Who is your "Home Run" hire?

tjgopher

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In all honesty, please:

had you even heard of PJ Fleck prior to W Michigan almost upsetting Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl after the 2016 season?

I don't think there's any shame in admitting you hadn't. I certainly hadn't.
I kinda disagree with this. Most big time college football fans had absolutely heard of Fleck and knew he was a fast riser well prior to the Cotton Bowl. Heck, Coyle got to know by interviewing him for the Syracuse job after the 2015 season.

By midseason 2016 anyone paying attention to college football should have heard of him. They beat two Big Ten teams in September. There was talk of Western Michigan being a Group of Five entry into a NY 6 bowl game from late September on. They were ranked in the Top 25 by mid-October. ESPN College Gameday was in Kalamazoo in mid-November. He interviewed for several jobs prior to the Cotton Bowl.
 

MplsGopher

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Most big time college football fans had absolutely heard of Fleck and knew he was a fast riser well prior to the Cotton Bowl.
Because he had gone 8-5 in the MAC in 2014 and 2015? Hmm.

Coyle got to know by interviewing him for the Syracuse job after the 2015 season.
Gopher fans knew this, at that time?

And when Coyle was hired, it's not like he came out and said "you know, I'm really looking to fire Tracy Claeys and hire this young guy PJ Fleck at Western Michigan who went 8-5 in the MAC last year. Look him up!"

They were ranked in the Top 25 by mid-October. ESPN College Gameday was in Kalamazoo in mid-November. He interviewed for several jobs prior to the Cotton Bowl.
Sure. Good points.

So maybe some Gopher fans knew of him some number of weeks before the Cotton Bowl.

But at the same time, how many people were expecting Claeys to be fired? Especially after winning the bowl game?



You're not wrong and I'm not completely right. I just think I'm mostly right. Doesn't really matter, that much. I just disagreed with what twv had said about Fleck being a home run hire but Smith/Medved not being one.
 

cjbfbp

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Throw Purdue in the mix.



But coaching changes made the difference at many of those places.

Wisconsin was no good for decades until they got a coach that started building things (Dick Bennett) and then lucked into a second coach (Bo Ryan) who took it to the next level.

Michigan was terrible throughout the 2000s, firing a couple of coaches (Tommy Amaker, Brian Ellerbe) until they got it right with Beilein and he turned it around.

Purdue was fading fast under the legendary, but aging Gene Keady. They hired Matt Painter and they've been a contender nearly every year since.

Indiana was a national power under Knight, then faded under Davis and sanctions imposed under Sampson. Crean got em a couple of Big Ten titles.

Illinois went through Jon Groce, but found Brad Underwood.

Coaching matters.
Glad you brought up all of those historical points. Some people have short memories.

I would also add Michigan State to a degree before Izzo. Yes, Heathcote won a national title in 1979 with Magic and Kelser but didn't make the NCAA tournament during the five years following that, only made the NCAA tournament in 8 of his last 16 years, and only made the regional semifinals twice during those 16 years. That's still not a bad record, of course, but it's a far cry from Izzo's performance.

Yes, of course coaching matters, especially in college basketball but even in the pros! It's understandable that Minnesota's futility after Clem could give some people a sense of fatalism about how much coaching can change things but you've cited some excellent examples. We could go outside the Big Ten for more:

Duke was just an occasional NCAA participant before Coach K.

Houston was great under Guy Lewis but had barely done anything for decades after until Kelvin Sampson arrived.

Auburn went 14 years without making the tournament until Bruce Pearl took them there and reached the final four a year later. They're having a mediocre year this year but had three straight years of 25 or more wins before this year.
 

cjbfbp

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Usually the high flying coaches are the ones who make a March Madness Run.

Andy Enfield
Gregg Marshall, etc.


Maybe it's time for Steve Alford to come back to the Big Ten.
Aren't middle-parts in-style again?


Dream hire is Coach K.
He spends enough time up here recruiting and he can land the top Minnesota kids.
Save Coach K a lot of travel in his older years.
Enfield hasn't had a tournament run with USC yet. We'll see if he can do it this year. Marshall definitely has had success in the tournament but he's the last person that the U would touch right now.

