After praising Brian Gregory’s work at the University of Dayton, Wabler explained he, along with UD president Dr. Dan Curran and assistant athletic directors Neil Sullivan and Dave Harper, would begin a national search for a new head coach.
According to Wabler, three main criteria in selecting UD’s next head coach would be someone who:
“…has been in a program that has seen [the NCAA Tournament] on an annual basis and knows what that takes [to get there]."
“…has been part of a program that has been at the top of [their] conference.”
“…is at a school that graduates its student athletes.”
The takeaway from those comments is simple – the Flyers are looking for a lead assistant from a team in a power conference who has been at or near the top of their conference consistently. Going along with what Wabler said, my guess is that whoever takes the job will have ties to the Midwest recruiting trail and is younger in comparison to other head coaches.
While those qualifications may sound eerily familiar to what ended up bringing BG to town, and we know how well that ended up, hear me out.
The men’s college basketball coaching landscape has a future, and it’s in the form of young and motivated upstart coaches (i.e. Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart) who can toe the line between relating well to their players (and recruits) while not relinquishing their position of power. Gregory failed at this delicate balancing act considering ten players left the program in eight years and numerous off-court distractions had a negative impact on his team’s performance.
As more information is learned about who Wabler and company are targeting, I will update accordingly. In any case, the Flyers next coach will be stepping into a situation where he, in time, will have a great opportunity to lead this mid-major school to the success we’ve seen in the past by George Mason, Butler and VCU.
Finally, in response to my question regarding whether or not recruits LaDonte Henton and Percy Gibson will be allowed to explore other options since the departure of Gregory, Wabler said: “There has been no decision. We’re going to be in conversation with them. They have our unwavering support as far as their opportunity here at the University of Dayton. We’re going to give them the opportunity to talk to the new coach when that new coach comes in.”