Brad Simmons

Coaches afraid of a challenge

Posted April 4, 2011

As the list of candidates who pass on the NC State basketball job grows longer, so does that of the people laughing at a once mighty program that wants to avoid giving the job to the next person who walks into the room.

Name after name surfaces, and time after time NC State is left standing there with nothing to show but egg on its face.

Why?

Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically the best conference in America, a rabid fan base, and money to give, have to beg someone to take the head coaching job?

It shouldn’t!

Critics say “NC State is the worst high profile job in America” or “no one wants to work for Debbie Yow.” Whatever the reason, people seem to dump on NC State like it’s a second-class citizen.

A lot of people fail to realize that 20 years ago NC State stood nose-to-nose, toes-to-toes with both UNC and Duke. On any given night, any of the three could beat the other. Tobacco Road was the basketball universe, hands down.

If you’re a coach in big time college basketball, and there’s not one coach in America who doesn’t have an ego about what they can do, you want to measure yourself against the best, day in and day out.

What better place to do that than in Raleigh, North Carolina. You have two of the nation’s best programs and two Hall of Famers a stone’s throw away on which to measure yourself every single day.

You’re trying to tell me in this day and age of whose ego is bigger, someone isn’t bold enough to step to the plate and see if he’s got what it takes to make it on the big stage?

While the national critics find themselves laughing at a basketball program with a rich history struggling to find a coach for the second time in five years, I’m laughing at the number of so-called “big-time” coaches who are afraid to test their mettle in the pinnacle of college basketball.

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  • Sauras69 Apr 6, 3:35 p.m.

    The coaches listed in the State search were way out there. Barnes, Donovan, Miller. Wright likes where he is, and he got a raise. The first surely didn't have anything to gain by coming to State. Miller just had a great year, and landed recruits. Smart likes his new 8 year contract. These guys are smart. State was out there 25 years ago. Talk about the future.

  • jdsportz Apr 5, 4:28 p.m.

    "Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    I get sick and tired of thes johnny come lately heels and dookie fans saying things that they... View More

    — Posted by conrad27713

    In the last 25 years (1987-2011) state has nine tourney appearances (36%) and two sweet sixteen... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    So youre basing your facts by how many times State has been in the NCAA tournaments ? OK then... View More

    — Posted by conrad27713

    But see, now you're going back further than 25 years. The whole point I made earlier was that "state hasn't been relevant for 25 years" and I proved exactly what I said with facts. If I had said "state hasn't been relevant for 50 years" then yes, your argument is correct. All I was proving with those numbers is the time frame I initially quoted, NOT the overall "success" and history of nc state basketball. Thing is, no coach is really going to take much notice of anything that happened 30 or so years ago when looking at a head coaching job, which is why I was saying that this is not a terribly lucrative job, and based on the sub-par hire (IMO) just announced, most other coaches seemed to agree. Honestly, I would have loved for state to get a good coach and renew the rivalry, but I just don't know whether or not it will ever be the way it was before.

    If you look at the OVERALL history of the program, then yes, state is arguably in the 3-5 range of ACC teams. But, again, just looking at the 25 years I mentioned, they are not. And I'm not trying to harp on that exact number. Anyone can pick a number and support their opinion with facts. I just HAPPENED to say 25, and all I'm trying to say is that I properly supported my opinion with what I initially stated with facts. You likewise have supported an opinion based on overall history.

  • conrad27713 Apr 5, 2:52 p.m.

    "Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    I get sick and tired of thes johnny come lately heels and dookie fans saying things that they... View More

    — Posted by conrad27713

    In the last 25 years (1987-2011) state has nine tourney appearances (36%) and two sweet sixteen... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    So youre basing your facts by how many times State has been in the NCAA tournaments ? OK then lets read into your talking points. How many ACC teams have more tournament titles than NC State and with 1 or more national titles pls ? Try 3, UNC, Duke, State 19, 17, 10. National titles UNC 5 and 4 Duke, State 2, Md 1. So what is the rest of the conference as a whole percentages in the ACC ? By your own opinions 80 %. So the 80 % has been far worst than State. And it took 20 yrs of sub par winning for Duke to past N.C. State for 2nd place.

  • ncguy Apr 5, 1:06 p.m.

    I said the same thing as this article 5 years ago.

    these fly by night coach's Smart, Stevens, etc... are playing it safe in their own little basketball conferences.

    What kind of legacy is that?

    no one will ever remember Shaka Smart in the basketball history books.

    They gave up a chance to be in the same sentence as coach K, Dean, Roy and yes even jimmy V.

    So i say get a part timer in and continue to look next year.

  • jdsportz Apr 5, 12:58 p.m.

    "Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    I get sick and tired of thes johnny come lately heels and dookie fans saying things that they... View More

    — Posted by conrad27713

    In the last 25 years (1987-2011) state has nine tourney appearances (36%) and two sweet sixteen appearances (8%). That's actually even worse than I thought it was, so thank you for having me look up facts to prove my point that state hasn't been close to relevant. So yes, I can prove it, thank you very much.

    Furthermore, in that same time frame, Georgia Tech has 13 appearances, Duke 24, UNC 22, Clemson 10, FSU 9, Wake 14, BC 10, UVA 10, and Maryland 15. Only VT and Miami have a lower # of appearances (2 and 5, respectively). That can't be terribly lucrative for a new coach.

    The VCU thing is definitely fact. Anything else, yes you could argue is rumor.

  • goBRO Apr 5, 12:57 p.m.

    Homer. Cobra.

  • conrad27713 Apr 5, 12:17 p.m.

    "Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically... View More

    — Posted by jdsportz

    I get sick and tired of thes johnny come lately heels and dookie fans saying things that they cant prove with facts. State hasnt been relevent for 25 yrs ? Can you prove it ? You cant. Because Valvano had some very good runs in the ACC and the NCAA tournments. So get your facts right. But in the last 20 yrs, then i could agree with you.

    As for which coach or coaches that has turn down this just job. Your and everybody else opinions is nothing more than pure rumors and speculations.

  • cherokee43v6 Apr 5, 11:59 a.m.

    Well said and written!

    — Posted by cml

    +1

  • jdsportz Apr 5, 4:49 a.m.

    "Why should a basketball program with two national championships, in the middle of historically the best conference in America, a rabid fan base, and money to give, have to beg someone to take the head coaching job?"

    Because State hasn't been relevant for 25 years, they consistently get owned by the rest of the ACC (more or less), their basketball fan base is really not that rabid, and because all the money in the world could not compensate for all of these glooming negatives.

    That being said, I am surprised how hard it is coming for State to find a coach. I mean, I think everyone in the triangle knew names like Billy Donovan and Rick Barnes were laughable. Shaka Smart was a realistic candidate, but he turned down the job. But Wichita State? WICHITA STATE'S COACH TURNED DOWN THE JOB? Now I would start to worry if I were a pack fan. Even that one surprised me.

  • cml Apr 5, 4:19 a.m.

    Well said and written!

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