Seton Hall has found its replacement for Tommy Amaker. Louis Orr, who coached Siena for one season, was an outstanding player at Syracuse, where he served as an assistant before moving on to become a second lieutenant to Peter Gillen at Xavier.
There is such coaching chaos taking place across America. Coaches are getting the ax or moving from one job to another. Coaching contracts are becoming almost meaningless. It's really wacky, but that's due to the expectations and unbelievable pressures placed on schools at NCAA Tournament time.
I know what it's like from my own experience. When I got the pink slip in 1979, I started sending resumés all over the place. And all people ever wanted to talk to me about was, "What happened with the Pistons?"
What a monster the tournament has created. The Final Four is the best and most beautiful sporting event of them all, with the excitement, the enthusiasm, the pageantry and all the spirit.
But you've got to empathize with coaches who feel the gun is at their heads. We hear about their monetary settlements and the dollars they make while they are coaching. But once a coach is fired, he unfortunately becomes damaged goods, baby. And believe me, it's tough to get back.
I know what it's like from my own experience. When I got the pink slip on Nov. 8, 1979, I started sending resumés all over the place. And all people ever wanted to talk to me about at the colleges was, "What happened with the Pistons? You were supposed to revitalize the Pistons, and it didn't happen." Therefore, I was damaged goods.
Fortunately, a big AD named Scotty Connal had taken over at ESPN, where he was named vice president of production. Joining his buddy, Chet Simmons, the former president of NBC who came to be the head of ESPN, they gave me the golden opportunity to do something I love -- talk about the game that has meant so much to me.
I started at ESPN in early December 1979 doing the network's first game between Wisconsin and DePaul to kick off ESPN's college hoops national schedule. Since then it has been hoops heaven for me.
Many guys don't get this opportunity. In fact, last year 50 coaches were given the ziggy, and only one was given a second chance to be a head coach -- Danny Nee, who was fired at Nebraska and then named head coach at Robert Morris. In fact, after one year at Robert Morris, he was just named the new head coach at Duquesne.
For most coaches, though, once they're given the pink slip, it isn't easy to come back to the same level of coaching.