Every Dayton Flyer in the country thought that the worst part of their Saturday was going to be watching Xavier play in the Elite 8. Then this happened.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 25, 2017
A couple quick thoughts right off the bat:
- This stinks. Like, this really stinks. I think every Dayton basketball die hard had the vision of Archie Miller basically being to Dayton what Mark Few is to Gonzaga. Be the guy that spends your entire coaching career building a mid major program in to an empire. I’m sure that was the thought process for everyone who lives and dies by this team. Keep Archie here long term and in 10 years we’re Gonzaga. Tough pill to swallow for this crowd.
- Archie Miller’s impact at Dayton went far beyond the basketball court. People don’t realize how much Archie Miller meant to this University. You think that application rates are higher than ever because UD got some cool new toy for the Engineering School? You think that the amount of kids enrolled at this school has gone up the last four years because the new housing system is so awesome?! Come on folks, use your head. Do you think that in the Nick Saban era at it’s a coincidence that the University of Alabama is receiving more applicants and accepting more kids than it ever had? It’s all directly correlated people. You want to talk about “leaving a place better than you found it”, Archie Miller did that and then some.
- “But why would Archie leave?!?!” Lace up the shoes and take a lap if this thought even crossed your brain. The guy is going to be making nearly $4 million dollars annually to coach at one of the most historic basketball schools in the country. You would be on the next train out if you were in his shoes too. Don’t cry because it’s over, just smile because it happened.
That’s basically the consensus of immediate reactions people had on Saturday. Every conversation I had primarily focused on the second point I made above. All of these new athletic facilities, all of the popularity and TV exposure, all of the applications the University has received the last few years, all of the on court success, that’s Archie Miller. I’ve long had this theory about Division 1 athletics. I don’t have a name for it yet, so for now we’re just going to go with “The Nick Surges Blank Check Theory”. Here’s what it is:
I truly believe it all comes down to coaching. You want to win? Don’t spend money on new uniforms, don’t spend money on a juice bar for the weight room, don’t do any of those little things, just go out and get the best coach there is and give him whatever amount of money he wants. Plain and simple, just go get the best coach possible and go from there. Get every booster dollar you can, every cent from the University you can, and go get the best coach. Rank the top 10 best coaches in college football and basketball and then tell me how their teams do. It’s not rocket science, the best coaches will win games. I think Athletic Directors and Administrations just totally over think this stuff.
The only spot this gets a little tricky in is when you’re a mid major school with a lot of momentum around your program, and your coach leaves for a bigger school. Enter, Dayton. What do you do? Do you bring in a young coach and hope he can become your Mark Few? Do you go with a guy that has a lot of head coaching experience? What’s the right direction to go?
There’s actually a really easy answer to this question. In fact, this is actually a no brainer. You absolutely, under no circumstances, try and bring in some inexperienced young coach to try and build it up again. Do you know many programs swing and miss on the guy they believe is Archie Miller? You don’t even consider bringing in a young coach or hiring one of Archie’s assistants. You go out and get somebody who knows how to win, who knows how to recruit, and who has been around the block once or twice. Lucky for us, there is the absolute perfect candidate out there for this job and if he’s not coaching in Dayton, Ohio next year it will be a sin. It’s such an easy decision it almost hurts. This should have been the new face of Dayton athletics yesterday.
God what a beautiful sight. I need this face in my every day life like I need air to breathe. Really quick, let me say this before I go on.
The fact that Tom Crean lost his job at Indiana is mind blowing to me. Seriously, in the last five years Tom Crean won two Big Ten Titles and went to 3 Sweet 16s. There is no more irrational fan base in college sports than Indiana basketball. And yes, I see you giggling back there Notre Dame football, but Indiana’s still taking the cake here. Just because they had one historic coach and a couple great players they think that they should win the National Championship every year. If winning two Big Ten titles in five years get you fired in Bloomington, somebody tell Archie he should lease a house and not buy one. And now Tom is just sitting there, waiting in the shadows, praying for that phone to ring.
Give Tom Crean a million dollars a year and get him to Dayton by night fall. You HAVE to continue this momentum. You cannot, under any circumstance, hire some young guy that you hope turns in to your next Archie Miller. Archie was the exception, not the rule. You need an established winner, a name that is going to keep people excited, an elite recruiter, and a guy whose program produces high quality people. Tom Crean checks every one of those boxes. He took Marquette to its first final four in over 25 years, he’s won multiple conference championships in arguably the hardest conference in America, and he’s widely regarded as one of the most genuinely nice people in the sport. I don’t know how this wasn’t finalized on Saturday night.
This school has more money than it knows what to do with, let’s just let Tom Crean have a small piece of that pie and keep this momentum going forward. Pick up the phone, and bring me Tom Crean. See you in the 2019 Final Four.