Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

After lots of speculation, Tom Crean lands nowhere

May 18, 2017 Columns 1 Comment

The 2016-17 season is over, and the coaching carousel has just about stopped as well. As of this writing, only one Division I head coaching job remains open (Presbyterian). And Tom Crean is without a job.

To think, when the carousel began, so much speculation centered on the possibility of Crean leaving Indiana for a soft landing spot ahead of being let go. The thinking was that Crean had basically worn out his welcome in Bloomington, in part from the inconsistency of his teams from year to year, and might look to leave while he would still have a choice in the matter. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass took care of that possibility as the NCAA Tournament began, firing Crean on the first full day of it, then timing took over.

There were plenty of possibilities to speculate on. NC State had opened up before the season ended. Missouri was known to be opening just before the SEC Tournament began. Soon Illinois and LSU also opened up (the former before an NIT invite came), as did Washington and Cal (when Cuonzo Martin left to fill the Missouri vacancy) if going west was an option, and just days after Indiana fired him, Oklahoma State opened up when Brad Underwood stunningly left to go to Illinois.

Later, Georgetown opened up, but Crean was told he wasn’t a candidate, and that might be for the best. If you thought Crean was an odd fit at Indiana, imagine him at Georgetown, where John Thompson Jr. is still ever-present.

But one job got filled after another, each by someone else. Slowly, but surely, the high-major options were running low. Cal and Oklahoma State even bumped up top assistants to the head coaching position on the same day, which rarely happens at Power 5 schools.

There is always a chance a current college coach leaps to an NBA job, but that chance seems to get slimmer every year. That means unless Crean is to take a mid-major job or be an assistant coach, he won’t be coaching in Division I in 2017-18. There will be no soft landing after all, at least not in college. Crean could go to the NBA just like any current head coach, but that seems unlikely.

To be sure, Crean doesn’t need a job from a financial standpoint. He had three years left on his contract at Indiana when he was fired, the result of an extension he signed right as the 2012-13 season commenced. He can be picky about his next job, which could even include being an NBA scout or going on TV. He could just canvas the country for a year, taking in practices all over for his edification, something many coaches have been known to do, and lay the ground work to come back into coaching in 2018-19.

Still, it’s quite a move to go from being a Big Ten head coach to not coaching anywhere in Division I a year later, without the move being the result of retirement. Crean has been a head coach for 18 years and a Division I coach for 27 years. For him to not be on a Division I bench next year will be a little different.

There is plenty of reason to believe Crean will be coaching again in college before long. He’s only 51, has won over 60 percent of his games, has three conference Coach of the Year awards to his credit and has made the NCAA Tournament nine times in 18 seasons as a head coach, to go with four NIT appearances. He also has international coaching experience with USA Basketball. And once you’re a coach, it’s hard to get you away from it, as we have seen with so many who have coached well into their 70s and continue to do so (like 72-year-old Jim Boeheim).

In other words, we almost certainly haven’t seen the last of Tom Crean as a college coach. He’s likely just taking a one-year sabbatical.

The off-season is young, and much remains to transpire between transfers, NBA Draft decisions and late high school and junior college commitments. But one story that will be among the more noteworthy ones is Tom Crean going from the head coach at Indiana to having no college coaching job at all.

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Stourley Kracklite says:

    Not sure why Crean would have been an “odd fit” at Georgetown- he’s just what that program needs. The candidate they chose will have a single-digit win record this coming season, which will probably make him a “one-and-done.”

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

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

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a big sweep in the SEC, look back on the wild Saturday, then talk about a Big Ten showdown and some undefeated teams in conference play.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a lot of what has happened in the ACC and SEC, including the Big 12/SEC Challenge, whether or not Kentucky is turning a corner, as well as the story at Michigan State.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a wild night in the Big Ten, adversity and a quiet leader in the ACC, what to make of Kentucky and look ahead to the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

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.