Tracking Down the Tiger Coach by Bob Ryan

The Missouri basketball program will be looking for a new head coach following news that Kim Anderson is stepping down after three seasons. I feel that considering that he had absolutely NO idea that the school was under investigation when he signed his contract that the school should create a temporary position for him as they did for Pinkel (who won plenty of games but the “strike” in his last year has scarred Mizzou)….I doubt Mizzou will do it…but it’d be the honorable thing to do to an honorable man.

 

As life moves on…I’d look for proven Head Coaches…if possible from a top level, winning school….those are often very  tough to procure and someone who can really coach….many of the names I hear can recruit but somehow the teams rarely win at a very high level. Now AD Sterck claims that he wants a successful D-1 coach …with experience…..and says that he can double the $1.1m contract that Kim Anderson signed…big deal….the good coaches…really good coaches are up in the $3-4m area…get up with the times…so….here’s my picks if I were Mizzou’s AD…

 

#1 choice– Tom Crean would be my top choice…the folks of Indiana have frowned on his 17 win season this year….it’s not up to their standards…rather haughy….and their memory is very short…just last year he won 27 games and reached the Sweet 16…he’s 50 years old so he has 18 years of head coaching experience (9-Marquette, 9-Indiana) and yet plenty of time remaining in the “prime time” years of his coaching life. He’d be expensive…he earned $3.16 mil but it’s time for Mizzou to put their $$$ where their mouth is….and 1st year head football coach Barry Odum earns $2.35 before coaching as a head coach at any other D-1 School….. while at Marquette, Crean increased attendance by 70%….he’d have that same challenge @ Mizzou… you get what you pay for….he’d be my man that I’d go after hard. To get him:  offer ideas of fresh start, new challenge, escape the unpleasable Hoosier fans, more money (that always seems to workJ, Mizzou needs YOU—a proven winning coach.

 

#2 choice would be a young and up & coming coach….it’d 38 year old Archie Miller (Dayton).In his 6 years as head coach he’s 139-60 (.698) . This year his 24-5 team should reach the NCAA for the 4th straight year….they’ve reached round of 64 (once), round of 32(once) and the Elite Eight in the last 3 years. His current salary of $692,000+ will easily be topped handily. Mizzou did this type of thing long ago when they hired a 32 year old alum named Norm Stewart! To get him: stepping up in prominence, reaching the big-time, huge salary increase

 

#3 choice would be Scott Drew(current Baylor head coach for 14 years-46 years old) has an impressive resume 277-177 (.610)….in his first 3 years @ Baylor he was 21-53…if you wipe out those ‘start over” first 3 years…his mark is 256-124…he has a terrific lineage in coaching (following his Dad footsteps as a successful D-1 coach)..earns $2.7mil so a salary increase would put him up with the top level coaches in the USA…. to get him—time for new challenge, closer to your roots, tougher competition, more money

 

….then I’d go the young guys…on the way up….high potential and with some proven work….but not much……

  • Kevin Keats (UNC-Wilmington) is a Rick Pitino disciple…this 44 year old is in his 1st head coaching position and has elevated an unknown program to the spotlight. His 72-27 record speaks for itself…..Pitino says he has the full package as a coach…he’s 44 years old so…..he’s been around awhile already
  • Will Wade-age 34…coach Chattanooga 2 years (40-25) and last year took over VCU and guided them to a 25-11 mark, this year they are 24—7 but most wins are NOT against the power 5 conferences

..…of these two…I’d prefer Keats strongly…both are unproven at the higher levels as a Head Coach but their credentials seem to “open the door” for them to enter into the fray against the “big boys”

 

I’ve passed on the local favorite sons……Cuonzo Martin(45 years old)…known as a fantastic recruiter but he’s only made the NCAA 1 of his 3 years @ California and has struggled mightily in the Pac-12-14-18-28…. whatever it is now..

Also being bypassed was Lorenzo Romar (58 years old)..he’s been at Washington 15 years now….his current club is 9-21 (so I’m sure Washington would be happy for us to take him off their hands)….he hasn’t been over .500 in conference since 2011-12 season…generally touted as having “terrific”recruiting classes…but….I wonder what happens to them?

…..I’ve reference conference play for both of these coaches since it is in conference competition where opposing coaches have similar athletes the x’s & O’s matter more…neither of these guys have exhibited the ability to outcoach their opposing coaches.

…If Mizzou hires an assistant coach from ANY program….they heard more “NO’s” than a 16 year old wanting to buy a brand new car 

 

A name that has popped up in most accounts is Travis Ford.  This shouldn’t be surprising….as a player, Ford jumped away from Mizzou for “bigger” Kentucky. As a coach, he’s been a climber—Campbellsville, U, E. Kentucky, UMass, Ok State. He parted ways with the Cowboys after 8 years…don’t you love the words that are now used for “fired”?….the last 2 years were very disappointing. So…one would have to surmise that Ford COULD and probably does have interest in a SEC program as opposed to a A-10 team.  I think he’s a good coach and a good recruiter but he always seems to have his bags packed and ready to leave on a jet plane…TU Peter, Paul & Mary.

 

Baseball news from Florida & Arizona..

