Monday, March 29, 2010

Iowa Hires Another Mid-Major Hoops Coach

Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta hopes lightening doesn't strike twice.

About four years ago, Barta hired Todd Lickliter from a successful mid-major in Butler University. We all know how that one turned out. It was a failure with a capital F.

Today, Barta announced his second new mid-major coach in Siena's Fran McCaffery.

McCaffery was quick to dismiss the similarities with the Lickliter hire. He said that he has turned around three programs. Lickliter did just one.

Well, like new coaching announcements, they were selling hope in Iowa City, Iowa. Hawkeye fans need lots of hope these days. The program is in terrible shape. I don't know what is worse: losing all those games for three years or fan apathy.

Iowa fans were crying out for a coach that runs an uptempo, entertaining style. It sounds like McCaffery will meet that wish.

If first impressions are correct, his demeanor is like the last coach. Maybe he does have fire in his belly, but it didn't show (if he does) at the press conference. Sounds like Mrs. McCaffery is the vocal one in the family. The best part of the press conference for me was when Barta mentioned that they have a seat belt on the Mrs. chair in the arena.

Mrs is probably the best player in the family. She played college ball at Notre Dame. Maybe they should play a game of h-o-r-s-e against each other in Hawkeye Carver Arena. That would probably draw a nice crowd.

Indeed, McCaffery has a solid track record. Now we will see if he can put people in the seats and successfully match up with other Big Ten coaches like Thad Motta, Tom Izzo and Bruce Weber.

What do you think of the new Iowa coach?

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