Friday, December 01, 2006

Guenther's Hiring Practices=Train Wreck


Another beef I have with Ron Guenther (yes, I have a laundry list!) is his reflexive, almost knee-jerk hiring practices.

Look at football. Guenther doesn't like Lou Tepper (a/k/a Coach Death Penalty) who is a defensive-minded coach who doesn't know squat about offense. So he fires Tepper and hires Ron Turner based on the recommendation of Michael McCaskey of the Chicago Bears-barf!) Ron Turner is an offensive-minded coach who neglects to coach defense. Turner also didn't like recruiting, the lifeblood of all college sports. (Remember when Turner used to say he wanted to be done recruiting by Christmas?) So Guenther fires Turner and hires Ron Zook, a great recruiter who critics say can't coach.

In men's basketball, he pushes Lou Henson out and hires Lon Kruger, a guy who some say can't recruit. Kruger leaves for the NBA (no buyout clause in the contract?) and Guenther hires Bill Self, a/k/a Bail $elf, a guy who has a great rep as a recruiter but is perceived as a guy looking for his next job. Self leaves for Kansas and Guenther hires Bruce Weber, a great Xs & Os coach who is considered "loyal" and won't leave but has trouble recruiting top players.

Also, the track record of Illinois in hiring minority coaches is quite poor. Wayne Angel, the track coach, is the first minority head coach that I recall being hired by Coach Guenther. Illinois & Purdue remain the only two Big 10 schools who have never had minority head coaches in football or men's basketball, the main revenue sports. Why is that? Also, did Guenther ever consider Rick Majerus to replace Lou Henson? Would Guenther hire a fat coach?

5 Comments:

Blogger sapsparky said...

In a small call for balance on a blog asking for the firing of Ron Guenther, just a few other hires by Ron Guenther:

Mark Johnson (Wrestling)
-team is 166-37-2 since taking over, former Olympian, Olympic Coach, Iowa Assistant, Big Ten Conference Tournament Champaions, fourth most NCAA Individual Champions in last 15 years, sixth most Top-10 team finishes in last 15 years

Craig Tiley (former head Tennis Coach, now in charge of Player Developement for Tennis Austrailia)
-team was 249-73 under tiley, with 23 of those losses coming when he took an unknown program over as an interim in 1992-1993 at 4-23 record and turned it into an undefeated NCAA Championship in 2003, eight straight Big Ten crowns, seven Big Ten tourny crowns, at least one All-American from 1998 though the year he left, and he also brought the USTA Challenger to Illinois, the largest professional tournament in Illinois.

Bruce Weber (Basketball)
-are you really complaining about this one? 96-18 in 3+ years, two Big Ten Championships, Big Ten Tourny Champs, NCAA Sweet Sixteen, NCAA Runner-up

6:37 PM  
Blogger Fire Ron Guenther said...

the only sports I care about are football & men's basketball. Those are the two main revenue sports and I bet a majority of Fighting Illini fans agree.

Tiley-why isn't he still here? Was it because of money?

As for Weber, he's doing fine right now. Let's see how he does in 3-4 years. We may regret Coach Guenther failing to hire Thad Matta.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous HectorV said...

Boy, St. Guenther really has those non-revenue sports licked!! Woo hoo!

At one time Tiley was annointed as the possible successor to St. Guenther. Why isn't he here anymore? Lack of $$? Unfufilled promises? Illini tennis has certainly fallen off since he has left, hasn't it?

Or, what about Don Hardin? We lost a Hall of Fame coach (due to the Grentz hiring) in volleyball and the program hasn't been the same.

And, what about holding on to Itch Jones too long? Itchy left the baseball program in a rebuilding state.

Ask the Teliafarro lady, too, about how professional St. Guenther is, esp. to women coaches. According to the father, words were used that shouldn't be used in the presence of a woman when she decided to leave the woman's soccer program for Miami.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think much can be said in defense of the past football coaches, but you gotta think the jury is still out on Zook. He's proven that he can recruit, and it may very well be that he'll grow into being at least an above-average coach. I'm sure that's unacceptable since you expect perfection, but I can't change your unrealism.

And you've got to be kidding me if you complain about the BB hiring. Kruger did a great job revitalizing a struggling team in an uber-clean way to satisfy the NCAA, Self brought us into the limelight (I know he bailed, but we are starting to sound like jr. high girls when we whine about him), and Weber has done a fantastic job. Recruits are coming, and I think optimism is warranted for the future.

The glass is certainly half-full. And if you don't care about other Illini sports, than I don't call you a real fan anyway. Cheers~

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Recruits are coming"

Where are they? They need to be here now. This program is on the fast track to being what Iowa is now

12:51 PM  

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