NEAR MISS OR NEAR BOOM?

As we get closer and closer to the signing date, more schools have solidified
their head coaching positions, leaving others to search frantically for the
right man before falling behind in the recruiting wars. Siena will be the
latest Division I school looking to hire a new coach. Their man, Paul Hewitt,
has been named as the new Head Coach at Georgia Tech. Hewitt guided his Siena
teams into the postseason the last two years — last year to the NCAA’s and
this year to the NIT.

Nebraska not only lost out on their first choice, Bill Self of Tulsa, but they
also lost out on their second choice, Ritchie McKay of Colorado St. Oregon
St. lured McKay away while Nebraska was negotiating with Self.

Now the Cornhuskers will turn to Barry Collier of Butler to lead their
program. Barry Collier may have benefited from a tournament loss more than any
other coach in the history of the NCAA’s. He has always been considered a good
coach with upward potential but losing to Florida in the first round on a last
second Mike Miller shot paid off huge dividends as Florida made their trek to
the Championship Game. Coach Collier and his team actually got more publicity
from CBS playing the shot over and over again, along with Billy Packer, Jim
Nantz and the Gang mentioning the fact that Butler took Florida to the wire,
every five seconds during their telecasts. Although I’m sure Coach Collier
would have rather won that game, his ability to land the job at Nebraska was
probably heightened by his “near miss.”

Other schools who have named coaches to fill their openings are Eastern
Kentucky and Loyola Marymount. Eastern Kentucky named a favorite son of the
Bluegrass State, Travis Ford, as their new leader. Ford will replace Scott
Perry for the Colonels after serving a stint as the Head Coach at
Campbellsville University.

Loyola Marymount named Steve Aggers as their new man. Aggers will replace
Charles Bradley.

Schools who, at this writing, still are without a Head Coach are Air Force,
American University, Cal State-Fullerton, Charleston Southern, Colorado St.,
Delaware St., Florida International, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville St.,
Robert Morris, Sacramento St., Stephen F. Austin, SW Texas St., Tennessee St.
and Western Carolina.