St. John’s, Fordham, Seton Hall and Wagner all have openings for their men’s head basketball coaching position.
I don’t think there has ever been four NY/NJ jobs at the D-1 level open at once (I may be wrong). What I do know is when there is an opening, everyone’s name under the sun pops up. The latest, Bill Donovan from Florida rumored to be one of the guys for St. John’s.
This morning there was something on the net about who the assistant coaches should be at St. John’s…they haven’t even hired a head coach yet!
Number one, whoever gets the St. John’s job will probably bring their staff with them (if they are currently coaching at a school now). If they have been out of coaching, they probably have some guys in mind.
Number two, will the newly hired head coach hire an AAU coach as an assistant in hopes of getting a player or two. AAU guys are connected, they have been around and most of them know the top players in high school. I spoke to a division one head coach last summer and he told me he would never hire someone just to get players; he hires coaches who can coach.
Number three, all four jobs are good ones; it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hire someone with NY/NJ or even East Coast ties and of course a couple of staff members also being from the area.
Be aware, it’s going to take a lot of work; hard work. Grinder type work. These guys are going to have to turn a few programs around. Recruit good kids who can play. They will have to build relationships, get out as much as possible this summer and of course, after they recruit these kids, will have to get them better with Skill Development work and bring them together for a common cause. (See Bob Huggins at West Virginia) The year Huggins was out of coaching I saw him at a High School event at Chelsea Piers going around shaking hands and kissing babies.
Recruiting isn’t the only thing that goes into being a successful assistant coach. Which brings me to quote from a former college basketball coach, “yeah some guys can recruit and get players but can they coach them when they arrive on campus.”
“Always remember that the person who said ‘opportunity knocks but once’ was either lazy or stupid.”
-Ira Berkow’s father