Alford has been a reasonably successful coach wherever he's been but his personality always wears on people eventually.
 

cjbfbp

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Anyway, it seems that most people have various former successful P5 head coaches in mind when they think "home run".

That just feels like Tubby, all over.
Let's forget personalities or the type of coach (older veteran or young up-and-coming) for a moment. A 6 year performance like Tubby's would look pretty good right now in comparison to Pitino's 8 year performance.

Percentage of years with 20 wins or more: Tubby - 83%; Pitino - 37.5%
Percentage of years in a post-season tournament: Tubby- 83%; Pitino - 37.5%
Percentage of years with losing seasons: Tubby 0%; Pitino - 37.5%
 

Hates Monikers

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Because he had gone 8-5 in the MAC in 2014 and 2015? Hmm.


Gopher fans knew this, at that time?

And when Coyle was hired, it's not like he came out and said "you know, I'm really looking to fire Tracy Claeys and hire this young guy PJ Fleck at Western Michigan who went 8-5 in the MAC last year. Look him up!"


Sure. Good points.

So maybe some Gopher fans knew of him some number of weeks before the Cotton Bowl.

But at the same time, how many people were expecting Claeys to be fired? Especially after winning the bowl game?



You're not wrong and I'm not completely right. I just think I'm mostly right. Doesn't really matter, that much. I just disagreed with what twv had said about Fleck being a home run hire but Smith/Medved not being one.
Cripes, even my wife was asking me who this Fleck guy was early in the 2016 season. Long before the Cotton Bowl, long before Claeys was fired.

Nevertheless, I do agree with your premise. We're all focused on about a half dozen names, three who are realistic, and there's no guarantee those three are the answer. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if Coyle goes a different direction. That wouldn't mean that it's a bad hire or that it won't work out. There are a lot of good coaches out there, and what Coyle and potential candidates are looking for need to sync up. After 20 dismal years, we need some magic, and I hope it happens one way or the other.
 

MplsGopher

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Cripes, even my wife was asking me who this Fleck guy was early in the 2016 season. Long before the Cotton Bowl, long before Claeys was fired.
It's not worth arguing. I just think you're misremembering. Why would your wife know about the head coach of a MAC team that went 8-5 the year before? Was there a newspaper article on Fleck in Sept? If there was, fine. But hell if I know why there would be.

Nevertheless, I do agree with your premise. We're all focused on about a half dozen names, three who are realistic, and there's no guarantee those three are the answer. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if Coyle goes a different direction. That wouldn't mean that it's a bad hire or that it won't work out. There are a lot of good coaches out there, and what Coyle and potential candidates are looking for need to sync up. After 20 dismal years, we need some magic, and I hope it happens one way or the other.
Agreed
 

TNGophfan

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Because he had gone 8-5 in the MAC in 2014 and 2015? Hmm.


Gopher fans knew this, at that time?

And when Coyle was hired, it's not like he came out and said "you know, I'm really looking to fire Tracy Claeys and hire this young guy PJ Fleck at Western Michigan who went 8-5 in the MAC last year. Look him up!"


Sure. Good points.

So maybe some Gopher fans knew of him some number of weeks before the Cotton Bowl.

But at the same time, how many people were expecting Claeys to be fired? Especially after winning the bowl game?



You're not wrong and I'm not completely right. I just think I'm mostly right. Doesn't really matter, that much. I just disagreed with what twv had said about Fleck being a home run hire but Smith/Medved not being one.
Just FYI, Pete Thamel wrote 2 big articles about Fleck in SI in 2015. One in February about his recruiting haul and another in September after they lost to Michigan State in their opener. His name was getting around.

Thamel has been a huge PJ booster for a number of years.
 

MplsGopher

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Just FYI, Pete Thamel wrote 2 big articles about Fleck in SI in 2015. One in February about his recruiting haul and another in September after they lost to Michigan State in their opener. His name was getting around.

Thamel has been a huge PJ booster for a number of years.
Did not know that, at all. Fair enough. Thanks
 

tmvander

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Let's forget personalities or the type of coach (older veteran or young up-and-coming) for a moment. A 6 year performance like Tubby's would look pretty good right now in comparison to Pitino's 8 year performance.

