Bumped BN Editors.
David Grace, 10 months into his UCLA tenure, is already publicly campaigning for a head coaching job.
The hiring decisions are definitely data points to evaluate the coach. The first data points (though Chianti would say keeping your existing players was Alford's first big accomplishment). It can be hard to judge them because during the season--they are usually under the radar. I’ve been there, and even if you are running the show, you are not the face of the organization. They are also won’t be as high profile as the football assistants.
Grace: Certainly, I give the man credit for being self-made and chasing his dream against the odds. Here's Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo:
Fifteen years into his service with the Air Force, longtime fuel specialist David Grace decided he wanted to pursue an unlikely new career path once he was ready to retire from active duty. He hoped to become a college basketball coach. Launching a coaching career would be challenging for anyone in their mid-30s, but Grace's background made his goal even more difficult to attain. He had no college degree, nor did he play basketball beyond high school. The only coaching experience he had at the time was as a part-time assistant for a local 12-and-under club team.
Alford pulled him out of Craig Robinson's Oregon State program. His claim to fame was recruiting Jared Cunnigham, former all-conference player. He's getting credit for Looney, but at the same time, wiffed on point guards Jordan Mclaughlin, Josh Perkins and Quentin Snider. Again, I applaud how far he came, but I can tell you, having spoke to him at the open practice, he has a gruff, ex-military, quirky personality. I believe he is in his late forties-I just don't see how he relates to the high school players.
Here's another article just to prove the politics are not just a coincidence.
I never liked this hire, but I can’t believe publicly campaigning for a head coaching job. Less than one year at UCLA!. Alford should reprimand him. That said, its probably the luckiest development we could have. Good luck finding something, Mr. Grace. Don't let the door smack your ass on the way out.
Schilling: I like him, but again always hard to say what is really going on, and we can debate about whether, in the end, the team is actually executing his plans, are the plans his or Alford’s, and whether he’s saying anything to Alford about issues like player minutes.
Have you noticed who is leading the huddle? Coach Schilling-and the practices as well. Never saw this with Howland. So I will give him a good grade for effort and probably turning Norman and Tony around. Improving Kyle's stroke might be the most important accomplishment to Kyle and the team. DC pointed out that he appears to be calling the play out of the huddle.
My knock on him would be that in a situation where there are only four recruiters, everyone has to recruit, and I don’t see many reports about him in that area, though there are some about watching high school games. He couldn’t even keep the kid, Trey Lyles, that he coached in high school.
Broussard: I don’t know what he does. He appears to be a loyalist who will be there with Alford forever.