Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The post-NCAA coaching moves start

Today fans of the VCU basketball program are holding their breath, waiting to see what the two-time national champion Florida Gators’ head coach Billy Donovan is going to do next. Will Donovan leave Gainesville to coach the Wildcats in Lexington, Kentucky? According to scuttlebutt, if he does that might well mean the Rams’ first-year head coach Anthony Grant would get an offer to replace Donovan at Florida.

Grant served as Donovan’s assistant at Florida for 10 years, before coming to VCU a year ago to replace Jeff Capel, who had moved on to coach at Oklahoma. So, the folks down that way know Grant well.

A reminder of how fast things can change in NCAA basketball is offered here, John Beilein is apparently leaving West Virginia to fill the coaching opening at Michigan. Click here to read the story of the former Richmond Spiders coach, who seems to be heading for Ann Arbor after five years in Morgantown.

“...Media reports linked Beilein with the Wolverines just days after he led the Mountaineers to the National Invitation Tournament championship. It will cost Michigan $2.5 million to buy out Beilein at West Virginia, plus perhaps about $1 million a season in a multiyear contract. Beilein’s West Virginia teams made deep runs in the NCAA tournament the previous two seasons. Despite graduating their top four scorers from a year ago, the Mountaineers went 27-9, including a 78-73 win over Clemson in the NIT title game on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Get real, no way Florida hires Grant. They're established enough now that only a nationally known winning coach and recruiter would be welcome.

F.T. Rea said...


Well, I hope you're right. I want Grant to stay at VCU. But the concern about him perhaps being called back to Florida is much in the air in the Fan District.

Jason Kenney said...

Aren't there things in Grant's contract that would have him owing VCU money if he leave before three years? That said, I'd be surprised if he left after only one year of success, especially considering he won with Capel's kids and now that he's already secured recruits for VCU. If he keeps this up, next year or the year after, yeah, he's gone. But I don't think that'll be the case this year. At least, I hope not.

F.T. Rea said...


Some coaching deals have penalties, or buyouts. Beilein’s in West Virginia apparently had a $2.5 million buyout that Michigan just took care of, no problem. And, some contracts have a short list of jobs at schools that the coach could jump ship for, no questions asked. If Grant has such a clause in his pact, one might assume that Florida would be at the top of his list.

Grant does not strike me as a man who would leave VCU just to get a little more money from Anywhere University. And, I expect he wants very much to coach his first VCU recruiting class next year. But if Donovan is crazy enough to take the Kentucky job, sadly, it may be one-and-done for Grant at VCU.

Jason Kenney said...

Donovan would be crazy to leave for Kentucky but should he do that, yeah, Florida would be smart to look at bringing back Grant. It's an interesting scenario and I'm sure a good number of folks are waiting to see how it pans out.

Jason Kenney said...

Ah ha, then I see this and everything's a-ok for now.