Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gaudio has time on his side

The biggest round of applause by Wake Forest supporters at Wednesday’s news conference announcing Dino Gaudio as the Deacons’ new basketball coach came when athletics director Ron Wellman said Gaudio had been given a five-year contract. No "interim" tag for Gaudio, an assistant to the late Skip Prosser at Wake Forest and Xavier since 2000. "I never would have done that to Dino," Wellman said. "That’s the worst thing you can do. You’re saying you’re a lame duck. How do you coach like that? And you can’t recruit."

-- Gaudio’s record (68-124) in two previous head-coaching jobs at Army and Loyola (Md.) is less than impressive. But those have never been college basketball powers. He’s got more experience now and more resources with which to work. Still, he will be going against some of the giants of his profession in the coaching-rich ACC. "I don’t worry about him locking horns with some of the greatest coaches in the country," Wellman said.

-- Gaudio did a good job of deflecting some of the blame for Wake Forest’s defensive inadequacies in recent seasons off Prosser and onto himself, while promising more emphasis in that area.

-- Gaudio looked elegant in a gray pinstriped suit that included a double-breasted vest. "We have a new dress code at Wake Forest," Wellman joked. "It appears that vests are in."

-- David Scott