Wake Forest made the bold move in firing coach Dino Gaudio. That 1-5 record in the ACC and NCAA tournament the last three years wasn't good enough for athletic director Ron Wellman.
"This was not a decision based upon a one-year performance," he said during Wednesday's press conference. "We can put up with a disappointment. We have disappointments all the time. But there is a pattern here that needed to be addressed, a 3-year pattern that needed to be addressed."
Now we'll see if the bold move was actually the smart move.
It's not that I'm defending Gaudio's record (a nifty 61-31 with some late-season swoons), his postseason failures or the behind-the-scenes issues between Wellman and Gaudio. But firing a coach is easy. Hiring a better one is the hard part.
As Oregon and St. John's discovered recently, the first rule of a coaching search is that your school might not be the dream job you envision. Unless you have a coach in mind – and he's on board with the move – you could be stuck with a series of rejections that turn your job into settling for someone you don't hate. And who might have been just as good as the guy you fired.
Wake will almost certainly approach Butler coach Brad Stevens, but it'll have to get in a long line. And that line starts with Oregon and all its Nike money. If Stevens passes, there's speculation Wake will turn to Wright State coach Brad Brownell, who used to be at UNC-Wilmington and has produced four straight 20-win seasons.
Wellman's seen as a shrewd guy who doesn't do anything rashly. As he puts it: "you don't want to be caught unaware or off-guard or unprepared for something like this."
Now we'll see if his list actually produces the coach he wants.
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