Outside the Box – Goal of the Search?

What are the key drivers behind the overall mission of securing NC State’s new head basketball coach?

At first blush, this sounds like a really stupid question. But dive a little deeper behind the obvious and consider the issue of longevity in relation to the question. I ask you following:

* How important is it for NC State to hire a ‘long term’ solution to potentially hold the job for over a decade?

* What kind of coach is really the best next hire for NC State?

* Why is it that almost every hire in college athletics is designed to be the ‘potential’ next 25 year answer?

* Why is ‘success’ measured in longevity when only 17 coaches in the 54 year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference have coached ten or more years?; and NC State just provided a coach that privilege who delivered results on par with #14, #15, #16 out of 17?

These are legitimate strategic issues that need examining before NC State hires its next basketball coach. And, considering the manner in which NC State makes personnell decisions (or should I say doesn’t make them), I am not so sure that the fanbase can necessarily withdtand want what folks at NC State consider a long-term “winner”. I raise these questions purely as a thought provoking exercise that may lead to some strategic solutions regarding NC State’s coaching conundrum.

We’ve all gathered that NC State wants to make a big national splash with this hire. Additionally, it has been publicly stated that a criteria for the next coach may be as much about name recognition, national stature, and other ancillary as it is about x’s and o’s.

^That’s fine. That’s a little strategic thought. But, in my humble opinion, NC State may have been swinging for the double whammy in this process consisting of landing the “big name” who would ALSO be a long-term answer (Barnes & Calipari).

Why the need to have both? Why can’t State strategically decide that our next coach may be more of an interim solution (defined by less than 10 years) as opposed to a 20 year solution? IF the goal REALLY is to generate buzz, regain national relevancy, AND win basketball games…why must it be done with a ‘long term’ coach between the ages of 40 and 55?

If you tell me that you would rather take the risk of a mid-major/up-and-comer, then I’m fine with that. But, don’t tell me that a criteria of the search is to get a big name in the same breath.

To be honest, I have no preference in the manner. I don’t get paid to make these decisions; and I think that NC State can/will be successful going down either path. But, that doesn’t mean that this topic shouldn’t be addressed with more scrutiny.

I believe that behaviors must be aligned to match missions and goals to create success. What do you think should be the key drivers behind the goal NC State’s search that will create the long term success for which you are looking? Why is it assumed that only one coach in the next decade can drive NC State’s basketball program down the path of long term success?

If you think that the goal of the search should be to create immediate stature and national momentum, then I propose that you stop looking at all of the obvious younger candidates and maybe start considering some names that aren’t necessarily ‘traditional’ candidates?

If there was reasonable certainty (based on historical performance) that a potential coach was going to succeed at NC State for only 5 to 10 years, why wouldn’t State go ahead and take that offer? Who says that the next coach has to be here forever? Why not hire a guy to get NC State re-established in a more interim time period?

In five to ten years, who knows who may be the next “perfect fit” for NC State? By that point, Frank Haith may be the perfect candidate with significantly more experience to come home at only 44 to 49 years of age. Heck, Roy Williams said no to Carolina three years before he said yes to them; who says that Rick Barnes can’t be State’s “Roy Williams” after conducting himself with such class and poise during this year’s process?

Truth is that any ‘perfect candidate’ could rise to the top in that kind of time fram. Five years ago most people didn’t recognize the names of Bruce Pearl, Thad Matta, Ben Howland, and John Thompson, Jr. Think about it – Carolina experienced an eight year period where four different coaches roamed the Tarheel sideline. That didn’t seem to work out so badly for them.

Post-script – comments are going to initially be turned on for this entry. Please focus on discussing this entry instead of turning the comments section into a laundry list of random coaches that don’t match the point of this entry. Thank you.