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Sack Lloyd Carr / Other University of Michigan Discussions / Amaker Fired
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editor 
Admin
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 13:42


Tommy Amaker has been fired. No further details yet.

Let the speculation about his successor begin.

Buckeye Nation 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 14:40


I would go after VCU or Wright St coach.

Wolvrin704 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 15:05


Almost anyone would be better......let the search commence.

Mike Furley 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 15:15


Wow.

I firmly believe that Amaker would have been given a minimum of at least one more year before being fired, but by placating the critics, Martin gives himself a little breathing room with respect to the Lloyd Carr situation.

Now he can say to the Carr detractors, "Look, I'm not intransigent, I'll fire a coach under the right circumstances, and those circumstances don't exist presently for our football program".

This buys Carr another season or two if he decides he doesn't want to retire after next season....which I believe he doesn't have plans to do.

I realize getting into the NCAA is the benchmark for basketball coaches in the Big Ten, and Michigan hasn't accomplished that under Amaker, but given the circumstances he inherited the job, he finally had the program poised to move to the next level.

He probably wasn't helped by having the Big Ten go 5-1 in the first round the same day(s) your guys were throttled at Florida State. It made the disparity between Michigan and the ret of the BIg Ten look worse than presently exists.

Here are some suggestions of who should be on the list of candidates:

Houston Fancher - Head coach at Appalachian State
Sean Miller - Head coach at Xavier
Tony Bennett - Head Coach at Washington State
Anthony Grant - Head coach at Virginia Commonwealth
Kevin Stallings - Head Coach at Vanderbilt
John Pelphrey - Head Coach at South Alabama

1OSUNUT 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 15:16


The Xavier coach could be had. He is paid in the middle of the pack in his own conference. How would that be for a rivalry. Matta and Miller - best friends coaching schools that hate each other.

Blue Is Nice 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 16:05


We are now faced with keeping our committed recruits. I believe Kelvin Grady is a lock having grown up a UM fan and we all know his brother. Alex Legion said today he's still coming as long as Manny Harris and D. Sims are still going to be there.

Hopefully we can keep our recruits and upgrade our coach, its the best of both worlds. I'm already getting excited for next year.

I really don't know who the next coach will be nor do I have any good suggestions. I just hope we get a proven winner.

LesMilesNextUMCoach 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 16:24


Tommy did pick up the pieces here. Which is why I wasn't down on him when we flopped during Horton's junior year (losing season, Horton' domestic abuse, etc.).

If you'd like to see when things began to unravel for him and the program, look no further than to the end of the 2005-06 season. The team started strong and looked to be a cinch to make the NCAA's. Then, they fell apart, won something like 2 of their last 10 games, including a very ugly loss to a weak Minnesota team in the B10 tourney.

We did win one game in that stretch (I think, Wisconsin) where some of the players said that "this clinches the NCAA's for us" and they didn't win another game until the NIT.

I was at the Indiana game at the end of that season. Both UM and IU were on the bubble. We got out to a big 1st half lead (sounds familiar for this program?). Fell behind later and had a chance to win it at the end. Blew it, lost to Minny, and then it was NIT time. The team looked completely unorganized down the stretch of that IU game and clearly was not ready for the B10 tourney last year.

I do agree with the comments about Sims and Carr.

Sims was a worthless player 95% of his time here. My lasting memory of the guy will be the blown, wide-open dunk that would have tied the OSU game> Had we won that game, I don't think Tommy would have gotten canned, even with an NIT bid. Beating the #1 team and arch-enemy at home may have saved him for one more year.

Carr is not really in trouble, in spite of our criticisms of some of his play calling and coddling of underperforming assistants. Martin will not be around more than a few years, but, if he does choose the next coach, it may be English or it may be someone like Harbaugh (assuming he can get Stanford from losing to Cal-Davis in 2006 to making a bowl game in 2008).

As for Harbaugh, SI has an interesting story about coaching legend Bill Walsh, who is very ill with leukemia. Walsh was involved with the selection process Stanford (Walsh was HC there in 77-78, right before moving to the 49'ers). Walsh is extremely high on Jim. Says he reminds him of a young Dick Vermeil. The DUI charge Jim got while at SD may be forgiven with a few more clean years and a winning record at Stanford.

We'll see.

