Let me first say rest in peace Calvin Chamberlain, ex Riverside Church / Metro Hawks official who was really one of the great guys working with youth. Many might not remember Calvin because he was one of those behind the scene guys who was only involved to help kids. He had no interest in being a college coach, HS coach, or even coaching one of the elite AAU teams at Riverside. All he wanted to do was HELP OUT! Boy will Calvin be missed.
Now about the current landscape in the NY Metro area in regards to Colleges and the Coaches that have been hired.
To say I am stunned would be an understatement!!! What is happening?
Hofstra hires a guy no one has ever heard of. Are they kidding? Have they lost their mind? Am I missing something? Now I know I do not know the names of every eligible coach in America. But I sure know who 95% of them are. I have never even heard this guys name. I understand he was an assistant on Al Skinners staff at Boston College this past season. That is very odd considering Al Skinner was rumored to be very interested in the Hofstra Job after not getting the Rutgers head coaching position. Not sure what happened but why would they hire the Assistant and not give the job to Al? Or at least reach out to the current Fairfield University HC who is a former BC Assistant who was the chief recruiter? Many people are asking where did this guy came from? Al was such a great choice when Hofstra had to make a move which I also thought was too damn extreme! Maybe this guy will be the next hot thing in mid major coaching. Maybe he is really a great recruiter. Maybe Hofstra has taken 3 steps backwards with this hire. Time will tell but it sure looks interesting to me.
Lets look at Rutgers again. Folks will hate me for saying this but I have a strange feeling that Rutgers will never be more than a middle of the pack Big Easy (Thats right easy and not east) Team based on who they hired and who they did not hire.. I really see someone with the same connections as Fred Hill. I also see another Hoop Group Guy or affiliate just as Fred was although Fred was unofficial. Now I am sure as heck a Hoop Group Fan, and I think the world of Rob Kennedy, although those one day prices for HS games could be cheaper lol. I just feel why fire Fred Hill if you are not bringing in a bonifide super star/stud head coach?
Now I think Mike Rice is worthy of a Big East head coaching position. In fact i spoke with a few college coaching guys and even one ex head coach Monday night. They were all in agreement that Mike Rice is a Heck of A Coach! I could see that by watching Robert Morris play for two seasons. But the Big East is about more than coaching. The Big East is also about big time recruiting and closing deals hook or crook. It is a conference of big time coaches. Mike Rice will do a heck of a job coaching wise. But who will he be coaching? Mike would have had a easier time as head coach of Pitt if Dixon left, West Virginia if Huggins left, or even Boston College. Those teams have a winning history! At Rutgers he has to create a buzz while attempting to get a team who has not been to the NCAA's in years back in the mix.
Again not a knock on Mike Rice as much as a knock on Rutgers for not having the experience to know the importance of hiring the biggest name stud coach on the market to get the program in the right direction. Both Fran and Skinner could have done just that. But I do wish Mike Rice luck and only hope he gets the support he needs to make Rutgers attractive to HS stars and impact transfers.
Lets look at Seton Hall. Not thrilled initially at the hiring of Kevin Willard. But after watching what is going on there I realize for SHU he will do fine. Especially with the nucleus now returning for another season. In fact I think Mike Rice would have excelled at Seton Hall as well. Really glad Robinson, and Hazell are returning. I now hope Pope get well soon and joins them for what could be a memorable season in South Orange and Newark. By the way, I love the fact Seton Hall hired Ann Donovan as the Women's Head Basketball Coach. Because the program was struggling, they get a NAME COACH with great connections. I am sure alot of players who would not usually think about Seton Hall will now consider attending there.
St. Johns and Steve Lavin will regret the day they did not take Ronald Roberts from St. Peters of Jersey City! Trust me on this one. That kid will be great at St. Joe's in Philly and wind up being an all A10 player. What a terrible thing to do by not honoring this kids scholarship. I hope Roberts uses this as motivation for future games. I have always hated it when Head Coaches ran kids away based on talent. I guess Roberts was told " You are welcome to stay but the style we will be playing really does not fit you so your playing time might be little if that." That's the standard stuff that is usually said.
I do think the new St. Johns Staff with Lavin, Dave Lateo, Slice, and Grasso is a great staff. Oops I forgot. Lavin did not get that staff. he went out and got a former player with California Connections, and a very good X and O guy from the West Coast in Dunlap. He did get Tony Chiles who is GREAT!!! Tony is a pick up that would have also went well with the super star staff that Lavin was bringing. Mo Hicks is also a good pick up although I will never understand why he would leave what he is doing for the position of DOB. Hicks is a steal for St. Johns. But DOB? Why? I doubt Kevin Boyle would accept that job at Rutgers. Danny Hurley is a head college coach now and has nowhere near the resume of Mo Hicks, although he is one of my favorite coaches.
So who did Iona hire as assistant coaches? Now I have heard some unflattering rumors about staff make-up. But before I say anything I will see who is on that staff, Stay tuned.
I cannot believe CW Post hired Casey from St. Johns when Darryl Jacobs was available and very interested. I am shocked at this one as well. Casey will most likely do a good job. But Darryl Jacobs would have done a GREAT JOB and he has alot of D2 head coaching experience. Wow!
All the great candidates here in the North and Columbia hires a guy from California. What the heck is going on? I would think they would have tried to steal Tony Chiles from St. Johns before he started. Or how about Mo Hicks? At the least Norm Roberts, the ex St. Johns Coach.
Lots of talk will take place at the Black Coaches Convention in June. Seems the number of Coaches of Color is getting smaller each year. Just in the NY metro Area alone there is not a single D1 coach of color anywhere unless you count Fairfield. Last season there were at least 3. At one time there were at least 5. Now zero! Places such ( my mistake Derrick Whittenburg was at Fordham and Gary Brokow was at Iona) Manhattan, FDU, West Point, St. Peters, and St. Francis have never had a Minority head basketball coach. Now do not kill me on this because I am only saying what it is. I wonder if they will ever have one?