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Coach Ford

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I am Social Distancing and really bored. It got me thinking - it seems like Travis Ford is mostly loved by the Billiken Faithful and hated by OK State fans who think of him as an underachieving, overpaid, bad coach.

What other coaches have been fired/hated and moved on to another school and turned it around?

Maybe it is a dumb topic but there are no sports on TV  so cut me some slack. 

 

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I don’t know about the “hated” part, but what about Anthony Grant? Fired from Alabama and now doing very well at Dayton. I recall Greg McDermott not doing great at Iowa State, but he didn’t get fired; I think he left for Creighton before things got that bad.

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21 minutes ago, DeSmetBilliken said:

I don’t know about the “hated” part, but what about Anthony Grant? Fired from Alabama and now doing very well at Dayton. I recall Greg McDermott not doing great at Iowa State, but he didn’t get fired; I think he left for Creighton before things got that bad.

These are good calls. 

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Obviously, Ford had to be hurt by the firing at OK St. No one likes being let go. So, I think for him SLU  was an I'll show you job. And, he's doing it, or at least getting there. What concerns me about him is can he be content in a mid major job like Few and Marshall are? Or does he still thirst for the prestige of a P5 position?  If he takes SLU to a sweet 16 and beyond, he's gonna become a hot commodity. If he does, what will he do and what will SLU do to keep him? 

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17 minutes ago, slu72 said:

Obviously, Ford had to be hurt by the firing at OK St. No one likes being let go. So, I think for him SLU  was an I'll show you job. And, he's doing it, or at least getting there. What concerns me about him is can he be content in a mid major job like Few and Marshall are? Or does he still thirst for the prestige of a P5 position?  If he takes SLU to a sweet 16 and beyond, he's gonna become a hot commodity. If he does, what will he do and what will SLU do to keep him? 

Of course it's all speculation. Matt Holliday helped him get this job from what I understand, and I think he's here until UK opens up, but then again, who knows. But if he gets these Metro STL borders secured, he could really have something here for years.

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26 minutes ago, slu72 said:

Obviously, Ford had to be hurt by the firing at OK St. No one likes being let go. So, I think for him SLU  was an I'll show you job. And, he's doing it, or at least getting there. What concerns me about him is can he be content in a mid major job like Few and Marshall are? Or does he still thirst for the prestige of a P5 position?  If he takes SLU to a sweet 16 and beyond, he's gonna become a hot commodity. If he does, what will he do and what will SLU do to keep him? 

If he makes a run to Sweet 16 or beyond, he will leave for a P5 school, chasing the dream of an NCAA Championship.

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Winning then NCAA Championship is a much about luck as it is about having a very good team.  Thinking you can go to a power 5 school and win a national championship is not how it works.  Lots of P5 school coaches would love to have the success  that Few and Marshall have had.  Ford has said that he has never coached at a school before SLU that he has had a trove of local players every year to recruit.  It takes a certain kind of coach to be successful at KY - look at all the ones they have hired who looked like great choices that couldn't make it there.  Ford may want the KY job - who knows for sure - but he will think twice before jumping into the fire that a P5 school job can be.  If SLU keeps the money reasonable and he can keep the talent pipeline here it will be hard for him to leave - impossible, no but hard.

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9 hours ago, JohnnyJumpUp said:

If he makes a run to Sweet 16 or beyond, he will leave for a P5 school, chasing the dream of an NCAA Championship.

With the abundance of local talent he can win one here. First step is to dominate the A 10 every year.

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Let me be clear, I have been thoroughly impressed with Ford’s body of work thus far at SLU. However, next year is a make or break season. Barring any injuries or other abnormalities, he has to make a run in the NCAA. Failing to win one or two NCAA tournament games over the course of the careers of Goodwin and French would be utter failure, especially with how loaded we should be next season.

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I texted a buddy these questions: Do Oklahoma St fans regret calling for Fords firing? Does the OSU admin regret firing him? 

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16 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

I texted a buddy these questions: Do Oklahoma St fans regret calling for Fords firing? Does the OSU admin regret firing him? 

No. No.

I have a family friend with deep roots at OSU. We had this discussion over Thanksgiving. Their view was that Ford couldn’t win enough big games with all the talent he brought in, and to people outside the A10, Ford hasn’t shed that label (yet!).

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Personally I think evaluating a coach or a team with wins in the NCAA Tournament is a bad measure.  Its a one and done tournament often coming down to one shot.  If you are a top seeded team, say 1-3 maybe 1-4 with a pretty favorable matchup, then you have a favorable matchup in the first game, but after that, anything can happen. Luck is a significant factor, even for all but the very top seeds.  Sometimes the matchup is just bad.  Sometimes a low seed will just get hot and shoot lights out from 3 point range, sometimes your best player picks up quick fouls and sometimes players just play tight under the pressure. 

