Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Tale of Two ACC Basketball Coaches

It has been a busy week in the ACC coaching merry-go-round.

First, Oliver Purnell leaves Clemson for DePaul. Purnell complied a 138-88 record in seven years with the Tigers. He took them to three straight NCAA Tournaments but the Tigers lost all three games.

Okay, those were the facts. But why did Purnell depart Clemson? If it was for the money, enjoy it. Is DePaul a better job, I double doubt it? Was it because Clemson is a football school and the Blue Demons don't field a football team? I just don't understand it?

DePaul is a tough job in the tough Big East Conference. DePaul is no longer a basketball school. The glory days of Coach Ray Meyer are gone. The Blue Demons are off the college basketball radar screen.

Purnell is obviously looking for a challenge. I sense most coaches were not begging to land the DePaul job.

Good luck, coach. Enjoy Chicago. Don't forget to bring your winter coat and snow boots.

Up the ACC road at Wake Forest, Dino Gaudio is done after three seasons. Gaudio guided the Demon Deacons to a 61-31 overall record. However, the rub was a 1-5 postseason mark.

But that one postseason win was in this year's NCAA Tournament. It's not often a coach earns a trip to the tournament, wins a game and gets fired. Oh, the joy of coaching.

Wake apparently sensed apathy in its program. Does the term, "We need to go in a different direction" sound familiar?

The question for Wake is can it do better with a different coach? Reportedly the Deacons have a top-10 recruiting class on the way. But Tim Duncan is not one of those players.

At this late stage in the coaching hire game, Wake will find it difficult to land a high-profile replacement. But the Deacons can always dream. Maybe Duncan can return to Winston-Salem.

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