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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Short-term hire, but a good one

LSU's chances of winning its first basketball national championship ever just went up. The hiring of four-time WNBA champion coach Van Chancellor on Wednesday gives the Lady Tigers their best chance available at going one game deeper into the NCAA Tournament than they have the last four years with opening losses in the last four Final Fours.

That's a lot of fours, and Chancellor was hired to get to another Final Four and then a final two and maybe a number one for LSU.

Chancellor inherits a very talented team and he'll give it a fresh approach. It could happen. It would be a perfect ending for a Hall of Fame career.

At 63, though, how long will Chancellor be at LSU? Maybe not that long. But that doesn't mean it was not a good hire. Texas, Florida and Duke have been among the schools looking for coaches this off-season amid an unprecedented amount of turnover in the women's basketball game.

LSU cannot compete with those schools with regard to facilities and fan base. LSU is also not going to pay a million dollars or anything close to it to a women's basketball coach. Right now, a new baseball stadium is more important.

LSU could not have hired Gail Goestenkors from Duke. LSU wasn't going to pay Kim Mulkey of Baylor.

If Chancellor can recruit for 2009 and 2010, he will win big at LSU. Then when he does decide to leave and LSU has a new athletic director and a refurbished Assembly Center with new practice courts, then that long term coach can be hired.

A young, rising coach could get the job then when there will likely not be as many other schools looking. Maybe then LSU could hire Mulkey, and she could come home to her last job the way Chancellor has.

That would be a nice ending.


Anonymous Scamp said...

Kim Mulkey signed a 10-year, $10 million dollar contract with Baylor. When it ends she will be 54 and ready to retire from the stress of coaching. Sorry, LSU.

1:35 PM  

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