….most…if not all baseball owners are smiling now….they’ve just learned that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is likely to sell his team.  Loria has mismanaged (I’m being kind today) the Marlins badly….he’s really making out like a bandit though…he bought the team for $158 mil in 2002 and will have an asking price of around $1.4 to 1.7 BILLION now…sure he spent some money on the stadium, signing Giancarlo Stanton but for the most part he’s kept his hands on his wallet …in his pocket….baseball will be better off without him…it’s the ol’ addition by subtraction idea.

….the continuing back ailment of Matt Carpenter may be the only reason that Matt Adams still has the Birds on the Bat on HIS jersey…this isn’t new for Carp…he’s faced back issues for a couple years now….most of you MUST have noticed his back stretching moves each time he enters the batters  box

…the two step delivery… has been outlawed by MLB…in the two-stepper…the pitcher hops forward off the pitching plate with his rt foot (about a 10-14 inches) and THEN takes the step with his left foot….thus he actually shortens the distance by a foot or so on his pitch…not many use it…I do think that Jonathan Broxton is one of them…not 100% sure however….I kept yelling “balk” on every pitch as I watched at home….at least until the General got tired of hearing it 

…the Cards GM, John Mozeliak, has too much invested in Kolton Wong…his scouting of him, signing to a 5 years contract….it appears that he may feel obligated to give Wong any possible chance ….at least this season 

…Speaking of GM MO….he’s been the GM for 10 years already…I wondered if that was a Cardinal longevity record for general managers… not even close….Branch Rickey was the Cardinal GM from 1919 to 1942…of course Mr. Rickey is credited for building the outstanding teams in the 20’s and the 40s.  When he left…he was pushed out… he went to Brooklyn and built the Dodgers into their 50’s dynasty.

…if the most recent Cardinal Cuban signee Aroldis Garcia is as good as their signing bonus indicates….the Cards expect Garcia to have a booming bat as an OF….if that pans out..we could have major reshuffling so… there are 2 possibilities….Garcia shoves aside Fowler into a backup role in a year (assuming Grichuk  & Piscotty hit this year) or…one of this group play 1b and Carp goes back to 3B

 

….odds & ends…..

…..I had the chance to announce the outstanding OT STATE Sectional game between the St. Mary’s Dragons & the Vashon Wolverines….it was a tremendous game with the Wolverines winning in OT…many tremendous players and athletes on the court for both teams….both well coached….if you want a glimpse…

…I’m not an NBA fan but ANY basketball fan has to tip their hat to Dirk Nowitzki. This 38 year old NBA player whose played in Dallas his entire pro career…still playing in the NBA at 38 should be a record in itselfJ…broke the 30,000 point barrier. He’s the 6th player to achieve that lofty plateau….Kareem, Karl Malone, Kobe, Michael Jordan, Wilt and now Dirk…he also has 10000+ rebounds and 3000+ assists.  I seldom hear his name in the top 10 NBA players of all-time…but maybe he should be there

…at the HS hockey level in St. Louis, it’s been CBC for a long time now.  The Cadets won their 4th straight title with a 4-1 win over SLUH. It was ….amazingly… the 12th title in the last 17 years—WOW! Congrats to all around especially the coaching staff—Head Coach-John Jost and his two outstanding assistants—Randy Staub and Nic Carosello.

….I gave you notice a few weeks ago about the new Mizzou baseball Coach. Coach Steve Bieser has turned the Tigers into a machine…a winning machine. The Tigers have jumped out to a 14-1 record …keep your eyes on them

…the Blues will need to upgrade “down the middle” this off season. Their center-ice-men are capable but none are really of the “higher” levels.  I’m not a hockey expert but I can’t remember really good teams not having ANY very strong play from their center of their forward lines

…a final local HS note….Incarnate Word Academy has reached the STATE basketball semifinals tor its 8th straight year! The only constant has been the Head Coach Dan Rolfes…congrats to him and the Red Knights.

 

I’m done tracking now…..btw…this is about as close as I’ll ever come to hunting ANYTHING down 

Comments

  1. Bring Bob Ryan out of retirement for the Mizzou job. I know lots of girls from Rosary HS who would relish seeing him on the sidelines again.

  2. James Baer says:

    I agree with your Mizzou list of candidates.

    If the Tigers poach Travis Ford, they can burn in you know what?

    The Billikens cut a mutual deal hiring the deposed Okie State coach. It was good for SLU and got Travis back into the business quickly.

    He is a hit with the Billiken family. His recruiting is top drawer, and he can coach, indicated by the rebuild of the last half of the season. They won six conference games where the so called experts expected none.

    His new freshmen are not free to leave. If they follow him to Columbia, they would have to sit out a year. That would be a total screw job for his four D-I transfer who’d all of a sudden be stuck with an unknown coach and an unknown future. The turmoil would wreck SLU’s future.

    I graduated Mizzou and I’m a Billiken fan. That would be a total travesty for Mizzou to hire him just because he has some great recruits in hand. Nothing to say they will all come along to a sure fire sleeve program. If he does, I hope Gordon flips to KU.

  3. John Rocco says:

    Bob, I agree with your coaching picks
    for Mizzous basketball. I think either Cream
    or Martin would be excellent.
    Looks to the Cardinals could be over loaded
    in the outfield soon. Garcia,Bader will be
    pushing for playing time soon.
    Thanks. John

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