Percentage of years with 20 wins or more: Tubby - 83%; Pitino - 37.5%
Percentage of years in a post-season tournament: Tubby- 83%; Pitino - 37.5%
Percentage of years with losing seasons: Tubby 0%; Pitino - 37.5%
Yeah but let's not have a guy who succeeded as well as Tubby be our "home run hire."
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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Because he had gone 8-5 in the MAC in 2014 and 2015? Hmm.

Gopher fans knew this, at that time?

And when Coyle was hired, it's not like he came out and said "you know, I'm really looking to fire Tracy Claeys and hire this young guy PJ Fleck at Western Michigan who went 8-5 in the MAC last year. Look him up!"

Sure. Good points.

So maybe some Gopher fans knew of him some number of weeks before the Cotton Bowl.

But at the same time, how many people were expecting Claeys to be fired? Especially after winning the bowl game?

You're not wrong and I'm not completely right. I just think I'm mostly right. Doesn't really matter, that much. I just disagreed with what twv had said about Fleck being a home run hire but Smith/Medved not being one.
Most avid college football followers knew all about PJ Fleck prior to his 2016 season. I vividly remember reading this article at the time it was released and being intrigued by Fleck's unorthodox nature (which is the main reason people knew about him, beyond being a coach in the MAC). Fleck was being talked about all the time as a fast riser in the coaching ranks, mentioned on national podcasts, etc.

https://www.si.com/college/2015/02/05/pj-fleck-western-michigan-recruiting

It's OK to admit that you hadn't heard of him, and perhaps don't follow the sport as closely as others might.
 

MplsGopher

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Most avid college football followers knew all about PJ Fleck prior to his 2016 season. I vividly remember reading this article at the time it was released and being intrigued by Fleck's unorthodox nature (which is the main reason people knew about him, beyond being a coach in the MAC).

https://www.si.com/college/2015/02/05/pj-fleck-western-michigan-recruiting
Post #160 beat you.

It's OK to admit that you hadn't heard of him, and perhaps don't follow the sport as closely as others might.
Correct, I was wrong.
 

tjgopher

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I just think I'm mostly right. Doesn't really matter, that much.
It is okay that you didn't know who PJ Fleck was by October-November of 2016, but I don't think among diehard college football fans you'd be the norm. Most anyone who followed college football at all was well aware of PJ Fleck prior to coaching in the Cotton Bowl.

How many people were expecting Claeys to be fired? Especially after winning the bowl game?
EVERYONE was wondering if Claeys was going to get fired even if he won the bowl game. His team made national headlines for boycotting a bowl game in the middle of a sexual assault investigation and he publicly backed that effort, while calling out his bosses. So, yeah, there was serious doubt about his return.
 
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Go Gophs

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A big name is not important for this hire IMO.

The right guy is. That runs the right system, is strong willed and will instill his culture from the get go.


That is what is needed here. That is what was needed at Wisconsin all those years ago. That is what Painter brought back to Purdue.

This next hire has to be someone that is willing to force his players to play his brand of basketball, recruit to it, and teach it at a high level. I don't care if any of us have heard of whoever is hired before in our lives.

Who heard of Matt Painter before he took the Purdue job? What about Dick Bennet or Bo Ryan?
Hot names are just that, hot names. I want a guy that is deep. A guy with substance, a guy that doesn't take no for an answer and is willing to work this program into one that plays tough, values teamwork, defense and rebounding and is not afraid to make his guys work harder than they ever had before.

That is the way here. We will not win with talent. It will not happen. We generally finish in our conference right about where our recruiting rankings say we should. There needs to be a culture established here where we win more with less. Once that is instilled, then some of the higher end talent will start to consider us. Until then, it will be more of the same.
 

leib0039

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A big name is not important for this hire IMO.

The right guy is. That runs the right system, is strong willed and will instill his culture from the get go.


That is what is needed here. That is what was needed at Wisconsin all those years ago. That is what Painter brought back to Purdue.

This next hire has to be someone that is willing to force his players to play his brand of basketball, recruit to it, and teach it at a high level. I don't care if any of us have heard of whoever is hired before in our lives.

Who heard of Matt Painter before he took the Purdue job? What about Dick Bennet or Bo Ryan?
Hot names are just that, hot names. I want a guy that is deep. A guy with substance, a guy that doesn't take no for an answer and is willing to work this program into one that plays tough, values teamwork, defense and rebounding and is not afraid to make his guys work harder than they ever had before.

