Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Johnny Dawkins

March 11, 2004 Columns No Comments




The Next Great Head Coach

by Michael Ermitage

Buckle up and hang tight – the annual coaching carousel is just beginning to spin. Except in college basketball today, it’s less like a friendly carousel and more like a hairpin turn, upside-down, 75-miles per hour roller coaster. We’ve already lost a couple coaches at the first dip (bye bye Dan Hipsher and Ray McCallum). And we’re sure to lose a couple bigger names at the next turn (hope you’re hanging on tightly Steve Alford). If you’re not celebrating an NCAA Tournament bid right now, you’re most likely discussing who you’re next coach should be. And I’ll tell you who that man is – Johnny Dawkins. How is this guy still an assistant? Oh, I’m sorry, Duke elevated him to Associate Head Coach, as if that title is anything more than a hood ornament on a 300 Series BMW.

Dawkins is a smooth customer; he just looks the part. He fills out a $2000 suit better than Rick Pitino, and his game face on the sideline trumps Tom Izzo. And you can’t argue his pedigree. Dawkins is in his seventh year of coaching at Duke, his alma mater. In that time, he’s seen the Blue Devils capture four ACC championships, a National Championship, and record an amazing 164-19 record.

He’s a legendary player at the school, and is still the school’s all-time leading scorer. He was named one of the ACC’s 50 greatest players by the league office. Dawkins, however, isn’t just another name in a litany of great high school basketball players to go the school. Nope, Dawkins made that decision before it was “hip” to choose Duke. In fact, his first season as a Blue Devil resulted in a porous 11-17 record. Dawkins has been a part of building Duke into a powerhouse as both a player and a coach. He’s seen the transformation first-hand, and more importantly, he chose to be a part of that challenge at 18 years old. Then, after his NBA career ended, he took a job on the Duke bench as an administrative intern, eventually working his way up to his current position. This shows an incredible amount of character.

Of course, before his Duke coaching career, he was a solid NBA player, playing nine seasons for the Spurs, 76ers and Pistons. He was the 10th player chosen in the 1986 draft. It seems to me that alumni will respect Dawkins’ Duke coaching pedigree, and his willingness to work his way to a head coaching position. Recruits will no doubt be lured by both his NBA career, and his experience as a coach for many current NBA players. Dawkins is in charge of player development at Duke, and since his arrival, more of Duke’s players are making a splash in the NBA. Where Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley failed, Elton Brand and Shane Battier are succeeding.

So why is he still at Duke? Well, Dawkins is an old-fashioned fella, and his family likes Durham, North Carolina. He’s married with four children. Also, his wallet is plenty fat from his numerous seasons in the NBA. So, while most assistant basketball coaches are eager for a serious payday, Dawkins can afford to wait for the perfect opportunity. Some speculate that at age 39, he’s waiting on the bench for Coach K to retire. However, Krzyzewski is just 57 himself, and could theoretically coach another 10 years. And it’s not like there isn’t a long list of former Duke assistants with head coaching experience who’d love to man the Duke bench.

Dawkins will change some program immeasurably; it’s just a matter of who gets him first.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.