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Friday, March 29, 2013
Why coaches are content with staying put


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The weekend begins with UCLA, USC and Minnesota still working their way down their list as coaches across the country continue to remain in place.

Coaches are now staying more than leaving. Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, Butler's Brad Stevens, VCU's Shaka Smart and now the likes of Northern Iowa's Ben Jacobson, Memphis' Josh Pastner and even Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg are all comfortably staying put.

Why?

Each coach has their own reasons, but in discussing this topic with those who in the know, a few key points came up:

Success: The coaches being chased have tended to be at the top job in their league and are winning, so being pursued by programs that generally aren't top dogs in their leagues isn't as alluring. The chances for success decline and so too could access to the NCAA tournament upon a move.

Money: The salaries at these schools have risen to around or well over $1 million. So the money is no longer as much of a pull.

Talent gap: The gap, much like the money, is no longer as great a difference as it has been in years past. Access to players has not been as difficult at some of these schools for the players who fit the style they want to play.

Relationships: Coaches want to work for athletic directors and presidents whom they're comfortable with and if they have a strong bond with their current boss then there is no reason to leave and work for someone they don't know. Athletic directors don't know coaches as much as they used to because there isn't as much time to connect. Leaving to work for someone you don't know can cause unnecessary angst.

Pressure: Some coaches just don't want to deal with the 24/7 pressure of a job. Some do like John Calipari, Bill Self, Rick Pitino and a few others. But who wants to have to deal with scrutiny if you don't need to on a daily basis? The lure of anonymity in the offseason has an appeal.

Families: A number of these coaches have young families and they don't want to move to an area foreign to them when they don't have to put their family through stress.

Facilities: The arms race for practice courts has reached all levels of Division I. It's no longer just at the high level. Facilities can just as nice at a lower level.

Charters: Schools like Gonzaga and Butler and others now charter planes not just for games, but also for recruiting and other events. Going to a school where this is not a given can be a turn off for a number of coaches.

Staff compensation: If the staff is being taken care of financially already, then that becomes another reason to stay.

Buyouts: A massive buyout can be a major hurdle for the new school trying to extract a coach. This isn't a deal-breaker but it can force a school to look elsewhere.

Rating: Every school tends to overrate their job and how enticing the job offer is to the coaches. Some are given a reality check when it becomes open.

Look, someone will take these jobs. And likely someone good. But the schools are continuing to plunge further down their wish lists. Getting the first, second or even third choice is no longer a given.