The ACC’s Coaching Carousel in full orbit

I was going to spend a bunch of time leading my coaching carousel entry writing about Butler’s Brad Stevens until I ran across Rush The Court’s entry on Stevens that served to save me a lot of time. You can view it by clicking here.

Stevens’ profile on Tobacco Road has been elevated since the Wilmington Star publicly endorsed that NC State should immediately him as opposed to following the generally projected path of waiting to see how next year worked out for Sidney Lowe.

I learned yesterday that Phil Knight and Oregon may be throwing as much as $3 million a year to lure Stevens to the Ducks. So, I couldn’t help but have my radar blink wildly when Wake Forest surprisingly fired Dino Gaudio today supposedly out of the blue. For some solid commentary on the Gaudio situation you should click here to Jim Young’s new piece at ACCSJ.

Young’s comments near the end of the article on Ron Wellman are worth sharing below. And, if you don’t click through to but one of our hotlinks in this entry then it should be to this classic of the man who doesn’t make excuses.

Speaking of capital, sources indicate that Wellman has raised approximately $2 million from private donations in order to be able to buyout the final four years of Gaudio’s contract.

That Wellman already had that sort of funding in place is hardly surprising. He has a reputation as an AD who does not make a move unless the next move has already been planned out as well. Before Wellman broke the news to Gaudio the AD had likely already gotten a sense of which coaches would be interested in taking the Wake job.

Expect Wake Forest to at least make an overture to Butler coach Brad Stevens, if it hasn’t already done so. Former UNC-Wilmington coach Brad Brownell, who has since gone on to lead Wright State to four straight 20-win seasons, is another person who fits the Wake profile nicely.

Don’t expect to hear much news leaking out of the search. Wellman also has a well-deserved reputation for playing things close to the vest when it comes to personnel matters.

One name you see in RTC’s commentary is Clemson. I’ve got my eye specifically on Scott Drew related to Clemson and won’t shy from admitting that he would scare me to death down there. I don’t care if his recruiting practices skate some lines as many people in college basketball like to suggest. If the guy could recruit to a private Baptist school in friggin Waco, TX…he can recruit to Clemson, SC…or another private Baptist school in Winston-Salem, NC. (And…we don’t mind taking another bow from putting Drew on your personal radar LAST YEAR.

Speaking of Clemson, I heard from a buddy that Oliver Purnell called Terry Don Phillips at 1:30am to resign and to avoid receiving a counter offer. Ouch! Purnell must have really hated Terry Don. This is a really good entry on Why Purnell left Clemson?

Oh yea…Boston College hired a boring white guy from the Ivy League. If you find anyone that cares let us know. Maybe someone in their next conference will pay more attention to him.

So…who is next? The answer may not be as Red & White and you may think…especially with the lazy uncompetitive Athletics Administration at NC State. This entry is fantastic on many levels and will provide any Wolfpacker who compares the success level and resulting tenure of both Herb Sendek and Sidney Lowe to the discussion in that entry.

In closing, I wanted to encourage you to please remember to check our message boards a couple of times a day in addition to the blog. We will do our best to cover major developments of interest in real time on the blog; but, those message boards really provide real-time news and conversation in these crazy times because of the large number of people participating in the community. Similarly, please don’t hesitate to share links and post your thoughts on the boards. We need as much support from the community as possible.

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34 Responses to The ACC’s Coaching Carousel in full orbit

  1. Dogbreath 04/08/2010 at 6:10 AM #

    Meanwhile, one can only wonder how Lee Fowler’s quest to find the worlds largest catfish is moving along up at Lake Gaston.

  2. kyjelly 04/08/2010 at 8:20 AM #

    I would take a boring “white” guy from the ivy league,hands down to what we have here.

  3. Noah 04/08/2010 at 8:59 AM #

    My only problem with the Rush The Court piece was this line:

    “Upon last check, Clemson is still a wannabe big-time football school who also plays basketball — fans would take a BCS win over a Final Four there without thinking twice.”

    That’s like saying, “Most men would rather get a lap dance from Milla Jovovich than Rick Majerus.”


    Football is about five times more popular than basketball, so I’m not sure what their point is.

  4. Daily Update 04/08/2010 at 9:29 AM #

    I was absolutely stunned that Wellman fired Dino. He must have a good idea of who he can hire and at the same time probably has a lot of confidence that the recruits will remain committed to WF. Wake really, really needs that recruiting class for the short-term(next 1-3 years). It doesn’t have top rated, immediate impact guys in it like Harrow and Brown, but it does bring bodies and Wake loses a lot of bodies(and talent) this year.

    Wellman(and obviously Wake’s top donors) have made a bold, high risk move. On the other hand, we have worse situations in both basketball and football than Wake that may force us to hire a football and basketball coach in both sports in the next 9-12 months and we still have Lee Fowler as the AD.

