The Clayton Bates head coach era at Western Michigan is not exactly starting out in exemplary fashion; both leading scorers from the past season (Brandon Johnson and Michael Flowers) have entered the transfer portal.
If they're looking for stability, one of the deans of MAC coaches is south of them a couple of hours waving schollys like a Green-White-Checker
Someone on the Western MAC boards identified herself as Mrs. Hawkins. She didn't really slam Western but stated the situation was not handled properly.
I liked his teams as they were hard and tough. He only made the NCAA tournament 1 time but finished 1 or 2 in the West 11 of 17 years. It probably time for him. His last 2 years were 8-28 in the MAC and 21-34 overall. He had probably checked out.
Looks like WMU blog says Flowers is going to EMU. I am not sure Johnson is a P5 recruit. His playing for pay is unlikely with coronavirs. I would think DePaul, Loyola, & even NIU will make a play for him.
Doesn't a player just throw away a year of eligibility transferring to another conference school? I thought there were some pretty significant penalties in place to prevent that type of movement, or at least discourage it.
Last Edit: Apr 1, 2020 19:39:07 GMT -6 by lmills72
If Flowers does go to EMU, I think conference rules prohibit him from receiving any type of athletic related financial aid, so he'd either be paying his own way or possibly on an academic scholarship. That'd be great for EMU since they'd get a quality player without committing a scholarship.
Hiring the assistant of the current coach who has produced 7 years of poor results is not exactly the Sherman Plan....even if the contract is refreshingly sensible.
Let's give WMU some credit for something else also. They would seem to lack the downtrodden acceptance of mediocrity that BSU has.
Hawkins won a championship in his first year 03-04. Over the next 9 seasons in the Western division he was 1st 5 times, 2nd 3 times and 3rd once. then he won another championship in 13-14. Also throw in and NIT in 04-05.
But after his second championship, things declined significantly the next 6 years. In the west - 6th twice, one 5th, one 4th, one 3rd. He did tie for first in the west once and was in the CIT one year during this period. (does all that sound familiar to anyone?). What happened after that second championship? I don't follow WMU closely enough to say for sure, but this sort of thing almost always is the result of recruiting burn out. Coaches just lose the energy necessary for the continual pursuit of 17 year old boys. (also sound familiar?).
I'm sure Hawkins had his jock-sniffing, mediocrity-tolerating, excuse-making supporters still. With two championships on his record, he certainly deserved them more than certain other MAC west coaches. But the WMU administration apparently thinks they can do better. I envy their fans. Whatever happens with this new guy, WMU has much better prospects for eventual success because their administration actually WANTS it.
I bet Whitford would get the door here if he finished at or below .500 4 out of 5 yr like WMU did in the last 5 yr, especially if he was at the end of his contract. I dont think this is a bold move, they essentially let a struggling coach's contract ride out if you take a snapshot of his last 5 seasons and replaced him on the cheap in-house.
That said, I think the key is BSU needs to be firm on not extending Whit except for what is a justifiable season for extension. The more the administration resists, the less tied they are if the results are similar(above average - rankings in the 150s) As far as what is considered justfiable, I'd think either NIT/NCAA bid or a final national ranking inside the top 100. none of the above obviously have happened since April 2002. BSUs issue since the 2009 BT extension has been jumping the gun on extensions, and as a result theyre locked into the wrong coach too long.