Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hiring of older coaches makes sense for mid-majors

Old ACC basketball coaches don't retire.

They go to the beach in South Carolina and continue coaching.

A year ago, the College of Charleston hired Bobby Cremins, who turns 60 on July 4. Now Coastal Carolina has hired Cliff Ellis, 61, after Buzz Peterson left to become player personnel director for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Who's next? Dean Smith at The Citadel? Bucky Waters at Charleston Southern?


But hiring older coaches makes sense for some of these mid-major programs. Cremins and Ellis - who both worked as television analysts after leaving Georgia Tech and Auburn, respectively, provide instant name recognition.

They also understand the role of the media. A year ago at the Nike All-America camp in Indianapolis, Cremins invited me to ride with him in a limousine taking him to a television studio where he'd been asked to film a segment for a national cable sports news show.

He spoke openly about his passion for returning to coaching and the wild process that led to his accepting the job after former Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall backed out.

While Cremins was learning the names of the top high school players in the nation, he made time for interviews because even a highly respected mid-major like Charleston needs all the exposure it can get.

Cremins also coached Charleston to a 22-11 record and the Southern Conference tournament finals in his first season.

Critics say older coaches won't stay long before retiring. But successful young coaches also often leave mid-majors - for new jobs - as Peterson did after two seasons at Coastal Carolina.

And with living close to the beach as an incentive, Cremins and Ellis might be persuaded to stay longer.

- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

I would love to see Charleston in a conference with Charlotte

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Charlotte get as good of a coach as Cremins.