College Coaches are on a carousel

A case in collegiate athletics was proven last week when Bob Huggins was removed from his position as men’s head basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati. The case is no matter how long or how legendary a basketball coach may be at a school, the university president has the final say in what goes on at the school. Nobody could have imagined this would be how Huggins would leave the university except for University of Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher. The process of a revolving coaching door is becoming a popular trend these days in college athletics. Although, several coaches pickup right where they left off from their previous job. An example of this is Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight. We have all seen the many temper tantrums he threw coaching Indiana University basketball but no one can argue he achieved legendary status as a coach there. Now Knight has taken a Texas Tech team and established them as a quality basketball team who competes in the N.C.A.A. tournament year in and year out. Rick Pitino is another example of this trend. The day he left the University of Kentucky to coach the NBA’s Boston Celtics, Wildcat fans were in a state of shock. However, he later figured out he couldn’t be as successful in the professional ranks as he was in the collegiate ranks. This move led him back to the land of the Bluegrass to become head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. Everything seems to be fine and dandy given the fact that Pitino will be inducted into the University of Kentucky’s athletic hall of fame on September 9th. Huggins himself has had chances in the past to coach NBA teams such as the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers. He even had a chance to return to his alma mater and coach the West Virginia Mountaineers. He turned down all three job offers to stay at the University of Cincinnati. He is probably kicking himself in the butt now for not taking one of these jobs. Nancy Zimpher should not be blamed for wanting to get rid of Huggins. It’s not like the troubles of the University of Cincinnati basketball program has been a secret. Several years ago, Sports Illustrated ran a cover article that talked about the troubles at UC. It was said last week by a college coach that the longer you stay at a school as a coach, the less job security you have. This is exactly what happened to Huggins. Although he may not have trouble finding a new coaching job, the situation he ran into is becoming common in the collegiate ranks these days with the fact that a lot of coaches change jobs throughout the college basketball offseason or they have been away from coaching for awhile and they want to get back into it. Matt Steffen is the Sports Editor for the Northerner. You can e-mail him at: