Former UCLA head coach Larry Farmer was just hired as the assistant coach for the Western Michigan Broncos. Just like Steve Lavin, in reading the release, you would think Farmer just left UCLA.. In following up with a search on Farmer and Lavin, I found Lavin discussing Farmer in an effort to rewrite history in his continuing efforts to prove he is a "coach." In so doing so he unwittingly makes a point that no UCLA fan should ever forget and no UCLA AD should ever allowed to be hired without learning.
But let me begin with Lavin's latest effort to sell the Brooklyn Bridge. Lavin is saying he helped revive UCLA basketball. In a story entitled: St John's hoping Steve Lavin, who helped UCLA's revival can do same for Red Storm." Lavin says:
"There was almost a decade where the entire college basketball scene out here went through a drought and coaches like Lute Olson of Arizona and Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV came in and built their teams off the backs of Southern California kids," St. John's new coach, Steve Lavin, says. "But everything is cyclical."
I have at least three problems with this article.
- Harrick, for all his faults, brought UCLA back. Lavin had nothing to do with the "revival."
- Everything does not have to be cyclical. Coach did not have a losing season in his career and I don't think anyone could say he had a down "cycle" in his last 12 seasons. Similarly Olson who Lavin cites had a long tourney making run. Nestor pointed out that great coaches have off years (and still winning seasons) but not down cycles. This is BS.
- The article and Lavin slams Walt Hazzard and Larry Farmer for bringing down UCLA. The article states: "UCLA went through one dismal stretch between 1983 and 1988 where the program was operating on emergency generators - making the NCAA Tournament just twice in six years and dismissing coaches Walt Hazzard and Larry Farmer."
This is right on one level but Lavin does not see the forest for the trees. They were hired just like he was and that was the problem. More after the jump.
Farmer's has been trading off his time as a UCLA head coach when
Jim Harrick Larry Brown left suddenly. It was not Farmer's fault that he was not ready for the big time or to be a head coach. It was UCLA's for giving him the job and sticking with him.
Then UCLA repeated the problem by hiring Walt Hazzard first as an assistant then as Head Coach when UCLA fired Farmer. I was there for the initial news conference when Hazzard was not sure if he was head coach or co-coach with Jack Hirsch. It was surreal. Again UCLA promoted an assistant coach instead of getting a head coach.
This all goes to prove UCLA Basketball should never promote an assistant to full time head coach. It is a recipe for disaster. Yet, Lavin was the third time UCLA did it and while he lasted longer the end was the same, a need to revive the program. It will be interesting where Lavin will rank in the pantheon of undeserving UCLA Basketball Coaches. Walt Hazzard never was a head coach again. In his first post UCLA head coaching job, Larry Farmer was terrible. Will the World's Second Biggest Oil Slick be able to beat Farmer's record which according to WIkipedia:
Farmer coached Weber [State, UT] for three seasons (1985–88) and compiled a record of 34–54 which is the worst in the schools history.
I hope UCLA beats Lavin so bad he stops coming "out here" . Or if he most come here, I wish $UC would hire Lavin so they could learn the Weber State lesson and have their worst season with Lavin as coach.