smith or Niko Medved so much that I don't even need to talk to Craig and Niko because there is no way they can be better than a guy who has never been a HC and really hasn't been part of a successful program at the college ranks. If you think that is possible, you haven't done a good job articulating that case.

Next your weak logic string above was not my logic and inaccurate to boot. First off it wasn't one story. Second, "observation"? Well that is quite a purposeful understatement to try and support your argument. Neither was simple "observation", they were both written to apply pressure in this hiring process. There is also no doubt that the Strib would have hit the U with multiple articles after the hire if the box wasn't checked. Misdirection and trying to misrepresent what reality is confirms my take is closer to accurate and yours is not. If I was incorrect you wouldn't have to try and twist the facts. The Strib was putting a lot of pressure on, it wasn't a throw away matter-of-fact single article. It was multiple written articles written with proposed threats of cutting funding to the university, in addition what they said in the context of what is going on in Minnesota right now and you consider that universities are extreme left leaning institutions the pressure was immense. In addition there was pressure being applied from other areas, like the Big Ten Commissioner.
It was a call to action? What was the specific action he said to take? Yeah it was an observation by Souhan and a question he asked out loud. Does it bother you that there is only a handful of black coaches at the U? I think its a fine question to ask, I don't really care if it is asked either way.

Once again, what is so upsetting about an observation? Are the 19 coaches and Coyle white? Yeah they are lmao. What is so upsetting about that to you? Why can't we make comments/observations about the make up of things with out getting so worked up?

Do you know Meg Ryan's specific intent by writing the article? No. Do you know they hired for race specifically as you are alleging? No. Race first and basketball second? Those are your own opinions and conclusions you draw, but the media can and will ask questions including those on race. What was factually inaccurate in the article? It gets better as you ramble on "threats to cut funding." They can't really threaten to cut funding if the Strib isn't funding the U. Does Souhan or Ryan fund the U? The fact that you think people voicing factual information constitutes a woke mob is interesting. Delusional at best.

At the end of the day if you think a newspaper moved the needle on a coaching search, youre an idiot. Ryan article came out on the 10th, Souhan on the 20th, and Johnson was announced on the 22nd. I'm sure we did a 180 on the search to cave to that woke mob. Get real.
 

MinnGopher

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Dude, actually, I have, some are announced by now, some are not. Again, not an issue if he makes the right hires, but he himself said he had coaches “from blue bloods” calling him when asked about assistants. If so, he could have interviewed how many in 9 days? While not officially announced it appears it has taken Woodson at Indiana just a couple of days to retain one assistant while we continue to wait. So......let’s just see what happens.
All I said was that it was concerning to me. If it isn’t for you, that’s ok too.
If you have that is fair. Earl Grant at BC took like just shy of 2 weeks to make a hire, Otzelberger got his in place fairly quick as I think he retained a couple of previous assistants and hired the CSU guy. Had to look up Shrewsberry but he has one locked down after a couple weeks. I'm just saying it really isn't that out of the norm, plus first time head coach. We love to spin things negatively on this board.
 

short ornery norwegian

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FWIW - Justin Gaard was sitting in for Barreiro today. He said he had "heard" that some announcements might be coming soon - possibly even this week - about coaching hires and "possibly" another commitment. don't know who he "heard" it from. for all I know, he heard it from the gas station attendant at Bobby & Steve's.
 

ethomasp31

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If BJ hires great assistants, the right assistants, I don’t care if it takes 3 months. Having said that, I’m a little worried about how long this is taking. Nuness I can understand the delay around, assuming he ends up actually coming here. The confusing thing to me is that during his introductory presser, when asked about assistants, BJ alluded to the fact that he was floored at the interest he had already received from folks contacting him, including “from blue bloods.” If you’ve truly got that kind of pool to choose from, then I’m confused as to why he has yet to hire a single assistant to help him hit the ground running with recruiting. He was either exaggerating in the presser, telling the truth and is interviewing 50 folks which takes time, or every single assistant he wants is on the final four teams still playing.
Just wondering which it is while I wait for an announcement.....
I think Jared Nuness will be one of the assistants....just by listening to Doogie's interview with him.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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Same person/people who dictated that the hire could not be white, in the first place, of course. Wild guess is Gable, regents, and/or some prominent boosters. Very concerned about the current cultural "moment" in this area, and how the wrong move could be a PR nightmare for the U.

Trying to please as many people as possible.


Is it really that hard to fathom?

Here is an easy couple lines that I made up right now:
Coyle - "Ben, I want you to know that if you accept this job, there will be certain ... ah ... stipulations, on whom you'll be allowed to consider for your assistants. Do you understand what I'm saying"?
BJ - "Yes I understand, and that won't be a problem".

Get it? Shouldn't be hard.
Couldn’t tell you made them up right now. 🤦‍♂️
 

hungan1

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The assistant coaching hires will be very critical with a head coach that is as green as you can get.