  5. Crafty 04/08/2010 at 10:25 AM #

    While it pains me to wait for Dr. Woodson to get his head around the situation here in Raleigh and leave Mr. Fowler in place in the short term, ultimately I think we’ll end up in MUCH better shape. His comments to date have certainly indicated he understands the need for a top notch athletics department as a selling point for the school. One need look no further than the Purdue Athletics department’s website to see what we should be in for:

  6. MA Wolfpack 04/08/2010 at 11:41 AM #

    I want no part of Brad Stevens. I hope Wake hires him because I will be shocked if he can recruit the caliber of players necessary to win in the ACC. This model has failed so many times….Pete Gillen, Sean Miller (maybe), Herb Sendek, etc.

  7. WTNY 04/08/2010 at 12:09 PM #

    “Wellman (and obviously Wake’s top donors) have made a bold, high risk move.”

    I’m not sure I’d characterize the move as such.

    Dino was the worst coach in the ACC, bar none, IMO. I understand he could recruit, but the PackPride chop of him playing tic-tac-toe during a timeout was a spot-on classic.

    Also, I agree with the general sentiment that Wellman is a good AD. However, he did hire Dino in the first place.

  8. Daily Update 04/08/2010 at 12:25 PM #

    WTNY: They lose 4 starters and have a 4 man recruiting class that needs to be kept together. It was high risk in that Wake could really suck for the next 3-4 years if the new coach gets handed a total rebuild(and it will be if the recruiting class falls apart). They were very low expectations for next season even with the recruiting class intact.

  9. tractor57 04/08/2010 at 12:26 PM #

    I don’t see it as a high risk move. Dino wasn’t “making the grade” at WF for whatever reason and I’m sure Wellman had is plans pretty well set for the next step prior to the announcement.

    Given the circumstances after Prosser died Dino was probably the right choice at that time but maybe not so much so now.

  10. PackHooligan 04/08/2010 at 12:28 PM #

    “I want no part of Brad Stevens. I hope Wake hires him because I will be shocked if he can recruit the caliber of players necessary to win in the ACC. This model has failed so many times….Pete Gillen, Sean Miller (maybe), Herb Sendek, etc.”

    You have got to be kidding me! There is always a greater chance of a coach ultimately not working out, no matter what their background. But to act like past success is not an indicator for future success is just asinine. Also, how has Sean Miller failed? Why don’t you list the backgrounds of all the coaches that have won national titles in the past 10 years?

    2001: Duke, Coach K (Head coach history: Army)
    2002: Maryland, Gary Williams (American, BC, Ohio State)
    2003: Syracuse, Boeheim (was a syracuse asst)
    2004: UConn, Jim Calhoun (Northeastern)
    2005: UNC, Roy Williams (Kansas)
    2006: Florida, Billy Donovan (Marshall)
    2007: Florida, Billy Donovan
    2008: Kansas, Bill Self (Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois)
    2009: UNC, Roy Williams
    2010: Duke, Coach K

    Just looking at this the only coaches to never be a head coach at a mid or low major prior to taking the head job were Boeheim and Roy Williams. I guess we should all inform these other coaches that they are destined to fail.

  11. Rochester 04/08/2010 at 12:51 PM #

    Don’t dismiss Stevens’ potential as a recruiter because he wasn’t able to attract 4- and 5-star guys in the past. Everything has changed for both him and Butler. His credibility with recruits just shot through the roof.

  12. WTNY 04/08/2010 at 1:00 PM #

    Daily, I understand the thinking, but I believe it’s bold and high risk only if an incompetent AD is at the helm. A normal AD should be able to execute a search in a reasonable amount of time with minimal loss of a recruiting class.

    The analogy that pops into my head is my children and a math problem. If my youngest solves an algebra problem, I would be astonished because that’s out of his league. If my oldest does so, it’s expected because that’s one of her subjects and thus part of her core competency.

  13. kyjelly 04/08/2010 at 1:29 PM #

    ^Ma Wolfpack “I want no part of Brad Stevens ” He can’t recruit the caliber of players to compete in the ACC? He has recruited those caliber of players at Butler what the heck do you mean?
    I also would say Sean Miller will get Zona going before we ever move forward.

  14. LRM 04/08/2010 at 3:04 PM #

    The ONLY argument anyone can seem to come up with against Stevens is that he can’t recruit. The guy has done nothing but win during his entire career and he’s a bum because he can’t recruit AT BUTLER.


  15. Daily Update 04/08/2010 at 3:06 PM #

    His entire career? Is that 3 whole years at a place that was successful before he took over under 2 other coaches?

    Publicity wise Stevens would be a good hire right now for anyone. But his chances of success in the long run probably aren’t much greater than many other guys out there.

  16. Wulfpack 04/08/2010 at 3:08 PM #

    Some people wouldn’t recognize a good COACH if it hit them right smack dab in the face. They like to bring people down because it makes them feel better about themselves and the shoddy miserable state of this program.