That is the way here. We will not win with talent. It will not happen. We generally finish in our conference right about where our recruiting rankings say we should. There needs to be a culture established here where we win more with less. Once that is instilled, then some of the higher end talent will start to consider us. Until then, it will be more of the same.
I would like to tell you this is wrong, but to me this is 100% correct. We arent going to bring in 5* guys left and right. We need to build like a Texas Tech or UVa. I would prefer to watch a fun style like say Creighton, but I honestly dont think that is a sustainable to win with less talent. Again, look at UVa, Tex Tech heck even Wisconsin, Baylor or Loyola Chicago. They consistently win because they are in every game and play great defense and then who knows. Its not as pleasing on the eye sure but its effective. Then you slowly try to build up and hey now that 1 5* or 2 4* kids take you from 20-10 to 25-5 type thing. Offense is fun, but relying on that also gets you beat like a drum for 8 straight years on the road in conference.
 

bigyetti18

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A big name is not important for this hire IMO.

The right guy is. That runs the right system, is strong willed and will instill his culture from the get go.


That is what is needed here. That is what was needed at Wisconsin all those years ago. That is what Painter brought back to Purdue.

This next hire has to be someone that is willing to force his players to play his brand of basketball, recruit to it, and teach it at a high level. I don't care if any of us have heard of whoever is hired before in our lives.

Who heard of Matt Painter before he took the Purdue job? What about Dick Bennet or Bo Ryan?
Hot names are just that, hot names. I want a guy that is deep. A guy with substance, a guy that doesn't take no for an answer and is willing to work this program into one that plays tough, values teamwork, defense and rebounding and is not afraid to make his guys work harder than they ever had before.

That is the way here. We will not win with talent. It will not happen. We generally finish in our conference right about where our recruiting rankings say we should. There needs to be a culture established here where we win more with less. Once that is instilled, then some of the higher end talent will start to consider us. Until then, it will be more of the same.
I could not agree more. We need someone that is going to have a plan, establish an identity as to how we are going to play then recruit kids that fit the style. I don't see any reason why we should not have a top 25 team every year starting with the talent that we have here.
 

howeda7

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Please explain Huggs NCAA issues.
They were when he was at Cincinnati. I believe he left some issues at K-State as well. He also had the famous "zero percent" graduation rate at Cincy.

Bob Huggins' fate was sealed as soon as Nancy Zimpher saw the black and white images of her drunken basketball coach stumbling through a field sobriety test.

Not long after that, the winningest basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati found out the hard way that UC's new president – and its first female chief - had bigger basketballs than he did.

Officers said he "staggered" out of the car and couldn't keep his balance during the sobriety test. Asked to recite the alphabet from the letter "E" through "P," Huggins said, "E, F, G, H, I, K, L, N, Z," according to the police report. Asked to count backward from 67 to 54, he counted from 62 to 52, the report said.

Officers handcuffed him and put him in the back seat of their cruiser, and Huggins said, "Don't do this to me," according to their report. But he was cooperative, they said.

It turned out the same two officers had stopped Huggins on the same stretch of road in 2002 but let him go. Zimpher would not be as forgiving.

During Huggins' 16 seasons at UC, numerous players were arrested or cited for offenses ranging from domestic violence to punching a police horse. Several were later acquitted or had the charges dropped. NCAA rules violations in the 1990s led to probation and a loss of scholarships.



The NCAA has concluded that the rules violations uncovered in coach Bob Huggins' program are major and deserve more investigation, the University of Cincinnati announced Friday.

The NCAA has sent the university a notice of official inquiry that alleged a lack of institutional control over Huggins' program.

Point guard Charles Williams and forward Ruben Patterson received lengthy suspensions last season for myriad violations of NCAA rules. John Loyer, one of Huggins' top assistants, remains on paid leave because of his involvement in the infractions.


"John denies that he provided any false or misleading information, and he also denies that he purposely broke any rules," Loyer's attorney, Steve Owens, said Friday.

Numerous other violations involving other players occurred over a 16-month period that is the main focus of the NCAA's investigation.

