As you all know by now, former UCLA lead Assistant Coach did what Steve Alford wanted to do: he left to Indiana. Now, there are rumors that Tyus Edney will take his place. This post on BruinGold references a rumor from Bruin Report Online.
While I know many UCLA fans will be excited with this rumored reward for a UCLA great, there is some cause for concern. Look, everyone loves Mr. 4.8. Moreover, he is a good ambassador for UCLA and seems to be genuinely a nice person.
However, this is a big step up for Tyus. Tyus is going from being a pseudo-coaching position as Director of Operations to being the top assistant. The Director of Operations runs the “day-to-day operations of the program and serve as a liaison to the athletic administration and other school officials.” This is not the usual move for a big program with their number two coach.
Contrast this with Arizona. Arizona just hired probably the best recruiter in the conference and former UW head Coach Lorenzo Romar as their number two coach. While a failure as a head coach recently, Romar had recruited the top players in the Pac-12 to UW, not exactly easy. Romar has proven himself to be an elite recruiter and is very experienced. Having Romar as a number 2, seems like a huge positive for Arizona.
Again, I love Tyus Edney the player, but Tyus Edney the top assistant seems a gamble by UCLA. Remember: UCLA greats such as Walt Hazzard and Larry Farmer did not make great coaches. I like what Arizona did, but, if this rumor turns out true, I am concerned about UCLA.
One last note on Schilling. I have written here before that Steve Alford is unique among UCLA coaches in that UCLA is not their ideal place to coach. If Schilling were leaving to be a head coach, that is understandable. But a lateral move? That is troubling.
Tyus, at least, is 100% loyal to UCLA. However, a place like UCLA should be able to attract coaches that are both loyal and highly qualified.
On an unrelated basketball note, Happy 70th Birthday Kareem!