The Tom Crean Era is over at Georgia. His tenure as the head coach cannot be described as anything but a failure. The school did have a #1 overall pick in Anthony Edwards and doesn’t have any impending sanctions or is tainted by the FBI probe, but everything else regarding the program is at rock bottom.
UGA Twitter and the blogosphere have been speculating who might Athletic Direction, Josh Brooks will hire to begin the rebuild. A fan favorite and UGA Alumnus is certainly Jonas Hayes. Hayes is currently associate head coach under Travis Steele and has been one of Xavier’s best recruiters.
Sources with some midnight info on UGA’s search— Graham Coffey (@DawgOutWest) March 11, 2022
-CSU’s Niko Medved among UGA’s candidates
-Jonas Hayes may be asked to return to UGA as an assistant
-Matt McMahon’s family has been gathering info on Athens schools
-Dennis Gates among leading candidates https://t.co/rzr2O2dXP8
Matt McMahon has been rumored to be a candidate. The Murray State Coach is one of the mid major’s better tournament teams under McMahon and certainly have help Ja Morant develop as an NBA star is an exciting attribute.
But what if I told you that UGA could hire a coach with this resume:
As a player
Former ACC Player of the year
4 NCAA Tournament Appearances
3 Final Fours
3 Gold Medals
As a Coach
20 years as a head coach
15 NCAA Appearances
3 Final Fours
1 NCAA Championship
.774 Winning percentage
1 Gold Medal
1 World Championship
That is what Dan Wetzel is suggesting with idea that Georgia should offer the Men’s head coaching job to Dawn Staley, head coach at South Carolina. In this episode, he says that not only is Georgia irrelevant as a basketball program, but it would provide a market advantage and a more than qualified coach.
Wetzel goes on to say that this would not a be “woke” hire, but with NIL, UGA would find no shortage of corporate support to see that the sport’s first woman coach had the talent on the court to compete. One would think that Delta and Coca Cola and many other corporate partners would like to see and support Georgia’s hire break a glass ceiling.
I would add that Georgia is a football school, and if Brooks could get Coach Smart and Mary Beth, who played for Andy Landers, to support this hire, it might not only be a watershed moment for women’s sports but also a damn good basketball move.
I can’t imagine that in the short-term Staley wouldn’t be a wild success, brining interest, with it an economic boon, to a program that is one of the most irrelevant in the sport. There is zero doubt that this would be criticized and praised equally and roundly. Some would call it a publicity stunt others would say far worse if we are being real. But, eventually the novelty would where off and Win and Losses would be left as the only metric to decide the choice. T
There is no doubt Dawn Staley can coach the sport of basketball. There is no doubt that Nike, Delta, Coca Cola, and many other partners would support the hire. But can the players buy in and be willing to be coached by a woman. In 2022, the fact that this is a question is kind of sad. But, don’t be hard on 17 year old’s, they may not want to be part of this… at first. But, when she wins, they’d be flocking to play here. All the advantages that this job has, from talent in area to a premier school in SEC, are available to Staley as they would be for Hayes or McMahon.
Would the inherit issues of making a barrier shattering hire prevent talent acquisition for head coach Dawn Staley? Because no matter how well a person knows X’s and O’s, it takes the Jim’s and Joe’s to win.
Having said all that, do we really think Josh Brooks would even consider, yet alone be the AD who would hire the first woman to coach a men’s basketball team? Graham Coffey confirms that Brooks is looking for a coach who has head coaching experience. This tracks with his first hires soccer and track and field who he hired away from USC.
To confirm what Matt is saying here… Sources have told me that Georgia may ask Hayes to come back to Athens as an assistant to a sitting head coach. It’s dangerous to say anything is impossible, but with that option being discussed it feels very unlikely Hayes will be the hire https://t.co/JkyVWOQVWv— Graham Coffey (@DawgOutWest) March 11, 2022
This is not the thinking that leads to out of the box and groundbreaking hire. This is the thinking that leads to a Tom Crean type hire. Don’t get me wrong. I am excited to have a new coach. I will cheer and support a Jonas Hayes or Matt McMahon or whoever wants to a Dawg. But I think that Dawn Staley as Men’s Head Basketball Coach would be a tremendous hire. A coach that Georgia fans could be proud of on and off of the court.