Ralph Willard resigned his post at Holy Cross today and will accept the offer from longtime buddy Rick Pitino to join the Louisville staff as his official co-pilot. Pitino told no one in particular from an undisclosed location that Willard has always been his first phone call when faced with a void on his staff, and said last week he expected to be denied by Willard once more. If you haven’t been paying attention for the last decade or so, or just never really gave a damn, Willard served under Pitino for the Knicks, and for one season at UK before moving on as head coach at Western KY from 90-94. You might also remember Willard’s Holy Cross’ed boys taking UK to the wire in the opening round of 2001 NCAA tournament.
Is there any reason this news deserves further dissection? Of course there is. This is a blog, that’s UofL, it’s summer…we don’t have, a lot to do.
Looks like Pitino got called in a little game of “take the pen.” Or, maybe…
Willard, who has been battling various forms of increased oldness of late, is finally ready for the pressure-free functions of assistant coaching with his downtrodden best bud. Or maybe…
Jurich and Rick are hedging the program for what could be a season of tumult. This is the obvious, and certainly most enchanting of the scenarios, and one that I don’t think you can just immediately scrap. So Pitino says he’s offered Willard a job almost at a token level the last four times a spot has opened up. Thusly, we can surmise that this is absolutely false. Also, Pat Forde has yet to publicly prod into the fine print, so that can only mean there are variables to the story not intended for a general audience.
If/when shit meets fan, do they really want the program in the clutches of Steve Masiello? (I do, I do)
Maybe Willard’s recent health woes were the deciding factor in the self-demotion. If that’s the case, I can’t say that I blame him. But I’m not a coach. I wasn’t born with the unquenchable thirst for ego thumping and one-up-man-ship that fuels most high level coaches. I find it surprising that any D1 head coach would resign to take a job holding another man’s clipboard…even if that clipboard belongs to his buddy.