    Brad Stevens has accomplished more in 1 year than Sid has in his entire coaching career, and he’s 33. Get a freaking clue people. Open your eyes.

  17. bradleyb123 04/08/2010 at 3:26 PM #

    I want no part of Brad Stevens. I hope Wake hires him because I will be shocked if he can recruit the caliber of players necessary to win in the ACC. This model has failed so many times….Pete Gillen, Sean Miller (maybe), Herb Sendek, etc.


    Put Butler in the ACC or the Big East and see if they get a 5-seed. Or if they get invited at all.

    It’s MUCH LESS risk to give Sidney one FINAL year to do something now that we finally have the star point guard we’ve been missing. I’d rather risk one more losing year than possibly SEVERAL more losing years because we jumped the gun and brought in a guy that we have no idea if he’ll be able to recruit well enough to succeed in the ACC or not.

  18. Rochester 04/08/2010 at 3:32 PM #

    So if Butler goes 33-2 next year, losing again in the title game on some bad calls and a missed last second shot, it sounds like some people will dismiss the accomplishment again because it was done without highly ranked recruits.

    These are the same people who defended our current coach all year because he lost because he didn’t have enough highly ranked recruits.

    And they wonder why no one else takes anything they post seriously.

  19. bradleyb123 04/08/2010 at 3:33 PM #

    The ONLY argument anyone can seem to come up with against Stevens is that he can’t recruit. The guy has done nothing but win during his entire career and he’s a bum because he can’t recruit AT BUTLER.

    LRM, all we’re saying is he’s a risk. If Sid had recruited the players Butler has, we’d be storming the AD’s doorstep with torches and pitchforks. But they overachieved, got hot at the right time, and went on a nice run. Maybe that’s a credit to Stevens. Maybe it’s a credit to the players for overachieving. Or maybe they just turned out better than people thought they were. IMO, Steven’s stock is TOO high right now just because they beat a Michigan State team that is not that great anyway (yeah, I said it!) and a Syracuse team that has freshmen guards that finished the season on a very weak note. And they hung tight with Duke, who frankly isn’t all that great, either.

    Everyone needs to stop drinking the Brad Stevens cool-aid, and let Sid have the final say on if he’s turning the corner or not.

    I really can’t wait to come in here a year from now. I really can’t. There’s going to be a lot of words being eaten when it comes to Sidney. And I’ll be here with the spoon.

  20. rtpack24 04/08/2010 at 3:35 PM #

    Brad Stevens can recruit well enough to be with in one possesion of a national championship at Butler. This kid has nothing but upside. He recruited two of his stars that were offered by Purdue which in the state of Indiana is a huge deal much less it is one of the top programs in the country. Mr Stevens will do just fine do matter where he ends up.

  21. Rochester 04/08/2010 at 3:40 PM #

    But they overachieved, got hot at the right time, and went on a nice run.

    A nice run? They won 25 straight games and came within a basket of the title. Granted much of that came in their conference, which isn’t the ACC, but when was the last time NC State won 25 games at all? Try 1983, when our third-year coach got hot at the right time and went on a nice run in Albuquerque.

    You should keep your spoon handy when Butler is still playing next March after we’ve been sent home.

  22. PackHooligan 04/08/2010 at 3:49 PM #

    bradley, your arguments have no basis in reality. Butler did not “get hot” during the tournament, did you even watch any of their games? The “not all that great” duke team won the freaking national championship!

    Of course Butler would have probably lost more games playing in the big east or ACC (nobody disputes that those leagues are tougher than the horizon, so why argue that point?), but they would have also beaten a lot of teams and people would have realized how good they were well before their tournament run.

    I have not seen anyone saying that Stevens is a sure thing, but you can not argue with his accomplishments. You definitely can not hold Sidney Lowe’s “accomplishments” up to them, it would be like shining a flashlight at the sun.

    I would actually be ecstatic if Sidney had brought those butler players in, because it would mean that he had an eye for talent, and for the most part those players are way better than the players on our current roster. Of course, I have no confidence that Lowe would have coached them nearly as well.

    As for Sidney turning the corner, he doesn’t even have his blinker on yet.

  23. PackHooligan 04/08/2010 at 3:53 PM #

    I still can’t get over the coach whose team made it to the second round of the NIT is a better recruiter than the coach whose team was ranked all year, won 25 games in a row, and lost in the ncaa championship game by 2 points argument.

  24. Daily Update 04/08/2010 at 4:00 PM #

    I wonder if Stevens is such a hot coach if he will get a contract like Hewitt got from GT after his championship game appearance. That contract sure has worked out well for GT.

  25. rtpack24 04/08/2010 at 4:36 PM #

    The interesting part of the Butler situation is they do not have the resources to pay Stevens big money, they know that and he knows that. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Wellman at Wake I am pretty sure already has his coach and is working out the details.

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