Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hathaway: The search has begun

Quite a press conference. Jeff Hathaway provided the details of the coaching search and Hank Hughes publicly made his case for the job. Some news and observations.

  • Hank Hughes more or less stumped for the job vacancy. It's kind of taboo to do that at a press conference, but at the same time Hughes kind of had to take advantage of the opportunity. Certainly some bigger names will enter the fray at some point (Rich Rodriguez, Tony Sparano, etc.) and Hughes, basically an unknown to the public, will be even less attractive to those who buy the tickets. Hughes made a very strong case, his talking points centering around his long involvement with the program and, more importantly, the continuity and stability he'll bring in the wake of turmoil. UConn's coaching staff would remain mostly in tact, and it would minimize the loss of current recruits and potential transfers. It's also the best way to build upon the current foundation with the same mission statement laid down by Randy Edsall. Hughes accomplished his mission. I think he convinced people he is a legitimate choice to lead the program.

  • Hathaway took a nice shot at Edsall and Maryland. A question about whether Hathaway would give extra consideration if someone said UConn was their dream job, "I've seen people leave their dream jobs. And I'm not worried about what a person's dream job is; I don't know how you qualify that or quantify that. That's not passing judgement on anybody whose used that line." Of course, passing judgement is exactly what Hathaway was doing when he said it.

  • In a nutshell, Hathaway said the search is active, and has been since Edsall announced he was leaving. Many calls have already been made; there is no timetable even though time is of the essence and the man who lands the job will be the man Hathaway feels is the best for the job. The choice will be made by Hathaway, and then approved by the president. Since UConn is in a transitional phase with presidents, interim Phil Austin will keep incoming president Susan Herbst appraised on the procedure, and Herbst will be involved.

  • The picture already painted of Edsall sneaking out in the middle of the night to Maryland, kind of like the Baltimore Colts move to Indianapolis, was more or less confirmed by Hathaway. According to Hathaway, he met with Edsall after the game, went to catch the shuttle back to his hotel, checked his cell phone and saw a missed call and new text message. The text was from Edsall, who said he intended to interview with Maryland Sunday. It was 11:25 p.m. MST, around an hour after the game ended. Hathaway said Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson reached out to him the next morning at 5:25 a.m. (7:25 a.m. EST).

  • Hank Hughes is now the only confirmed candidate for the job. Hathaway has appointed Chuck Neinas, who has the best job in America, to lead the search committee. Contact has been made to gauge interest in others, and many of the leading names out there have likely contacted or been contacted about the position. Whether anyone has interviewed or is scheduled to interview remains unclear.

  • Hughes called friends in the coaching circle including Steve Spagnoulo and John Harbaugh to call Hathaway on his behalf. He's confident UConn won't lose more recruits. There are four players scheduled to enroll in January, too.

  • Lyndon Johnson is leaving the staff to join Edsall in Maryland, it has been confirmed. Joe Moorhead was not in his office this afternoon, but is believed to be among the coaches on the road recruiting today. Drew Wilson, a strength and conditioning coach who had already resigned at UConn with intentions of taking the job at Purdue, is now joining Edsall at Maryland.

Stay tuned...


Blogger Gary said...

Everytime I see the title of this post I keep thinking it should say
"Hathaway: The search hath begun" Seems more apropos.

Anyway, seems like Hank Hughes impressed some people at the presser, and I wouldn't be all that upset if he gets the job, keeps Moorehead and takes the reigns off his play calling.

If you are going to hire a coordinator, you might as well promote Hughes (unless Malzhan is willing to take the job, then he is choice #1)

If you hire a re-tread from somewhere, put me in the Randy Shannon camp.

Chip, why do you think the national "experts" don't bring his name into the discussion for job openings, but Rich Rod is immediately a hot commodity?

January 05, 2011 8:52 AM 

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