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Expect a successful D-I return for Doherty

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Oct. 29, 2003
I've often said that if you have a passion and a love for what you do, that's half the battle in the workplace as well as life.

That's why I feel that somewhere down the line, Matt Doherty will be back on a Division I sideline coaching a successful team. Remember, Doherty resigned (under pressure) from his head-coaching job at North Carolina in April. He'll make it back somewhere, because I believe he has three elements needed to be successful in life.

Matt Doherty
Matt Doherty
First, there is that passion. Then there is work ethic, and nobody every questioned that about Mr. Doherty, who was a teammate of Michael Jordan's on North Carolina's 1982 national-championship team. Doherty always seemed to work around the clock in all facets of the game.

Finally, you have to make good decisions in your personal life (about things like drugs and alcohol). When you understand and apply those three elements, you usually have success in life.

I believe there is an athletic director out there who will be willing to give Doherty another opportunity. With his experience coaching at Notre Dame and North Carolina, Doherty has so much upside, and that factor is immeasurable.

I compare the Doherty situation at North Carolina to that of Bob Davie, the former Notre Dame football coach. Davie is now with us at ESPN broadcasting Saturday games. When Davie started as an assistant at Notre Dame, and later as head coach, he had the unfortunate situation of coaching at a place that has a history of expectations of challenging for the national title in football.

When you go to North Carolina, there are expectations of challenging for a national championship in basketball.

If you don't have the experience of someone like current North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who brings instant credibility given his resumé, every game is a final exam. It becomes a case of "what have you done for me lately."

For guys like Doherty and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin, every game is like a test. But coaches like Williams, Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson, Gary Williams and John Chaney are not scrutinized that way.

I feel that Doherty has learned from his past experiences and will be an even better coach down the line, working on relationships and coming back with passion and fire because he loves the game so much.

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