Anyway, Tommy wasn't the worst coach we could have hired, but with the Ed Martin scandal still hanging over the program, we were very limited last time around.

If (and this is a BIG if) Martin is willing to pay to upgrade the program, we can recruit a very good coach and bring some enthusiasm to the program again. Drawing 3,000 fans to an NIT game vs. Utah State may only be the fading bad memory some day in the future.

bigboyBlue 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 16:33


I think Martin summed it up pretty well actually:

"This basketball program is better today than it was before he took the job, but we both know that it is not in the position either one of us wants it to be after his sixth year," added Martin. "I want to thank Tommy for playing an instrumental role in coaching us through a difficult period. He is a person of great integrity, and I respect the effort he invested in rebuilding this program This has been the toughest decision in my tenure at Michigan. But it was in the best long-term interest of the program to make a change."

bigboyBlue 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 18:13


From ESPN:

According to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, some of the names up for consideration to replace Amaker include Washington State's Tony Bennett, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery, former Golden State Warriors coach Mike Montgomery, UNLV's Lon Kruger, West Virginia's John Beilein, Xavier's Sean Miller, Cal's Ben Braun as well as ESPN analysts Rick Majerus and Steve Lavin.

Katz also reported that Kentucky coach Tubby Smith could be a candidate, if he's available.


Also.....

Martin said he had a list of candidates but declined to identify any of the coaches.

"Michigan's basketball opening is going to be a highly sought after job," he said. "I want to move as quickly as I can, but some of the coaches we're might be interested in are still coaching in the NCAA Tournament."

While Amaker fell short of helping his team reach its goal, the school has not appeared to live up to its contractual commitment to improve perhaps the Big Ten's worst basketball practice facilities.



"We've already hired a consultant to work on the infrastructure at Crisler Arena," Martin said. "And if a coach makes a major issue out of not having a practice facility yet, then they're probably not the right coach for Michigan."

Mike Furley 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 19:03


"And if a coach makes a major issue out of not having a practice facility yet, then they're probably not the right coach for Michigan."

what the heck kind of statement is this? sounds like an old maid saying,
"If a suitor can't look past my wrinkled skin and saggy boobs, then he probably isn't the one for me".

This is why U of M needs to dip down into the mid-major level for a young head coach with a proven record of building a winner from scratch.

I always get a kick out of these coaching searches. Invariably, every school thinks they are the premeir job, and go after coaches at other schools who just use the offer as leverage for a pay raise.

Unless Beilein has some roots to U of M, why on Earth would he leave West Virginia? He's got good thing going down at Morgantown.

Rick Majerus? Yeah, he'll really inspire 17 year olds to take an interest in U of M.

Lavin? So Amaker moves you out from the shadow of scandal and you replace him with a coach who's hoping a few years on TV has removed the stink of scandal at UCLA? Not likely.

Lon Kruger? He'll better deal you faster than a loose girlfriend.

Tubby Smith? The natives are restless in Lexington over Tubby. You really want a guy who couldn't cut it at Kentucky with all of the advantages the UK job already has built into it?

LesMilesNextUMCoach 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 20:10


I agree that Martin shouldn't have made a flap about the condition of the arena.

Better just to say..."we are putting resources into determining what upgrades will be made...we want a coach who will be successful here before and after the improvements are made...that is a commitment to making this program and its facilities better, but we all know that cash from the ticket sales and tourney and license fees will be a BIG help in accelerating any changes."

The fact is, we will have to get a coach who WANTS to be here and is willing to GET OUT AND PROMOTE THE PROGRAM.

I like Tommy a lot for who he is and the kind of person that he is, but his success rate at a B10 school left little choice after six years.

Blue Is Nice 
Member
# Posted: 17 Mar 2007 20:15


This is why U of M needs to dip down into the mid-major level for a young head coach with a proven record of building a winner from scratch.

I don't care where he comes from he just needs to be a proven coach. I don't want a Tubby Smith who won early because of the program he took over. I don't want someone that has done well for a short period of time and may have had a lucky streak. We don't need a work in progress, we need a coach that can teach and win period.

I always get a kick out of these coaching searches. Invariably, every school thinks they are the premeir job, and go after coaches at other schools who just use the offer as leverage for a pay raise.

