Quote of Note: Bilas on Gillen

Responding to the topic: “Is Pete Gillen’s job safe?”

“I think that it is unfortunate because I do think Pete Gillen is a really good coach… He has six years left on his contract and I do think that he should be allowed to finish that out.

— Jay Bilas
ESPN College Gameday
January 29, 2005

General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

15 Responses to Quote of Note: Bilas on Gillen

  1. Dave 02/01/2005 at 10:07 AM #

    Was he snickering when he said that? I wonder how he would feel if Gillen were coaching Duke to 50 point losses (and it was a 50 point loss, regardless of what the final score said) to Carolina at home?

  2. JB34 02/01/2005 at 10:44 AM #

    He was dead pan serious.

    To be fair, he did say this BEFORE the Carolina game. But, I watched throughout the day wondering if he was going to retract his statement and he never did.

    OF COURSE Gillen deserves to be fired. I just don’t understand what is so wrong with a media person admitting such.

  3. Trout 02/01/2005 at 11:00 AM #

    One of the SportsTalk radio stations had a conversation about this topic, comparing college football analysts to college basketball analysts. The take was that the football analysts, for some reason, were not shy about expressing which coaches were simply not getting the job done (they cited Trev Alberts speaking out against Ron Zook after Florida lost to Ole Miss). Basketball analysts, however, seemed much more protective and rarely called for a coaches dismissal.

    I’m wondering why UVA just doesnt so ahead and fire Gillen midseason. Maybe it would ignite the Cavaliers.

    What names are being thrown around in C-Ville?

  4. JB34 02/01/2005 at 11:12 AM #

    I am almost never a fan of firing a coach in mid-season. IMHO, that can create more of a “risk” than keeping the current guy.

    If you fire a guy mid-season, you are limited to replacing him ONLY with a current assistant who will bring with him the title of “Interim Coach.”

    So…what happens if that interim coach succeeds? He should be in a pretty good position to succeed since the other guy was doing so poorly (or you wouldn’t have fired him).

    That said, if the interim coach DOES succeed more than the head coach (even if it is still not up to your school’s standards), you have created tons of excess pressure to keep this interim guy. (often times from players in addition to fans and media) Remember Carl Torbushes 42-3 beating of Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl when he was an interim? Ever hear the name Mike O’Cain? (who was effectively an “interim”-type of situation since Sheridan stepped down in June.)

    If the interim guy (usually an assistant) was so qualified to begin with, he wouldn’t have been an assistant sitting on your bench. A school like UVA (like NC State), should be hiring coaches with some kind of Head Coaching experience. Firing a coach in mid-season can only create hurdles (& headaches) to achieving that goal.

  5. Trout 02/01/2005 at 11:20 AM #

    You are right. I guess the fact that Gillen is an obvious lame duck, perhaps announcing now could somehow help recruiting for the Spring for UVA.

    But I agree, best not to do that midseason.

  6. WTNY 02/01/2005 at 12:46 PM #

    Interesting discussion.

    IMO, the lesson to be learned from the Gillen/UVa situation is not to prematurely sign your coach to a ridiculously long contract in year 1 or 2. Once the honeymoon is over, see how his philosophy, recruiting, demeanor, etc. fit with the school before making a long-term commitment.

    UVa was hasty and got burned. However, as a non-UVa fan, I’m sure glad they did!

  7. BJD95 02/01/2005 at 1:20 PM #

    Jay Bilas, IMHO, is the blandest, least insightful member of ESPN’s college basketball team. Yes, that even includes Dick Vitale. According to Bilas, nobody should ever be fired. Of course, maybe he won’t be so easy on Coach K’s eventual successor.

    Bottom line – young coaches never get their shot to move up unless somebody gets the ax. And if Gillen doesn’t deserve to be fired for performance, then nobody does.

    UVA can ask John Grisham to kick in a few extra dollars.

  8. BP (Bullish) 02/01/2005 at 2:01 PM #

    I am so sick of media types, especially our local radio arse-kissers her in Raleigh that are ALWAYS afraid to make a stance regarding coaching for anyone within a day’s driving distance. It is completely ridiculous and so obvious that these media types are so afraid that honest opinions will “black ball” them in coaching circles in the future.

    Here in Raleigh, we have guys on AM stations that have admantly supported Coach Shyatt at Clemson, Mike O’Cain, Thompson at ECU and Roof’s predecessor at Duke all the way to end. It’s absolutley crazy… they will spew venom at someone on the West coast or Northeast but when it comes to “local” teams, all coaches are great.

    Tired of brown noses, please speak the truth:

  9. Dave 02/01/2005 at 5:50 PM #

    I actually like Bilas. He doesn’t hyperbolize like all the other idiots. I’ll cut him some slack since he said that before the Carolina game.

    As for firing Gillen mid-season, I don’t generally support that either, but he’s damn near asking for it. A better way might be to just go ahead and say that he’s going to be fired and let him finish the year. He couldn’t do a worse job, but that way his players might rally around him.

    Either way, there’s exactly 0 chance that he’ll be around next year. The longterm contract was clearly a bad idea, but it seemed great at the time. It’s not like Gillen was a young, up-and-comer. He had established himself as a top-flight coach. No one saw the fall coming.

  10. JB34 02/01/2005 at 6:08 PM #

    I like Bilas a lot more than most of the people here seem to like him. I think he has a relatively fresh perspective and good knowledge of the game. But, he definitely hurts his credibility with his inability to objectively offer analysis regarding coaching.

    I hear people talking about Gillen’s team giving up on him. How is that any different than the last 6 weeks of the 2001 NC State season? It wasn’t enough for our Einstein’s to smell the coffee. Congrats to the folks in Charlottesville who seemingly can manage themselves out of a paper bag.

  11. BJD95 02/01/2005 at 7:05 PM #

    Remember that Cheers episode where Sam Malone does the sports, and his “biting commentary” was “whatever happened to root, root, root for the home team?” Bilas reminds me of that.

  12. BJD95 02/02/2005 at 11:18 PM #

    In a telling moment, Dick Vitale tacitly agreed that Gillen needs to move on, during tonight’s Wake/Duke broadcast. That leavs Bilas as the last man alive to believe Gillen should keep his job.

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