Welcome to another Monday Musings episode, I’m glad that you stopped in. Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get to this.
A Bit of Context
This past Saturday marked the 43rd anniversary of one of the more horrific events in war/policy protest, free speech exercises, 1st Amendment type of stuff. May 4th 1970 was a sobering, tragic day at Kent State University; the day of the Kent State Shootings when 4 students were killed and nine injured. May 1970 was spring of my freshman year at Muskingum, which is just less than two hours south of KSU.
The period of late 60’s/early 70’s was a turbulent period; really the first that I can remember of an “us vs. them” mentality. Somehow the fact that we were all Americans escaped a lot of people. As a nation, we’ve seen much worse, and managed to work our way through it. There is currently divisiveness in various political/social topics. Frankly, the “us vs. them” mindset is a false dichotomy. My father had a saying that’s appropriate here; “folks are the same as people”. Indeed. So my advice is to relax, we’ll get through this.
As Ken reported on Tuesday, after four weeks of searching, Ohio State announced the hiring of Kevin McGuff as the new women’s basketball head coach. While McGuff doesn’t have the level of name recognition as some of the other candidates for the job, he is a far better hire than many people realize and is the type of coach that I wanted when the job search began. McGuff is a relatively young be coaching standards, he is 43, and is an up-and-comer who has a very solid resume that has shown that he can build programs.
Like many of Ohio State’s recent high profile head coaches, Kevin McGuff has ties back to the Buckeye state. McGuff was born in Hamilton, Ohio and after leaving the state to attend Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana, returned to begin his coaching career as an assistant coach at Miami of Ohio. The next step in McGuff’s coaching career saw him travel back to the state of Indiana where he served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame under Muffet McGraw where he was part of the program that won the 2001 national title. Unable to stay away from the state of Ohio, McGuff got his first head coaching gig at Xavier in 2002.
At Xavier, McGuff compiled a 213-73 and led the Musketeers to 4 Atlantic Ten tournament Championships, 3 WNIT appearances, and 6 NCAA tournament appearances. While McGuff’s Xavier teams didn’t have great success in the postseason, they did make the Elite Eight in the 2009-2010 season and came within a minute of upsetting Stanford to make the Final Four. A big part of McGuff’s success was his recruiting and despite the small profile of Xavier in women’s basketball, McGuff had good success on the recruiting trail, signing several players who could have easily played at major conference schools, most notably Ta’Shia Phillips and Amber Harris who were the only two players from non-BCS schools invited to attend the 2011 WNBA draft in person.
Ohio State announced the hiring of Kevin McGuff as the new Ohio State University Women’s basketball coach. Coach Jim Foster retired this year after 11 seasons at Ohio State, where his teams were 279-82 (.772), having accomplished the most wins and highest winning percentage in school history.
Coach McGuff has 11 seasons as head coach; two years most recently at University of Washington preceded by nine years at Xavier (sound familiar?). In those 11 years, McGuff’s team achieved a record of 255-99 (.720), so he brings an impressive record of accomplishment with him to Columbus. In a sense, Kevin and his family are returning home; he is a native of Hamilton, OH.
Below are excerpts from Gene Smith’s announcement, as well as a link to the full announcement.
April 16, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and director of athletics, announced today Kevin McGuff has been named head women’s basketball coach at The Ohio State University. Read More
It has been a month since Ohio State announced that Jim Foster would not be returning as coach of the women’s basketball team and the OSU athletic department has been busy searching for a new coach.
When the announcement of Foster’s firing was made, OSU said that they expected to be in the Final Four every few years, clearly setting a high bar for the program in the upcoming seasons. Considering the fact that Ohio State has only ever made one Final Four, this would seem a bit unrealistic but with the resources of OSU and the talent produced in Ohio and elsewhere in the Midwest, it is a very achievable goal.
However, to meet this goal OSU will need to find a coach that can properly take advantage of these resources and lead the program to the next level.
While women’s basketball coaching searches aren’t followed as closely as those for football and men’s basketball, some bits of information has slipped out over recent weeks. The first bit of news was that current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley had withdrawn her name from consideration for the OSU job. Staley has South Carolina on the rise and over her tenure the Gamecocks have gone from being a non-factor in the SEC to finishing ranked in the top 20 this season. Despite this improvement, South Carolina hasn’t had success in the NCAA tournament and that is obviously an important criterion for Ohio State. The most upsetting part of Staley’s announcement is the potential implication that OSU isn’t being perceived as the top tier job that it should be.
Well, here we are, yet another Monday morning. I’ll assume everyone has their coffee in hand, so let’s get right to it.
Personally, I’m ambivalent on bumper stickers, unless your rust bucket needs them to keep its fenders and bumpers in place. Well, you know at some point this had to happen, and in SEC country, no less.
A few days ago, Charles had an interesting article< on recommended football rules changes contemplated by the NCAA. Not that I think the recommendations are particularly interesting, but Charles’ interpretation of their impact certainly is. If you haven’t read the article, you should.
In last week’s Musing’s, I thought that the team came off a couple games where I thought they showed substantial improvement. After the offensively inept Valentine’s Day loss (39-58) at Nebraska, I clearly was overly optimistic, or don’t know what I’m talking about.
Tayler Hill’s 20 points (7/22 FG, 32%) was probably the offensive highlight, such as it was. Her teammates combined shooting (9/41, 22%) didn’t take the pressure off her. The other eye-popping statistic was the team’s assist/turnover ratio of 3/13; you don’t need to go much beyond that to get the gist of offensive futility that night.
Hopefully, a week’s worth of shoot arounds before the Minnesota game will cure their ills.
School: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Location: Madison, WI
Student Population: 42,595 total, 28,897 undergrad
School Type: Public
Stadium: Kohl Center
Head Coach: Bobbie Kelsey
Experience: 2nd year
The Women’s team are heading to Lincoln to face Nebrasketball a couple days before the Men. Let’s take a look.
School: University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, NE
Student Population: 19,345
School Type: Public – Land Grant
Stadium: Bob Devaney Sports Center
Head Coach: Connie Yori
Experience: 11th year
I guess in a way you could say it was fate that drew me to Katie Smith. Born Katherine May to John and Barbara Smith and with two brothers John and Tom who both played college sports. I started following her just prior to her signing with Ohio State while finishing a stellar high school career at Logan High School.
I say fate because right away, I was a fan of women’s basketball – mostly because of her. There were other reasons and the big one came in the size of my own daughter playing guard and reminding me of her in just about all aspects of women’s basketball. Hustle, tenacity, intensity and talent all express what makes up my daughter’s basketball identity. They also remind me of my favorite parts of Katie’s game.