Sunday, June 1, 2008

AD choice bodes well for Duke

At first glance, Duke’s hiring of Kevin White as athletics director appears to put Notre Dame coach Mike Brey in line as the eventual successor to Mike Krzyzewski as the Blue Devils’ men’s basketball coach.
Brey, who assisted Krzyzewski for eight seasons beginning in 1987-88, would have been on the short list anyway. He is one of Krzyzewski’s most successful former aides even though his experience at Duke isn’t as extensive as, say, that of Johnny Dawkins.
Krzyzewski and White – who was Notre Dame’s AD – both spoke to Brey before White left for the Duke job.
"Mike (Brey) feels, he’s got a lot of emotional equity here at Duke," White said. "There’s just no question about that. He was on one hand encouraging me to stay the course, but he had this dual personality thing going, where Mike would say, ‘You can’t turn down Duke.’. "
White spoke warmly about Brey, so it would seem he would be receptive to Brey when it comes time to replace Krzyzewski. But here’s why you shouldn’t bet on that scenario.
At 57, White said he is gearing up for one last good run in an AD job at Duke. Krzyzewski has been around for so long it seems like he could be retiring soon.
But he’s only 61 and apparently in good health with enough energy to coach Duke and the U.S. Olympic team. The odds that Krzyzewski still will be coaching at Duke when White retires seem good.
White’s successor might be the one who hires Krzyzewski’s successor.
Overall, White’s hire was excellent for Duke. He is so well respected nationally that he has been president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Notre Dame’s athletes performed well on the field and better in the classroom during White’s tenure. He is known for his business acumen, too, which should help Duke make dearly needed facilities improvements for football.
This hire isn’t without a down side. White’s football hires at Notre Dame have been questionable.
He hired Charlie Weis, who directed Notre Dame to a school record for losses as the Irish finished with a 3-9 record in 2008. White hired George O’Leary, who never coached a game there because he submitted an inaccurate resume.
Tyrone Willingham, who lasted three seasons, was hired after O’Leary’s hasty departure.
But the good news for Duke is that White doesn’t have to hire a football coach. Before former AD Joe Alleva left for Louisiana State, he landed David Cutcliffe, who brings a solid track record as a coach at Mississippi.
And aside from his football hirings, White performed well at Notre Dame.
"He’s an ideal choice for Duke," said Ken Haines, the Raycom Sports president and CEO who lives in Charlotte and has known White for 16 years.
"He is very academic-oriented, understands fully the educational mission of the institution and I think has the proper perspective of where athletics belongs in the big picture." KEN TYSIAC


Anonymous said...

Why does Dook need an athletic director? Why not just hire somone as Director of Basketball Operations? That is the only thing they have going for them.

Anonymous said...

Also lacrosse.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I believe women's golf won the national title 3 of the past 4 years. Men's and Women's lax in the Final 4 two years straight, top 15 athletic program in the country according to Director's Cup for a school with 6,000 undergrad....yeah, that statement above is not accurate at all.