This isn't bs, the UM job is a great opportunity. UM has had a down period but will be a top tier bb program again soon. Please remember Rick Pitino strongly considered the UM job before he signed on at Louisville. If it wasn't for the pending sanctions Pitino would be coaching at UM now. Not many Universitys can boast the academics, history & draw that UM have to offer.

Rick Majerus? Yeah, he'll really inspire 17 year olds to take an interest in U of M.

I would take Majerus. Before he stepped down at UT because of his health he was known as one of the best coaches in the business. I really don't care that he's old and fat. Even Bob Knight still gets a few decent players to come and play for him. I'd let Majerus teach my kids bb any day.

BlueGoo 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 07:10


It is really interesting to heat OSU backers stating Amaker should have been given one more year.

Yea, right! Why not give Jim O'Brien and John Cooper one more year? If there is any criticism of the Amaker firing from the OSU camp, then they must call themselves the kings of gutless head coach rugsweepers.

The truth is, Amaker GOT is one more year, that was this year. The failure to make the NCAA and to progress even past round 2 in the NIT with a talented senior laden team was ridiculous. Look at all the close losses this year. UM should have beaten OSU in Ann Arbor, should have beaten Iowa, Northwestern, on and on this year. In those games, they were scoring and defending just as good as the other team. The losses came from poor execution and strategy, and that is the coaches fault.

AMAKER WAS TREATED FAIRLY. UM WASN'T!!

The firing here gives me a glimmer of hope about Martin. He could have standed pat, but he didn't. This firing was by far the harder one, because of the close attention paid from Coleman. UM will loose Amakers wife too, and this was not what Coleman wanted. But Martin has stepped up here and done the right thing (a season late, perhaps, but welcome to see).

If Martin can do this, he can make changes in the football program. Carr now knows that he too cannot stand pat, the next season is his last chance. He may not leave the university, but now the odds are greatly increased that he will not be head coach if UM does not succeed next year (Big Ten title and bowl game victory). Same thing as Amaker faced this year.

Oh, man, what a sigh of relief here!

gordify 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 07:43


I would take Majerus. Before he stepped down at UT because of his health he was known as one of the best coaches in the business

How is he still breathing? I havent seen him in a while until this week and he seems to be getting even fatter. I've never felt sorry for a sport coat before until I saw the one he was wearing. I've never heard a sport coat sigh before, but I bet his does every time he peels that poor thing off at night.

Wolvrin704 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 07:52


The Xavier coach could be had. He is paid in the middle of the pack in his own conference. How would that be for a rivalry. Matta and Miller - best friends coaching schools that hate each other.


Living in Cincy I must say that Miller is not seen as a great coach here. He wouldn't be bad but I don't think he would be the guy that could get UM back to the top tier.

Also, according to our local sports talk show host, Lance McAlister, he and Thad are best friends and have been since their days at Butler as students, I believe they were roomates as well. He gushes over whatever team Thad coaches at. Of course Miller is Thad's best friend amongst coaches but if it were to happen it could end up as Bo and Woody part II.

1OSUNUT 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 08:40


Based on the crappy facility Michigan plays in they might need a top flight coach to attract talent. Maybe once the talent is there and improvment is made the tight wads will come off their check book and build a nice basketball / arena on campus. Ohio State built a stunning arena that holds everything from basketaball games (mens+women) to concerts, UFC fighting, rodeos, Etc. The arena has been nothing but a positive. If you want to be considered a big time school its time to get with the program.

BlueGoo 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 08:54


That crap facility is an insult to all of college sports. Even Dick Vitale went off on it during a broadcast of a UM home game. He could not believe it was the same place that was there unchanged for over 20 years.

Martin has the money, has hired a consultant. Maybe he will have the next coach participate in the re-design. A new coach could have some say in what the facility improvements will be.

OSU has the advantage of being right in the middle of the capital city of the state of Ohio. They could afford to build a multi-purpose facility for more than basketball BECAUSE the facility WOULD get used for other events like concerts, rodeo, monster truck, ect. Ann Arbor doesn't have the size to draw those kind of events and cannot support a mega-facility like that.

However, does Duke, Gonzaga, Butler and other colleges have cities where big venue events stop? NO. Do they have good programs? YES.

Crisler area may not need to be demolished, there is a chance that it could be up-graded. It would just be an issue of cost. Sometimes, upgrade is more expensive than tearing down and rebuilding. We will have to see what comes of it.