I was thinking that the surprise hire would be Niko Medved with his MN ties. I was super surprised when they announced that it is Ben Johnson.

But, there must be some things in BJ that attracts Coyle and Gable. He is very amiable and he can relate to the young players. He can recruit. He is popular in the AAU circuit with players and coaches. He was the reason Oturu, Coffey, Kalscheur, and Omersa probably decide to become Gophers. He will be more relatable to MN players than his predecessor. He was shooter and a team leader. I envision that he espouses an exciting brand of basketball. He has done it all except for head coaching. Went to NW, and then transferred back home. His sojourn thru all the different schools starting with a $4K a year gig. He made several stops along the way. When he was allowed to recruit he made the programs considerably better.

What he does with putting together a ragtag Gopher squad, and who he hires as his assistant coaches are things to watch. From a recruiting standpoint, the Gophers probably will have better luck making some of the homegrown players stick.

He has zero head coaching experience. But, the signs are there that the high risk/high reward gamble is worth taking. The longevity of Gopher Basketball coaches is about six to eight years(?). Let us hope that this learn on the fly job hire works.

Nothing is guaranteed even for the previous Gopher experienced hires. Tubby Smith won a national title at Kentucky in 1998. We thought that we had deliverance finally. Boy oh boy, what did that and other experienced hires get us? They tried a UNC thingy under Tubby, but got caught red-handed in academic cheating. UNC does it better - class that you don't have to show up to get a letter grade that is "available" to the general student population. Success has eluded the Gophers for quite a while. I am thinking Coyle and Gabel decided to try something totally unconventional.

What is the average tenure of the U's ADs and Prezs? Let's hope BJ outlives their tenure.

Being black IMHO is secondary. All the other boxes checked except for head coaching experience. It just happened to line up at the right time and the right place for BJ. This is his dream job, He is at center stage. Timing is everything.
 
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Spaulding!No!

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FWIW - Justin Gaard was sitting in for Barreiro today. He said he had "heard" that some announcements might be coming soon - possibly even this week - about coaching hires and "possibly" another commitment. don't know who he "heard" it from. for all I know, he heard it from the gas station attendant at Bobby & Steve's.
Steve’s daughter is a U grad!
 

SanDiegoGopherFan

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Funny there's so much tension around who the assistants are going to be. I'm on board with BJ now, but I'm also curious if this thread would have so much attention if we had hired a coach with a history of coaching success.

I wonder how ppl will react if we get curve balls for the assistant coaches much like we did for the head coach.
 

manderson1984

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If you have that is fair. Earl Grant at BC took like just shy of 2 weeks to make a hire, Otzelberger got his in place fairly quick as I think he retained a couple of previous assistants and hired the CSU guy. Had to look up Shrewsberry but he has one locked down after a couple weeks. I'm just saying it really isn't that out of the norm, plus first time head coach. We love to spin things negatively on this board.
Otzelberger hired a guy from Colorado State and took Ben Jacobsens long time assistant. Assistant hires happen relatively quick. It makes sense if they are still playing, otherwise it will end up being announced soon once someone is fully on board. It’s right to not panic right now but it’s fair to question and follow. Ben was hired a day or two after Shrewsberry and at the same time as Otz at ISU.
 

manderson1984

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Just this one, critically important, brutally obvious that it needed to be checked, box.
I think some just don’t understand that in many peoples eyes that box was critical and most important. It obviously was not in Coyles. Hopefully it plays out well.
 

MennoSota

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Dave also has a young daughter, who has already moved schools from the Twin Cities, to Des Moines, to Fort Collins. Something else to consider.
Other than hail storms, Fort Collins is a beautiful city.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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Funny there's so much tension around who the assistants are going to be. I'm on board with BJ now, but I'm also curious if this thread would have so much attention if we had hired a coach with a history of coaching success.

I wonder how ppl will react if we get curve balls for the assistant coaches much like we did for the head coach.
Anytime you hire a coach there will be interest in the assistants. That interest will tend to be greater if you hire someone without a well established established track record. Generally, you want to see that the staff is well-rounded and that there are assistants to address any perceived shortcomings in the head coach.

When the Vikings hired Zimmer, people were interested in who would be the OC, because Zim is a defense-focused coach. I don't recall much discussion of who was on the defensive side because people were generally satisfied that Zimmer could handle that part of the job well.

With Ben, there is a concern about his lack of head coaching experience, so there is a keen interest in how he addresses that gap. If we had hired Dutcher, for example, there would have been a great interest in whether his staff included someone who had close ties to the local recruiting scene since he doesn't appear to have any recent history in that area and it was a perceived short-coming of the last head coach.

As to your last question, I am sure that there will be some negative reaction to the staff if it fails to address the areas where people perceive Ben to be lacking. If all the coaches are enthusiastic young recruiters with no history of involvement in game planning and game management, I'll be surprised. Just like I'd be surprised if they hired Dutch and his staff was made up of guys over 50 who haven't ever recruited in the Midwest.
 
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