The coaching rumors have begun. From grumblings of Josh Pastner and Jamie Dixon, to Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens, this is the most browser refreshing time of year.
I for one, am not jealous of those programs in the hunt. As a fan, this is the most exhausting thing and something I’ve endured far too heavily in the past decade. After all, it was my Arizona Wildcats that allowed Nic Wise to become the first and only power conference player to have four different coaches (Olson, O’Neill, Pennell, Miller) in four years. Who wants that distinction?
And then of course there was the Miller-to-Maryland threat which was one of the worst 48-hour periods of my life. There’s something to be said about stability and comfort and as it stands today – with regards to the current hunts – Dixon and Pastner have let their signatures do the talking. Each has signed extensions with their current employers ensuring they won’t go anywhere. Or something like that.
But again, take it from me, these things are awful. They’re draining and exhausting and exhilarating and terrifying. They’re a time suck and will drive you insane all to wind up with a guy who you’ll barely see in action for another half-year (#IsItNovermberYet).
Alas, here is a guide to surviving your coaching hunt:
- Don’t Hate – Unless the outgoing guy is leaving your program in NCAA shambles, he’s really not as bad as you think. Look at the situation holistically and if you still think he deserves your hate, then so be it. But really assert your energies on the excitement of the next guy.
- A “No” doesn’t mean your program totally sucks – There’s probably a long(ish) list of names your AD is going to go through and that list starts with some dream names. He’s going to get rejected. Your school is going to get rejected. You don’t suck that bad.
- Do not host out of town friends with no connection to college basketball – They’ll soon realize that you being on your phone has nothing to do with the forthcoming “exciting things” you have planned and that you’re just incessantly reading rumors on Twitter. Never set yourself up to be an asshole (which is more of a life rule).
- Be Patient – It took Oregon a brief lifetime to find Dana Altman. These things take time. Know that your AD – or at least hope that your AD – has been on the Bat Phone for a few months now talking to intermediaries and handlers or World Wide Wes or whatever and whoever the hell else is involved in back room deals where public comments sound a lot like a Johnnie Cochran case: DENY DENY DENY!
- Do not sneak into a local resort and get drunk in the jacuzzi – Such a situation lends itself to extreme bouts of nostalgia and Glory-Days-syndrome. Your expectations will be unfairly heightened.
- Do not contact former head coaches of your school whose actions warranted NCAA sanctions and then the hiring of the firable Kevin O’Neill – Duh.
- Group text – Include only your core and most trusted fellow fans. You do not have to share this conversation with everyone. There’s free reign for discussion here and it’s a safe place. The trust tree…in the nest.
- Good Scotch – Just a solid thing to have around.
- 80-20 Rule – Believe 20% of what you hear is bullshit. Know that 80% of what you hear is bullshit.
- Do not start a plane tracking thread – This is just borderline insane. Your time will be better suited by starting a rumor about a coach’s wife dealing with a local real estate agent. Even that’s weird. In fact, just don’t be a rumor starter. Laugh at those ridiculous rumors publicly and refer back to Rule #7 for discussion.
- Your program might not be as tight as you think – Otherwise you wouldn’t be hunting for a coach.
- Believe – Give unbridled support to the coach you hire. He’s excited about the opportunity and we can all, for at least one brief press conference, believe that coach’s aren’t hired to be fired and that this guy just might outdo Wooden.
- The Basketball season will start at the same time next year – And your team is likely to not be very good.
- If your school is a public institution, apply – By law, any state school has to open all state funded positions to the general public (or some other legal jargon way of saying it). Find the job posting on your school’s website and apply. What’s the worst that could happen?
- Mike Krzyzewski at Army – 9-17 when he was hired away from that institution. The rest is a pain in everyone’s ass.
- Do not trust the following:
- Message board contributors who’s screen name resembles something like [insert team name]Fan4Lyfe[insert year of school’s best season]
- Tweets from person’s with fewer than 1k followers