I think that if Martin just shows he is serious and committed to the issue of facility, that will go a long way for placating a new coach.

Blue Is Nice 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 08:55


Based on the crappy facility Michigan plays in they might need a top flight coach to attract talent. Maybe once the talent is there and improvment is made the tight wads will come off their check book and build a nice basketball / arena on campus. Ohio State built a stunning arena that holds everything from basketaball games (mens+women) to concerts, UFC fighting, rodeos, Etc. The arena has been nothing but a positive. If you want to be considered a big time school its time to get with the program

You don't know what your talking about, our facility isn't bad. It could use a little updating but what we really need is a practice facility. Oh, and we wont be having any rodeos or tractor pulls anytime soon.

bigboyBlue 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 10:04


Oh, and we wont be having any rodeos or tractor pulls anytime soon.

Amen to that .

If you want to be considered a big time school its time to get with the program.

Yes, and I think an arena capable of a Mariah Carey concert is what really will cement our reputation as a big time school

SickOfMediocrity 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 10:07


If you want to be considered a big time school its time to get with the program

hah.. really? if we want to be a big time school? i cant even start to respond to that.

we had a solid class with amaker. maybe we'll lose a recruit as a result of the change, but its worth it if it pays off in the long run.

BlueGoo 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 13:26


If the next coach comes from an active university program, he will bring with him recruits. Amaker is not going anywhere, and nobody is going with him. The current UM recruits will wait and see who is his replacement. If it is someone good, we will be OK.

Martin said some candidates are currently active in the tournament! This means the above could be the case!

1OSUNUT 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 18:14


Something has to be done with your arena - period. Get with the times. You still are Michigan right ? Are you people so arrogant to belive that a new coach and no improvements to your outdated buildings will result in better results. College sports is big business. Even Rutgers has and is building new arenas and practice facilities. Michigan is falling behind the times. OK, maybe Michigan cannot support a big time arena like Ohio State can becuase of their location - fine. How about building a new or remodeling the old building to make it more intimate. Make it so the students and fans are right next to the court (ala Duke) and loud. Make it so its a huge home advantage. Ohio State actually built a arena that is to large. Its more like a professional arena. Being inside it feels like you should be watching the Cavs not Ohio State. It is however a stunning facility with awesome practice areas. Michigan could do something more then they have done. Im sure a nice arena would help ALL sports that use IE - wrestling, girls basketball, volleyball Etc.

Mike Furley 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 18:25


This was from CBS Sportsline:

Michigan opening sure to lure big names
NEW ORLEANS -- Now you know why people weren't jumping all over the Minnesota job. It's because few wanted to get too involved with that gig until they were certain Michigan wouldn't open considering everybody assumed Michigan would open eventually.

On Saturday, eventually arrived. And if Michigan is willing to throw around big money and invest in facilities then it will lure a high-profile coach from somewhere and again become a basketball power now that the uninspired Tommy Amaker era is complete.

The bottom line on Amaker is that he's a good guy with a nice image who does everything properly. It's hard to find anybody who doesn't think highly of the Duke graduate, and he's exactly what Michigan needed when it hired him. But now Michigan doesn't need a high-character guy. It needs a high-quality coach who can go into Detroit, lure talent and win games, and so that's the type of person who will be targeted in a search that'll begin immediately, if it hasn't already.

The list of possible replacements is long, and some names circulating are Washington State's Tony Bennett, UNLV's Lon Kruger, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery, Nevada's Mark Fox, Wichita State's Mark Turgeon, West Virginia's John Beilein, Memphis' John Calipari, former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin.

Another possibility is Xavier's Sean Miller, but he might have ruined his chances Saturday. I mean, it's hard to imagine Michigan targeting a coach who is coming off a wow-did-he-blow-that loss to Ohio State, isn't it?

BlueGoo 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 18:47


1OSUNUT is rignt on here. The poster from across the tracks, yea, right smack in enemy territory is right on. Everyone here agrees that for UM to have a ghost of a chance again, Crisler area needs upgrade or the wrecking ball.

The Michigan Man 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 19:45


Based on the crappy facility Michigan plays in they might need a top flight coach to attract talent. Maybe once the talent is there and improvment is made the tight wads will come off their check book and build a nice basketball / arena on campus.

Still not a believer in the "great facilities" theory. Athletes want to win and be on TV. A kid will play in a tin shack if they can be a part of a winning program.