That said, I think Ford is building a program with teams that have the talent and versatility to matchup with top 25 teams and pick up enough wins in the regular season to get a good seed. My expectation of a coach is that he puts together a program that consistantly produces winning teams, devleolops the players that he recruits, gets to the dance and has a reasonable chance of winning. Then pray for a little luck. 

If you show a coach the door, just because the team is one and done, you can end up like Oklahoma State, wondering when you will ever get back to the tournament.  You can't have a tournament run, if you aren't in the tournament. 

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1 minute ago, Aquinas said:

Personally I think evaluating a coach or a team with wins in the NCAA Tournament is a bad measure.  Its a one and done tournament often coming down to one shot.  If you are a top seeded team, say 1-3 maybe 1-4 with a pretty favorable matchup, then you have a favorable matchup in the first game, but after that, anything can happen. Luck is a significant factor, even for all but the very top seeds.  Sometimes the matchup is just bad.  Sometimes a low seed will just get hot and shoot lights out from 3 point range, sometimes your best player picks up quick fouls and sometimes players just play tight under the pressure. 

That said, I think Ford is building a program with teams that have the talent and versatility to matchup with top 25 teams and pick up enough wins in the regular season to get a good seed. My expectation of a coach is that he puts together a program that consistantly produces winning teams, devleolops the players that he recruits, gets to the dance and has a reasonable chance of winning. Then pray for a little luck. 

If you show a coach the door, just because the team is one and done, you can end up like Oklahoma State, wondering when you will ever get back to the tournament.  You can't have a tournament run, if you aren't in the tournament. 

I agree with this sentiment.

All it takes is one chance to make a run. I'll take it. Hell - Look at Tony Bennett. Just need to get invited to the dance and then it is a crapshoot. 

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10 hours ago, JohnnyJumpUp said:

If he makes a run to Sweet 16 or beyond, he will leave for a P5 school, chasing the dream of an NCAA Championship.

If he makes a run at a sweet 16 or beyond doesn’t that show him he can make a national title run here?

Once you make a sweet 16 you are a One more good player, one lucky bounce, one blown call away from a final 4.

Once you get to a final 4 everything is up for grabs.

Id be more worried about him leaving after a run of first weekend knockouts.

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Unless someone is close to Travis and knows where his ambitions and goals lie, all these posts are pure unadulterated speculation. While it's true that Mark Few and Greg Marshall seem perfectly content to coach their very successful mid major programs, they may have very different personalities from Travis. Just to give an example from my career, I was promoted to a different department back in the day, and I recommended a person to replace me. He asked that I not recommend him, because he would turn it down. He said he was very content in his current job and didn't want the pressures that came with supervising people and reporting directly to VPs and above. He liked spending time with this family and had no ambitions beyond being very competent with his current assignments. Fair enough. The guy knew his limitations and was comfortable in his own skin. He enjoyed his work at which he was exceptional. You might not agree with his reasons, but for his peace of mind it was working.

Now I'm not saying Few and Marshall are not ambitious, because they are. Their ambitions lie in putting the best possible product on the floor they can at their respective schools year in and year out. They both are probably the biggest celebrities in their communities. They seem to have all the prestige they'll ever want to remain comfortable in their own skins. They don't require the bright lights of the P5 to massage their egos or further their ambitions. I respect that. There are more important things in life than just money and more celebrity. McKillop falls into the same category. All 3 seem to really appreciate where they find themselves. Is Travis cut from the same cloth? I don't know. If someone really knows him let us in on what makes him tick.  

Now the majority of successful coaches look ahead to their next move. More money and more celebrity. But with those ambitions come bigger risks. If you don't replicate the success at the new school that you had at the old almost immediately, you are outta there within a year or three. See Brice Drew and many others before him. Travis has also been down this road. UMass loved him. He could have set himself up for years in a relatively small very collegial community for many years, but he opted to go for the brass ring at OSU. Can't fault him. Probably got a ton of money and could have been the big man in a small college community. He actually didn't fail at OSU. He got good players, made the dance in 6 of his 8 years, avoided any scandals. Results that most schools would be very content with, but P5's aren't most schools. And that will be his dilemma if he takes SLU to new heights. He makes some noise in the Dance with SLU, and you can bet his phone will be ringing off the hook. Does he then consider what he's got going for him at SLU, or does he once again jump into the shark infested seas of the P5? It will boil down to where his ambitions and goals lie, and only he and his family know what they are. Let's enjoy him while we have him and hope he's very happy where he finds himself. 

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1 hour ago, HenryB said:

With the abundance of local talent he can win one here. First step is to dominate the A 10 every year.

I agree and i want him to stay at SLU and try to win here, I just think it could be easier at another school in a P5 conference, and if thats what he's chasing, the easiest route makes sense. 

