Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Washington Post column:Mark Turgeon wasn’t the obvious choice, but he might be the right one for Maryland

Here is today's article from The Washington Post on Maryland's coaching search and hire----------

Sometimes, the best hire is the one you don’t make.

Almost 50 years ago, when Frank McGuire left North Carolina for the NBA, very few Tar Heel supporters wanted to see his quiet, unassuming, 30-year-old assistant take his place. The exception was the school’s chancellor, who decided to give Dean Smith first crack at the job.

In 1980, Duke Athletic Director Tom Butters was being pushed by Bob Knight to hire one of Knight’s former assistants: Texas coach Bob Weltlich. Butters’ gut told him the unknown coach at Army with the impossible to pronounce name was the right guy, but he didn’t think he could hire a coach from that level who had just gone 9-17. So he thanked Mike Krzyzewski for coming down for a second interview and sent him back to the airport, intending to call Weltlich.

When Steve Vacendak, Butters’ top lieutenant, asked him why he had sent Krzyzewski home, Butters said: “I think I’d get crushed for hiring him with his record and lack of experience.”

“Do you think he’s the best coach for the job?”


The way Butters told the story, that’s when he made his decision. He sent Vacendak to the airport to bring Krzyzewski back and offered him the job. He never called Weltlich.

Mark Turgeon is not a good hire for Maryland; he’s a great hire. There are plenty of numbers to prove it, but the most impressive one is this: He went to four straight NCAA tournaments at a school that couldn’t care less about basketball in a league that has been at least as competitive as the ACC — maybe more so — during that period.

Click here for the rest of the column: Mark Turgeon wasn’t the obvious choice, but he might be the right one for Maryland


bevo said...

Weltlich was head coach at Ol' Miss during the time of your story. He would later leave for Texas.

He earned the nickname, Kaiser Bob, for his less than humane treatment of players.

Needlessly to say, Duke made a great choice and Texas a rather poor one.

John said...

one word on behalf of us whiners


Anonymous said...

Duke also had the commitment to stick with Coach K during his first few years, when he wasn't exactly setting the world on fire, at a time when Dean and Jimmy V were winning national championships of their own.

Very good point on the early years of Gary's tenure in College Park. Too many people (including his former boss) forget how bad the situation was at Maryland at that time. Gary could have said "thanks but no thanks" and kept his very nice gig at Ohio State.

Anonymous said...

I love how the University of Maryland asked us fans to pony up more money for tickets when things are going great. The second that things are not going well we are told to stop whining and remember the good ole days.

Part of being a fanatic is wanting to be good all of the time.

Anonymous said...

This is off topic, but you HAVE to comment on the absurdity of the BCS punishment of fining the Fiesta Bowl $1million for their wrongdoings -- IF they were already doing their job as a nonprofit and giving their proceeds to charity then there would be no extra million sitting around to pay the fine. And it seems like they think they pulled wool over the eyes of the mainstream media in this big announcement of the 'fine'.

This whole thing is just preposterous.