An example is the Detroit Red Wings playing in Joe Louis Arena, a dump that is falling apart. Detroit gets elite players to play there because they have a chance at a ring. On the other hand, no one is taking a pay cut to play at Nationwide Arena, one of the best facilities in N. America, to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets and perpetually miss the playoffs every single season.

It would be nice to replace Chrisler Arena, but if Michigan brings in a great coach and starts winning, the recruits will respond, new facilities or not.

LesMilesNextUMCoach 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 20:09


Now that the Ed Martin scandal and probation is behind us, Martin can use the improvement plan to get the best coach available.

The coach will have to be content with a low-quality arena for at least a year or two, but WINNING (as in finally making the NCAA tourney) will help bring in some cash to this program.

Any improvement will probably happen in thirds. First, some interior decorating on the lower bowl of the arena and entrances and walls. Second, new seats and better decor on the upper bowl and walls. Finally, a practice facility. It will take five years for all of that to happen, but the new coach will need to know that winning faster means improvements will happen faster.

I completely agree with everything the story posted about Tommy. Clean guy, right guy in 2001. Very likable and I was happy that we got him when we did. Problem is that he had SOME talent and still couldn't resurrect this program. He is a pretty good recruiter but not as good a coach. He may have to take a job at a mid-major program or lower tier team in a big conference before ever getting another chance at a name school. Comparing him to Bill Freider. Freider was a better recruiter and about an equal as a coach. We made the NCAA's with Freider because the talent was too good to miss.

LesMilesNextUMCoach 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 20:16


Oh, and concerning the Buckeye fans that are resident to our web site...both teams have ONE national title and several final four appearances. No historical edge by either team.

Neither one of us can hold a torch to Indiana (five national titles), MSU has two, Wisconsin has one, and that is it.

Basketball hasn't been to our schools what football has been.

Right now, the Coach and Arena are much better south of the border and have made a difference in recruiting.

The coaching is about to improve, assuming Martin is sincere about his interest in PAYING for a top candidate. The arena and facilities are only a matter of time.

Our football stadium is making an upgrade (along with higher ticket prices) and the coaching staff will improve as soon as Lloyd retires.

Right now, we are at near all-time lows in Michigan sports history...enjoy it while you can because things will get better here.

gordify 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 20:33 Edited by: gordify


Athletes want to win and be on TV. A kid will play in a tin shack if they can be a part of a winning program.

Only people like me and you are interested in history, tradition and prestige. Kids don't care much for those things. They like shinny new things that look cool. Just look what happened when sparty moved out of Jenison fieldhouse.

The Michigan Man 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 20:42


No, kids like shinny new things. Only people like me and you like things like history, tradition and program prestige.

Maybe not history & tradition, but program prestige, absolutely. Winning gets you visibility, which gets you drafted, which gets you money.

You can put the worst program in the best facility in the country - if a basketball team is losing 20 games a year and missing the tourney, "shiny new things" lose their appeal in a hurry.

Mike Furley 
Member
# Posted: 18 Mar 2007 22:31


Yea, right! Why not give Jim O'Brien and John Cooper one more year?

John Cooper had two freaking victories over our top rival and barely a few more victories in bowl games in our most visible sports program, and was generously given a decade plus to prove himself, not six years with a few of them on probation. No comparison at all with Amaker.

Jim O'Brien was a great X's and O's coach, but a halfway decent recruiter. He always said he had no interest in competing with Nike and Addidas and buttering up/paying off AAU coaches for players like Lebron James and OJ Mayo. He gave six grand to a kid from Serbia while they had a war on so the kid could bury his parents. Had he come clean about it years ago, he might have survived it, but he lied to the A.D. about it and that was why he was fired. His record on the court was not why he was fired.

If Matta wasn't from Indiana and hadn't built a relationship with Oden and Connely, I might have thought he had something shady going on. However, once he landed those two guys, the other top kids were easy to get because they wanted to play with other premier players and be on a good team. I think the facilities at Ohio State were simply a bonus.

Likewise, Jim Tressel had spent a decade plus up in Northeastern Ohio building relationships with the high school coaches, which gave him a leg up in recruiting the top players from those areas.

If I were Bill Martin, a big part of my selection process would be finding a coach who has a connection to a basketball-rich area or has a chance of luring some current recruits over to U of M with him.

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