Sunday, June 22, 2008
Another exits Athens
It's going to be a busy summer for new AD Jim Schaus. In his short time here at Ohio, Schaus has already had to perform one coaching search to fill the vacant women's basketball position. Recently, softball coach Jill Matyuch stepped down, paving the way for another. And now with the news of Tim O'Shea's departure to Bryant University, there will be one more beginning shortly.
First on O'Shea's departure to Bryant. It is shocking to say the least. There had been rumors abound that O'Shea wanted to go back closer to home in the Northeast. O'Shea's name was linked to numerous openings in that area including Providence and Brown, neither of which he got. The possibility of O'Shea moving somewhat laterally to a job like Brown seemed realistic. However, never could I have imagined that he would step down from Ohio to a job at BRYANT UNIVERSITY, a program entering Division I basketball. It is shocking to say the least. After hearing his name rumored in numerous other DI jobs, I didn't think he was ready to give up and take a drastic step down to a comfort zone. I hate to say it but give up are the only words to describe O'Shea's decision to go to Bryant.
To go from Ohio to Bryant University and sign an 8 year deal is a pretty clear indication that for whatever reason (being close to family probably a main one) O'Shea was finished with Athens. This is not Providence, this is not even Brown, this is BRYANT UNIVERSITY. This is not meant to take anything away from Bryant or its program, it is just amazing that O'Shea has made the decision that there is no way he is going to move up from the mid-major ranks in coaching. Who knows, if he would have stuck it out with Ohio and lucked into another NCAA Tournament berth maybe he could have lucked his away into a better job.
Or maybe the other bigger DI programs knew what many at Ohio did: Tim O'Shea is an average coach. By no means is he bad. He racked up solid regular season records. But this team never took that next step. The amount of talent wasted on the 2007-2008 incarnation of the Bobcats is sad. Not everything should be blamed on O'Shea but in game management, allotment of playing time and the transfer of at least one student-athlete every year were big issues. O'Shea was Ohio's version of Herm Edwards with the New York Jets; a decent regular season coach who couldn't take the team to the next level.
Now it is time to move on and for Jim Schaus to do as good of a job replacing O'Shea as he did Sylvia Crawley. Will Schaus stay in house and hire assistant coach John Rhodes? Or will he use his rich basketball ties to bring in a fresh face? Possible outside candidates include associate head coaches from Michigan State Mark Montgomery, who has MAC ties, and Tennessee's Tony Jones, who has coached in the midwest, Rob Murphy of Syracuse, who has MAC connections, Xavier's Chris Mack and Florida's Larry Shyatt.