Which former Kentucky player do they hire next?
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but former Wildcat point guard Travis Ford left his head coaching job at UMass last week to follow Boone Pickens’ money trail to Oklahoma State. And since it’s a slow, slow Sunday and I’m nursing quite the Two Keys-induced headache, it seems like a perfect time to go back and analyze the hire.
On the surface, it seems like the Cowboys’ coaching search was not the success that they’d hoped it to be, missing out on Bill Self and Billy Gillispie (supposedly). But, I’m not sure that either one of those guys would ever live up to the massive and expensive expectations that are, for some reason, mounting at Oklahoma State. They’ve found themselves in a bit of an identity crisis and the expectations they would place on Self and his gargantuan contract would be nearly impossible to live up to. What is considered an acceptable return on a rumored $35 million contract? A Final Four every year? A national title every 4 years? It hardly seems possible to provide that type of return – especially at a program that hasn’t really done a whole lot since the 1940’s.
But, the good news is that the Cowboys found their happy medium in the coach from Madisonville. Ford is the perfect hire for the Oklahoma State program and the marriage between the two should be quite profitable for both parties. Ford is obviously capable of doing the job well, but entering the job under a normal salary and accepting it as a promotion rather than an expensive demotion (like Self), buys Ford some time to make the type of moves he needs to form the program in his identity. Then, after a few years, Ford will most likely move on to a big-time job and OSU will hire another former Kentucky player. I’m hoping it’s Rashaad Carruth.
Obviously, Oklahoma State is energized and excited about the hire for a number of reasons. Ben Smith, a sportswriter for the Daily O’Collegian, the OSU school paper, put together this list of the top 10 reasons why Ford will be successful at the school.
What are your thoughts?