The university could be stripped of basketball scholarships, barred from postseason play and receive two years' probation if the NCAA concludes it is guilty of the allegations.

The 17-page letter of inquiry asks for more information about violations that the university uncovered and reported to the NCAA.

The NCAA's letter of inquiry included a new charge that "the university failed to exercise appropriate institutional control" over the basketball program. The violations occurred under Huggins and Athletic Director Gerald O'Dell, who resigned last August amid a feud with the coach.


 
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MplsGopher

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It is okay that you didn't know who PJ Fleck was by October-November of 2016, but I don't think among diehard college football fans you'd be the norm. Most anyone who followed college football at all was well aware of PJ Fleck prior to coaching in the Cotton Bowl.
I readily admit over the last few posts, I was wrong to assume the contrary.

EVERYONE was wondering if Claeys was going to get fired even if he won the bowl game. His team made national headlines for boycotting a bowl game in the middle of a sexual assault investigation and he publicly backed that effort, while calling out his bosses. So, yeah, there was serious doubt about his return.
Well not everyone. Yes, the sex scandal was what it was. But I don't think Kaler or Coyle had given any indication that a firing was in the works? Feel free to prove me wrong again, it is certainly possible. I thought I recall Claeys saying that when after they won the bowl game against Washington State, both of those men sure seemed very happy with what he had accomplished that season.

Maybe some contingent wanted him to be fired, and possibly also they did indeed want Fleck to be hired. That is fine. I don't think it was everyone.

Myself, I assumed that Claeys had won his job with the bowl win. I was surprised.
 

Otis

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Home run hire = Mark McGuire

Wonder if he knows anything about basketball?
 

WindyCityGopher

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Not claiming otherwise, nor for Bonds.

But you can't just take a bunch of steroids, then lift a bunch of weights, and automatically hit home runs. Just sayin'
To disprove your point see Ortiz, David, as the most glaring example.
 

short ornery norwegian

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back to the concept of a "Home Run" Hire.

I think people are looking at this two different ways.

Some believe a "Home Run" hire means a nationally-known name who could hopefully get people excited about the program. - "Hey, Minnesota hired Coach X!"

Others believe a "Home Run" hire means a coach who can be successful at MN. (at least more successful than the current coach).

I tend to think that a "Home Run" hire means someone who makes a splash. There are probably a number of younger coaches who have the ability to be successful, but that type of hire is not going to generate a lot of buzz among the casual fans. The Tubby hiring may not have entirely worked out, but at least people knew the name Tubby Smith.

Me - I just want a good coach. I don't care if he has a "name" or not. but, given the U's situation, I'm not sure they have the patience to go with another developmental coach. At the very least, they need someone who has a track record of success at another school.
 

BarnBurner

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A home run hire would only be hailed as such after a time period where fans could point to building the program and winning a lot.
 

cjbfbp

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Yeah but let's not have a guy who succeeded as well as Tubby be our "home run hire."
Certainly not but if we hired a coach after Pitino and he proceeded to have a record similar to Tubby over his first 6 years, my guess is that he wouldn't be fired after that period. It would be nice to hire someone who would outperform Tubby but now we know that we can do worse than that.
 

Bad Gopher

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back to the concept of a "Home Run" Hire.

I think people are looking at this two different ways.

Some believe a "Home Run" hire means a nationally-known name who could hopefully get people excited about the program. - "Hey, Minnesota hired Coach X!"

Others believe a "Home Run" hire means a coach who can be successful at MN. (at least more successful than the current coach).

I tend to think that a "Home Run" hire means someone who makes a splash. There are probably a number of younger coaches who have the ability to be successful, but that type of hire is not going to generate a lot of buzz among the casual fans. The Tubby hiring may not have entirely worked out, but at least people knew the name Tubby Smith.

Me - I just want a good coach. I don't care if he has a "name" or not. but, given the U's situation, I'm not sure they have the patience to go with another developmental coach. At the very least, they need someone who has a track record of success at another school.
There's a scene in Moonraker where Drax is on the phone trying to replace the henchman that Bond had just offed. You don't hear the other end of the convo, but the person is offering up the services of Jaws. Drax says in reply, " Oh, yes, well, if you can get him, of course." That's a home run hire.
 
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