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Coaching carousel highlights sport's sad reality


March 15, 2005 | Division I Coaching Changes

This is a rough time of year for the college basketball coaching fraternity.

I'm not talking about the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, but rather the coaching moves that are made seemingly every day.

Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen
Steve Lappas
A number of quality coaches have been dismissed – given the ziggy, baby ... think about Massachusetts, where Steve Lappas was let go. Tennessee fired Buzz Peterson. Virginia said farewell to Pete Gillen.

At Eastern Illinois, Rick Samuels put in over two decades of hard work, yet he was let go. Siena fired Rob Lanier, who was considered a rising star a few years back.

The list will continue to grow.

Coaches get the ziggy because of the pressure to win. Guys who don't do well in the mid-majors lose their jobs because school presidents want to do well in the NCAA Tournament.

That's right, they want their moment in the sun, to have their school shine and get some of that positive publicity that goes along with an NCAA berth.

It all goes hand in hand. The pressure to survive in coaching is incredible. That's why I tell guys to go into television, where they never lose a game!

It's a sad reality of the coaching profession. Guys get hired to eventually get fired, or so it seems.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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