It is now Friday, March 31st. It has been 8 days since the Hoyas fired John Thompson III and the Hoyas still do not have a head coach in place. Time to panic? Not at all.
Though the fanbase is collectively wondering what is taking so long with the search, the search committee is doing the right thing by taking its time and finding out what the pool of applicants is going to be. If it is true that the school is offering big money (likely between $3 and $4 million per season), the Georgetown job is one that most coaches are going to get their agents to inquire about. This includes coaches that we probably wouldn’t have thought of as candidates previously because we would have no reason (or knowledge) to speculate about their current situations. Whether it be a young and upcoming coach or a veteran proven winner, when the money is out there it creates a scenario in which they will reach out to the school to express an interest, even if the ultimate goal is to improve their contract status at their current school.
If Shaka Smart was indeed the #1 target and he turned it down, it’s better for the search committee to get a sense of the entire field rather than just blindly move to the next person on its list. This, of course, begs the question of whether there is a list or order of candidates to begin with that AD Lee Reed and Paul Tagliabue had in mind in the event Smart turned them down, and my answer based on what has transpired is probably not.
Why do I say that? Well, when Archie Miller went off the board to Indiana, and Shaka Smart and Mike Brey apparently said no to the Hoyas, the next logical name that would have appeared on any list would be Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley. Based on my reading of certain tea leaves, I don’t believe that Danny Hurley has been contacted by Georgetown about the head coach position. This doesn’t mean that he won’t be moving forward, but as of the writing of this entirely speculative piece that has zero credibility, I don’t think he has just yet. Is this a problem? Possibly, as any time that continues to pass would allow for Hurley and Rhode Island to come together on an extension.
Hurley is set to make $1 million next season, and with a $1 million buyout provision in his contract, the financials involved with him would not be an obstacle for Georgetown. Would Hurley be interested in Georgetown? There’s obviously only one way to find out, and remember that he was floated for the Rutgers opening before last season and the Rutgers job is a tad less desirable than Georgetown’s.
As we all know, the Final Four begins tomorrow, and while the goal was to have the new hire in place in time for the weekend, the event itself provides the opportunity for Reed/Tagliabue to meet with various candidates who will be in Phoenix. For the fans and the schools still involved, the weekend is about basketball. But for college coaches (head coaches and assistants), the weekend is about networking. For ADs with open jobs to fill, the weekend is about interviewing.
So don’t fret, Hoyas fans. Though in an ideal world the school would have been able to secure its #1 target and move on, the reality is that it has only been a week that they have been moving on this. While some searches (like Illinois) didn’t take very long, the Georgetown situation was different from others in that it wasn’t clear that the head coach spot was going to open until the actual day that JT3 was fired. In most situations the school knew that it would be moving on from its head coach well before its season ended and was able to send out some preliminary feelers. For Georgetown, March 24th was Day 1.
In other news, in case you missed it last night, Rodney Pryor won the College Slam Dunk Contest (you can see all of the dunks in that link) which was pretty cool. Though frankly, watching that sort of athleticism on display just made me more angry about Georgetown’s performance last season.