Since DePaul hasn’t exactly flourished under the guidance of interim head coach (and former UK Assistant) Tracy Webster, names have started to be bantered about as to who could fill the position when the season ends. Billy Gillispie, among others, has at least been discussed as a possible replacement by people with no bearing on the situation. The job is apparently a good one and the chance to resurrect college basketball in Chicago is apparently something to get excited about.
Why have I told you this? To tell you this: ESPN’s Scoop Jackson (who may or may not be a worthy source of information) seems to think there’s only one candidate for the job…Kentucky’s own Rod Strickland. Strickland is a Blue Demon alum who, Jackson tells us, is the perfect candidate because of his ties to the school and long time ties in college and pro basketball. Not to mention he’s been fairly successful as an assistant, no?
It’s always a bit of a catch-22 when you talk about assistants leaving, as it means you must have had success, but also that a part of that success may need to be replaced. In this case, Strickland’s role in Coach Cal’s success has been a big one and losing him would be rough but not world-shattering. Assistants come and go, and some of the best of the best will be banging down the door if there is an opening on the Cats’ staff. Hopefully my full endorsement of Billy Gillispie to the DePaul Board of Trustees will mean it won’t have to come to that, but we’ll know more after the meeting.