Last week, when Ben Bolch wrote, “UCLA hopes to have a coach in place within the next week as the field of potential candidates continues to dwindle,” I responded by asking, “Why is the athletic department imposing an arbitrary timeline, instead of waiting until after the Final Four to interview Tony Bennett?”
Since I wrote those words, Dan Guerrero and the Basketball Coaching Search Committee have tried, and failed, to hire both Jamie Dixon and Rick Barnes. Guerrero was so certain that UCLA was about to land their next coach that he started making plans to announce the hiring, first, of Dixon, and, then, of Barnes.
Six years ago, Guerrero refused to wait for Gregg Marshall’s Wichita State Shockers to finish playing in the tournament and, instead, opted to move on and hire one of the worst basketball coaches in UCLA history in Steve Alford.
Now, after failing to land three different coaches, is it really possible that UCLA could land the guy many Bruin fans have wanted since the search began on New Year’s Eve?
Is it possible that, now, with the search on Day 100 and the NCAA Tournament finally over, that the UCLA Bruins will actually make a run at Tony Bennett or Chris Beard?
Well, it would be malpractice on the part of the UCLA Athletic Department if they don’t at least put in a call to each of these coaches.
Of course, there will be some fans who don’t think the Bruins can land either one of these coaches. It’s totally possible that they might not be able to, but, unless UCLA has reached out to representatives for both coaches within the last week and been told no, they need to make an attempt to hire one of these two guys because they just became available to have a conversation.
Now, one or both coaches could simply do what Rick Barnes and John Calipari did and use UCLA in order to get another extension and/or pay raise on top of what they are already making, but that doesn’t mean that UCLA shouldn’t try,
Of course, they should. Maybe, just maybe, one of them will say yes.
Although, at this point, it seems about as likely as Earl Watson being offered the job.
What are your latest thoughts on the UCLA Basketball Coach Search? Sound off in the comments below.
This is the Day 100 of the UCLA Basketball Coaching Search open thread.