Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coaching Carousal Part 7: This is it...Honest

The Last Drop Falls
The whispers out of the Hudson Valley news services, amplified nationally by Fox Sports (Jeff Goodman's Blog) for the past two days, floating beneath the early fall recruiting gossip & more players behaving badly, is word that Army basketball coach Jim Crews was terminated on Monday or Tuesday of this week. While there was no direct confirmation of Crews' release until early Thursday (9/24) morning when Army AD Kevin Anderson announced that he had, indeed terminated head coach Jim Crews, the evidence was leaking out of coaching staffs all over the country. Anderson was reaching out early to assistant coaches at Navy, Arizona State, Iowa State and St. John's -- among others -- to gauge interest in the position. A coaching change this close to the open of fall practice is extremely rare, "for cause" is always implied, and in Crews' case, the offense was apparently for "...putting his hands on a men's basketball player during a workout or practice...".

For the Record
The latest a coach was terminated in the 2007 off season was mid August (8/14), when Florida A&M's Mike Gillespie was terminated after a criminal charge was filed against him. A relatively low volume 2008 off season (43 vacancies, down from 60 in 2007) was nevertheless intense, given that all vacancies opened by late June.

By the Numbers
The Army opening is the 31st this off season, still well off of 2008's 43 vacancies. Like 2007 and 2008, just over 60% (61.3%) of the vacancies were initiated by the employer.

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