Like many who work around athletics, I am opinionated. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes I’m wrong. Here are some examples.
n When Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh as its head coach in 2015, I thought the hire was a slam-dunk home run. I was wrong.
n In December of 2012 when Arkansas hired Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema as the Razorbacks’ head coach, I thought it was a mistake. I was right. (He’s a better fit at Illinois than he was at Arkansas.)
n When North Carolina rehired Mack Brown in 2019, I thought he was too old. I was really wrong. Brown has greatly elevated UNC’s recruiting.
n Many years ago, I met young Jamey Chadwell when he was coaching at tiny FCS Charleston Southern. I thought he could be a “star” in the coaching profession. Now he is at Coastal Carolina and is nationally ranked. I was right.
n When Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, I thought it was a mistake for its football program. I was wrong. Joining the SEC has been a positive for the Aggies.
n Earlier this season. I never took Oklahoma State seriously as a national playoff contender. I was right.
n For several seasons, I have been touting Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell as one of the best coaches in the country. Now everyone is on the Fickell bandwagon. I was right.
n Years ago, when Alabama hired Nick Saban away from the Miami Dolphins for a shocking salary of over $3 million, I told my media friends on the Super Bowl Radio Row,that he “would be worth every penny.” They scoffed, but I was right.
n Many of my Marshall friends grumble about Marshall football coach Doc Holliday not winning the Conference USA championship. After he retires, Doc will eventually be inducted into the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame. I am sure I will be right.
n In April of 2014, when Dan D’Antoni was hired as Marshall’s basketball coach, it was a surprise. I was asked my thoughts on a state radio show and I called Mike Hamrick’s hire “a stroke of genius.” After he won the school’s first NCAA tournament game and re-energized the fan base, I think I was right.
n During the pandemic, many broadcasters are no longer traveling to games. Announcers are broadcasting the games off a monitor in a studio in their home areas. For example, on Tuesday night, for the WVU-Kansas basketball game, ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale were not in Lawrence. Neither was the WVU radio team of Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs.
For the announcers, working off a monitor is not easy to do and not nearly as much fun. There is nothing like being live at the event. To save money, I worry that this trend will continue. I hope I am wrong.