Thursday, April 05, 2007

Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

That was asked of two well-known coaches today. One is staying, while the other is going.

Florida coach Billy Donovan, fresh off a repeat national championship, pulled his name out of consideration for the vacant Kentucky job today. He was believed to be the leading candidate. Kentucky is a good place to be for someone. Their tradition and facilities are second to none. However, coaching there is like coaching in a fishbowl, and every move is judged and analyzed by an entire state. It is similar to coaching football at a place like Oklahoma or Alabama. At Florida, Donovan is the basketball king. He has created his own tradition. And, he can hide in the shadow of football, when necessary. Donovan has mastered the art of coaching basketball at a football school in the South.

Going down the road, however, is the lovable Huggy Bear. Bob Huggins, fresh off his inagural season at Kansas State, accepted the job today at West Virginia, his alma mater. In one season, he restored relevance to the K-State program, barely missing the NCAA tournament. He also had a top recruiting class lined up for the upcoming season. All of that is in jeopardy at this time. Huggins was born in Morgantown, and played and coached at WVU. He is leaving K-State in a big lurch, but you can't blame the guy for going home. It'll be interesting to see if the Big East schedules a game between WVU and his former school, Cincinnati, in Cincinnati. He is still a hero there.

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