This morning, Brian Gregory announced he will be accepting the Georgia Tech men’s basketball head coaching position leaving UD after 8 seasons.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the statistics behind Gregory’s tenure paint a picture of mediocrity considering the amenities and opportunities afforded to a Flyer head coach.
Superb facilities and an incredible arena. An incredibly passionate and dedicated following. A location conducive to recruiting high-level talent. The ability to compete every year for a conference championship.
Unfortunately, Gregory was unable to capitalize. In his 8 years leading UD, his record against RPI top 50 teams was 15-52. Against RPI top 100 teams, he was 47-62. And we all know about UD’s struggles on the road no matter the opponent.
Brian Gregory was brought to Dayton to elevate and energize the program, be a consistent player in the Atlantic 10 and be in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament more than in years past. These did not seem like unattainable expectations for a highly touted recruiter and motivated associate head coach at MichiganState under Tom Izzo.
His record shows that he did not deliver which is why I believe a changing of the guard at this juncture will benefit all parties involved, except possibly Georgia Tech.
The players should be excited about a new offensive approach, a coach who (hopefully) will be able to create a better sense of camaraderie in the locker room and will recruit to create a team instead of the inefficient and disjointed recruiting strategies Gregory employed.
The decision makers in the UD athletic department will have the ability to start anew as well, hopefully learning from their knee-jerk reaction of giving Gregory a five-year extension after his first (and only) victory in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
The Flyer Faithful should be excited about a new brand of basketball that will (again, hopefully) not feature the need to grind out every single possession but instead operate in a more open, flowing system that will showcase players’ talents.
Gregory will personally benefit moving to a power conference and the ability to start over at Georgia Tech, not to mention the salary bump he will likely receive. Leaving the mess he created here and starting with a fresh slate will afford him a second opportunity to prove he is capable of building a program.
To that point, Georgia Tech should remain cautiously optimistic.
A very important component in hiring Gregory will be his coaching staff. While Gregory has been able to recruit high-level talent, developing such talent into a cohesive unit to perform consistently has been an area where he has struggled mightily. Assistant coaches around Gregory will play a key role if he is to succeed with the Yellow Jackets.
The final piece of this puzzle will be whether or not UD’s two recruits for next year, LaDonte Henton and Percy Gibson, will be released from their commitments to UD.
Stay tuned to Inside the Flyers as more information becomes available about the future of Dayton Flyer basketball.