May 21, 2004
It really amazes me, as I look at all the coaching changes in college basketball, that Matt Doherty's name isn't on the list of those hired. That's right, there have been some 30 coaching moves in Division I this year -- and nobody has taken a chance on Doherty.
It really blows my mind. Doherty has coaching experience as an assistant at Kansas and as the head coach at Notre Dame and North Carolina. He played on a national-championship team at North Carolina in 1982. When you've coached at the Golden Dome and in Chapel Hill, you've got an impressive resumé with a solid body of work.
|Matt Doherty is ready to bark out plays again on the collegiate sidelines.|
Doherty brings to the table a tremendous work ethic and an unbelievable passion and love for the game. It all equates to integrity. At North Carolina, where expectations run wild and where nothing besides the best is considered acceptable, a little slip is held against a coach.
North Carolina and Doherty parted ways after the 2002-03 season when some players voiced displeasure over the way Doherty treated them. The Tar Heels then hired Roy Williams, the longtime coach at Kansas who was an assistant under legendary UNC coach Dean Smith.
I can't believe a school with a head-coach opening wouldn't look at a candidate like Doherty and consider his consummate work. Think about how he was such a tremendous team player, blending in with the likes of Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins on that title-winning '82 team.
Talk to anybody who knows him -- whether it's the Michelangelo of coaching, Dean Smith, or Roy Williams or anyone else who has been around him for any length of time. They will flat-out tell you that Doherty is a workaholic and a gym rat. He gives his ultimate effort and energy for the success of his program.
A school looking to rebuild would find Doherty to be a perfect hire.
Doherty knows what it means to face tough challenges and top competition, having coached the Irish in the Big East and the Tar Heels in of the ACC. His recruits helped get the Tar Heels back into the limelight this season.
Doherty is ready to be a head coach again, and a school looking to rebuild would find him to be a perfect hire. His loyalty and integrity stand out. I've gotten to know him, and I feel that many athletic directors are making a mistake by not giving him a chance. If a job opens quickly, the AD should call Doherty -- he is ready, willing and able to be a success again at the college level.
All he needs is the opportunity.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he has been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.