Hey, how about that TCU Men's Basketball team? Sure, making it to the second round of the CBI isn't exactly "dominance" but this team is clearly on the rise. Next stop, CHAMPIONSHIP!
Oh wait, whats that? The coach left? For less money (allegedly)? At Ohio?
Well, that isn't good.
Yes, I am sure you are all shocked to hear the TCU Head Coach Jim Christian has left for greener pastures, and specifically a greener uniform, leaving behind a legacy at TCU that can be summed up in the picture located just to the right of this sentence. Ya Jim, thumbs down indeed.
But, is this all bad news? Or, might it just be a chance to start over with this belegered program that is desperate for talent, money and facilities? We discuss this and some potential new coaches after the jump.
All good things do have to come to an end right? What about bad things? For TCU, this hiring has turned into a big ball of nothing. Jim Christian, the guy who could coach up lower levels of talent at mid major Kent State, didn't find any success on the (bigger) stage. No recruiting, no talent, no results. Sure, 2011-2012 was great, a good sign for this program, but after four years you would hope to be farther along than this.
Building a winner takes time, money and resources: Three things TCU Men's Basketball has scarcely little of. They are joining the Big 12 (See: National Runner-Up Kansas) next year, have low attendance in comparison to other Big 12 schools and currently house a locker room set up that can be rivaled by most DFW high school gyms.
So, was Christian doomed from the start? Maybe.
But what was TCU supposed to do? What were our options? Don't you think that we would have hired a "big name" coach if we could have? Why, four years later with no improvements and a tougher slate ahead, are things different now?
They aren't, and you shouldn't expect them to be. A program that paid Jim Christian $600,000 a year cannot money whip anybody without serious underwriting and donor money, which it has scarcely little of.
But, nevertheless, lets run down the potential candidates as were provided by the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
Scott Cross: Current UTA Head Coach who knows the area well and has been successful in building that program, not a top notch recruiter though and doesn't bring star power that can help raise dollars.
Jamie Dixon: Current PITT Head Coach and TCU Alumni, the dream candidate that would be very expensive and is likely not a realistic option unless a donor is willing to underwrite up to $1 Million /year, would be a huge get.
Fran Fraschilla: Current ESPN analyst, fair coach and good recruiter, been out of basketball for years, familiar name should help with money raising though.
Johnny Jones: Current North Texas Head Coach, very similar to Jim Christian in that he is widely regarded as a great coach but doesn't have good top end recruiting success. Knows area well though.
Steve McClain: Current IU assistant, former TCU assistant under Billy Tubbs. Knows the school and area, but hasn't had full time head coaching job in years.
Doc Sadler: Former UTEP and Nebraska head coach, familiar name and good recruiting success in past... Baggage and drive a problem, does he have the patience to build a program?
If you rule out Dixon, and you should, I think the best options are Fran and Doc, followed closely by Steve McClain. But if you could convince Fran, who is a Dallas resident, to come out of forced retirement for $800k a year to build this program, I would be happy. It hits the goals of recruiter and money raiser, we can worry about the coaching later.
What do you think? Any names you would want to add to the list?