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11 minutes ago, JohnnyJumpUp said:

I agree and i want him to stay at SLU and try to win here, I just think it could be easier at another school in a P5 conference, and if thats what he's chasing, the easiest route makes sense. 

As long as Ford is getting paid properly, I think he would be very selective when it comes to his next P5 job.  I think the level of job he would want would take more than a one year tournament run to get.  

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1 hour ago, billikenfan05 said:

I texted a buddy these questions: Do Oklahoma St fans regret calling for Fords firing? Does the OSU admin regret firing him? 

You have buddies?  Sorry I am bored.

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2 hours ago, cheeseman said:

Winning then NCAA Championship is a much about luck as it is about having a very good team.  Thinking you can go to a power 5 school and win a national championship is not how it works.  Lots of P5 school coaches would love to have the success  that Few and Marshall have had.  Ford has said that he has never coached at a school before SLU that he has had a trove of local players every year to recruit.  It takes a certain kind of coach to be successful at KY - look at all the ones they have hired who looked like great choices that couldn't make it there.  Ford may want the KY job - who knows for sure - but he will think twice before jumping into the fire that a P5 school job can be.  If SLU keeps the money reasonable and he can keep the talent pipeline here it will be hard for him to leave - impossible, no but hard.

I understand what you are saying and I would prefer he stay and be successful at SLU. Looking at the last 30 years of NCAA Champions, 28 are from P5 schools, with 1990 UNLV and 2014 UCONN(1st year in AAC) being the two non-P5 schools to win it. You are not guaranteed championships in P5, but if that is what Ford's ultimate goal is, it seems to make sense he would make the jump to a P5 school, if he was offered the right job.

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23 minutes ago, JohnnyJumpUp said:

I agree and i want him to stay at SLU and try to win here, I just think it could be easier at another school in a P5 conference, and if thats what he's chasing, the easiest route makes sense. 

Dayton might have been a number 1 seed so that can be done in the A10 and that is the easiest path to the final 4.

What coach Ford has in St. Louis is fertile recruiting in the area and a program that is being noticed by the local recruits.  My belief is that coach Ford’s easiest path to the final 4 is SLU based on the local high school talent.

Coach Ford is the toast of the town in a large metropolitan area with professional sports not a small college town.

Based on what we have seen college coaches do when they win in a smaller conference I understand your point.

I hope coach Ford will be intrigued with making Chaifetz the house that Travis built with great teams and sellout crowds the Gonzaga of the Midwest.

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4 minutes ago, JohnnyJumpUp said:

I understand what you are saying and I would prefer he stay and be successful at SLU. Looking at the last 30 years of NCAA Champions, 28 are from P5 schools, with 1990 UNLV and 2014 UCONN(1st year in AAC) being the two non-P5 schools to win it. You are not guaranteed championships in P5, but if that is what Ford's ultimate goal is, it seems to make sense he would make the jump to a P5 school, if he was offered the right job.

In the last 20 years, only 12 P5 schools have won a national championship.  Most of them would be considered among the top 15 jobs in the country and require buy-in from prominent alumni.  The other ones aren't opening up anytime soon.

Connecticut
Michigan State
Duke
Maryland
Syracuse
Florida
Kansas
North Carolina
Duke
Louisville
Villanova
Virginia

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Connecticut- Hurley, young ain't going nowhere unless they fire him or he gets a better opportunity
Michigan State- Izzo, mid 60's + he'll probably die there or health makes him retire. Not sure where they'd look
Duke- Coach K, see Izzo comments. Duke would probably look for someone in his coaching tree, like Amaker
Maryland- Mark T (?)- relatively young likely not going anywhere until/unless MD goes in toilet
Syracuse- Boeheim's a dinosaur, but hangs in there. He ain't getting fired no matter what. 
Florida-Not sure about his name, but he's relatively young. This job is always on the hot seat at FL
Kansas-Self, unless the NCAA bans him, which they probably should, he's rock solid
North Carolina-Williams, has a few more seasons like this past one, may put him on hot seat. They'd likely look for another UNC alum
Kentucky- Calimari just signed an extension that would take him into his 70s. This could be a strong contender for Travis if SLU rises
Louisville-Mack, young guy isn't going anywhere. He can win so he's probably rock solid
Villanova-Wright, relatively young, could only see him going for a UNC, UK or Duke type job. 
Virginia - Bennett, same as Wright, although doubtful he'd leave UVA for another ACC job. 

Basically, none of these jobs are going to come open in the near future, say 3-10 years. Of course, anything could change overnight, but it's unlikely. As it pertains to Ford, I'd see FL as a concern if their guy falls flat. Bennett at UVA could leave for Wisconsin if that ever opened up. And of course a lot of the younger crowd could always be lured away by the NBA, see Brad Stevens. 

Overall, I don't see Travis landing at any of these places. But there are many P5's not listed that he could find attractive. 

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