Coaching hires you were just wrong about…

Hindsight is always 20/20 but what are some coaching changes in college hoops/football that you were just WAY off on at the time of the hire?

I’ll start.

  1. I was “all in” when State hired Keatts. I thought he was a homerun move and would be right there with Bennett at the top of the ACC when Roy & K moved on.

  2. I thought Clemson was crazy for hiring Dabo and should have went with a splashier name with head coaching experience. Was a little off on that one.


Hard to remember how I felt about various coaching hires. But to pick out a couple:

I guess I thought Mack would be doing somewhat better at Louisville than he is right now. That said, they are 3-0 in ACC play so far and could make a run, but overall his results have been pretty middling. Add on to that the off-the-court stuff, and he might not be there much longer.

Capel’s struggles at Pitt are also worse than I thought they’d be. I never thought he was a great coach, but I thought he’d pull enough talent on the recruiting trail to make them at least consistently competitive. Instead it’s just gone completely off the rails, and he may also be without a job pretty soon.

Outside of the ACC, guess I thought Hopkins at Washington and Hoiberg at Nebraska would both be doing better than we’ve seen. Again, was never enamored with either, but didn’t think they’d struggle this much at this point in their tenures.


I definitely thought Archie Miller was going to do well at Indiana. On the football side I will never understand what happened to Scott Frost


Frost is puzzling. They lose so many close games…if he was better at end game coaching they would have won like 9 games this year. Do you get rid of a guy so close to breaking through? Tough call. Doesn’t make it any easier than he’s a legendary player at the school.

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Scott Frost was who I wanted when we hired Bronco.

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We were never going to get him which isn’t even an insult to us. He was just that much of a slam dunk

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I thought they’d be bad or meh and they’re good:

  • Mick Cronin - thought it was an odd fit at UCLA, but so far so good
  • Will Wade - I thought the NCAA/FBI stuff would sink him, but say what you will about his ethics, he can coach
  • Juwan Howard - I was surprised how well he was able to keep it going after Beilein (though this year is a bit of a dip)

I thought they’d be good and they were bad or meh:

  • Shaka at Texas - I thought him at TX would work out eventually, but he kept getting OAD bigs and wasn’t able to build anything
  • Penny - I thought he’d rack up lots of big recruiting wins right away and make that a Sweet 16 caliber program. 1 for 2 so far.
  • Chris Mack - I am surprised he hasn’t made Louisville more consistent. We shall see…
  • Buzz at A&M - I know it’s only year 3, but I figured he’d have a better trajectory. This team has a gaudy record, but only one W vs. a top 100 team (ND on a neutral)
  • SEC retreads - I didn’t think Crean or Howland would be great, but I figured they’d be more competitive

A bit too soon for me to judge Forbes at Wake. And certainly too soon to judge Hubert. I can’t remember my expectations about Keatts, but in his defense, I will say that he’s had some bad injury luck and the NCAA allegations hanging over the program (now removed) couldn’t have helped.

Agree - he’s been a great recruiter, but a bad retainer (can’t keep his guys happy)


I will say the lock of the century was Kevin Stalling being fucking TERRIBLE at Pitt


Oh man there are so many I can think of so forgive my excessive post now.

  1. Tony Bennett. I wanted Sean Miller to get the UVa and was genuinely pissed when it went to CTB. Glad I was dead wrong on that one.

  2. Agree with everyone on Scott Frost thought he was going to bring Nebraska back.

3)Shaka Smart. I thought he’d do big things at Texas and it never came to happen. He seems off to s solid start at Marquette but time will tell.


Tony’s definitely exceeded my expectations, and (not being a West Coast hoops fan or a national hoops fan at the time) my initial thought was “Who?”, but once I looked into him, it was clear it was a genius hire. But my expectations were more like double bye every once in a while, and perennial tourney team. (Gravy after that)

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Exactly I didn’t think he was a terrible coach, but I thought it was the program waiving the white flag and saying, we’re will to setting for the occasional deep run in the ACC tourney and maybe a Sweet 16 here or there, but never compete or be relevant in the conference or nationally on a regular basis.

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A few things I think I’ve learned through the years…

  1. Having success at a small school or even poor mid-major usually doesn’t translate to success in P5. Especially if the success came using a small lineup and included a couple of big-name upsets. Those things aren’t sustainable in a P5 conference and a coach promoted to that level usually starts recruiting different types of players than he was able to get at a lower school, and therefore changes his approach from what he did before.

  2. More often than not, pedigree of an asset coach/former player from a big name program doesn’t translate into wins coaching at a different school. Plenty of Duke examples.

  3. Doing what everyone else is doing means you have to do it better than everyone else to be a top program. The true innovators are the most intriguing and have potential for lasting success. Bennett is exactly that. What he’s doing is just different.


This is basically the Shaka story, and to a certain extent, Underwood. You have to adapt if you had a “gimmicky” style at the lower level. But Nate Oats has been able to translate his stuff fairly well.


I think Underwood has been pretty good too honestly. He was a one seed last year haha

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Jim Larranaga I knew it would be tough at Miami but I thought he’d have more success than he has down there and he seems to be coasting into retirement now.

Les Miles at Kansas… yea that didn’t pan out.

Dan Mullin at Florida. I didn’t think he’d bring back the Tebow era, but that was an epic collapse.

Urban Meyer at Jacksonville Cot Damn

Tom Creen everywhere post Marquette.

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He adapted (I think I he had more of a helter skelter D at the lower level)

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Yes! Plus everyone knew if Nebraska came calling, he would go.


I think you’re right a lot of those smaller programs you can get away with that gimmicky sort of stuff but there are examples of coaches who adapt. Pearl was a full court press gimmick at UWGB but adapted well at the Power 5 Level. Shaka surprised me I thought he’d adapt and he did to some degree, but I think Marquette is the perfect fit for him bigger than a mid-major but not quite Power 5.

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  • Kevin Keatts @ NCState. I’m with GulfCoastHoo. Thought that was a monster hire.

  • Pete Gillen and Mike London @ UVA. /Sigh.

  • Andy Enfield @ USC. I thought Dunk City at Florida Gulf Coast was a gimmick. An incredibly athletic gimmick, but still a gimmick.

  • Steve Donahue @ BC. Thought he’d find success in Chestnut Hill after what he’d done at Cornell. He’s back in the Ivy with Penn and doing fine.

  • Kevin Ollie @ UConn. (Just kidding.)

  • Tom Herman and Shaka Smart @ Texas. I thought they’d each be there 20 years minimum.

  • Jerry Sandusky. Boy, did I want him in Cville. Never been happier to be wrong.

  • Mike Jarvis @ St. John’s. I expected Jarvis to stick for 20 years.

  • Joanne Boyle @ UVA. On paper, this looked like a really good hire. Never quite put it together.


Same sort of thing made me think Keatts would excel. After watching him nearly beat us at UNCW in 2017, I figured his style with superior/ACC level talent would be much more difficult to deal with. It’s just turned out to be an undisciplined AAU style that has shown very little consistency.

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