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Author Topic: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'  (Read 32918 times)

CrackedSidewalksSays

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[Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« on: May 16, 2008, 10:15:03 AM »
Cottingham details 'the process'

Written by: noreply@blogger.com (NY Warrior)

OK, let's start with the good stuff.......Bob McClellan from Rivals.com pulled together an article on Buzz Williams -- the piece effectively recaps the 'how we got here' and 'here's what we know about Buzz' storylines.

Of course, we also have to put up with Marquette AD Steve Cottingham's defense of his unwillingness to conduct a thorough, national search to fill the institution's most visible job.   So, in honor of FireJoeMorgan.com, we're going Ken Tremendous on Cottingham.

"I think the general public might see it that way (as a risky hire)," Marquette athletic director Steve Cottingham told Rivals.com.

Despite being an inside job, the Politburo would have seen it as a risky hire.  Hiring a coach embroiled in a legal battle with his previous employer  -- a job he left under questionable circumstances after a losing season -- is risky.  For a university that believes its men's basketball program is a key part of its strategy to attract interest from prospective students and dollars from alums, the hire was risky by any measure.

"My view is it's a much greater risk to hire somebody based on the popular opinion."

Please ring that gong, Chuck Barris.

Would everybody who thought that MU should hire a coach based on popular opinion raise your hand?  (no hands go up in our virtual world).

No, Mr. Cottingham.  Marquette fans wanted to see the institution engage in a competitive evaluation and hiring process that didn't include "hire the last assistant remaining in the program" as a key criterion.

"There wasn't a risk in hiring Buzz because we know what he can do and know what he's going to do."

Seriously, Cottingham said that.  You can't make this stuff up.   To recap, here is what we knew about Buzz Williams at the time of his hiring:
  • Buzz Williams did not have to defend his resume or approach to building a program against a slate of competitive candidates.
  • Buzz Williams quit on the folks at the University of New Orleans and was engaged in a protracted legal battle with them.  
  • Buzz Williams led UNO to a 14-17 record as head coach.  
  • Buzz Williams played a brief, minor role in building the MU program.
  • Buzz Williams would have been an assistant coach at any other D1 program in the nation for the 2008-2009 season.
  • Buzz Williams seems to have been an effective recruiter as an assistant coach.
  • Buzz Williams might be just fine in the end.  Or he might not.
"It would have been easy to settle for a name on somebody else's list."

I think Cottingham mis-spoke here.  What he meant to say was, "It would not have been easy to conduct an aggressive, national search.  Such a search would have taken time and forced candidates to demonstrate their competing visions of Marquette basketball.  Those candidates could have challenged this institution's perspectives in what would have been a very healthy dialectic.  Ultimately we just didn't need that kind of distraction."

Cottingham admits other coaches were approached. He declined to reveal any names.

Approached? Stalked? Left messages for? Sigh.

It took Buzz Williams more time to hire his first assistant coach than it did for MU to hire its 16th head basketball coach.  And per Internet reports, Williams actually conducted an aggressive national search to build out his staff (I didn't think MU allowed such a thing!). Bravo, Buzz.

"We did our job in terms of looking at people we thought would be interested and would be the right fit"

Looking at people but not interviewing people, apparently.

"That's all part of doing your due diligence."

Due diligence?  This process was reminiscent of the fella who marries the first girl he kisses, only to realize later that playing the field for a while might have resulted in out-kicking his  coverage.

"Buzz emerged pretty quickly as a strong candidate."

A haunting refrain reappears near Cottingham's noggin as a Pop-Up Video bubble , "Hire the last assistant remaining in the program."

"Recruiting is a huge part," Cottingham said.

Of course!!  Nobody else that MU might have considered as a head coach can recruit  -- only Buzz Williams can recruit.  It's all making sense now.

"Even during the season, it became clear to me he'd be a high-major coach," Cottingham said. "I just didn't expect it would be at Marquette."

On this point we agree.    Nobody else did either.

http://www.crackedsidewalks.com/2008/05/cottingham-details-process.html

4everwarriors

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 10:37:34 AM »
Just validates my position that its not Buzz's fault he was hired. Now we have to give the man a chance.
"Give 'Em Hell, Al"

NYWarrior

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 10:47:12 AM »
Just validates my position that its not Buzz's fault he was hired. Now we have to give the man a chance.

Agreed


NYWarrior

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 10:55:53 AM »
myself and everyone I know that has spent time with him has been absolutely more than impressed with the guy. 

Agreed.  The post was not about Buzz -- it was about the route to land Buzz.

Maybe, like Al McGuire himself who came from a questionable background,

No, he did not have a questionable background. Al McGuire's record at Belmont Abbey was 109-64.

he simply impressed the people in the room with his abilities and his previous 9 month audition that it was a no brainer, after Bennett and Miller were not interested?  Could that possibly be the case or are we simply willing to assume that Cottingham and the other individuals simply idiots?  For example what has Lowery at SIU done since Painter and Webber left town except see that program regress?  I was scared as hell of that possibility. 

As opposed to a fella with a 14-17 career record as a head coach.  OK, we can agree to disagree on that point.

Give it a rest they could have interviewed 1500 candidates and still chosen the wrong one

True, but that is no reason not to actively interview a slate of candidates.

bma725

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 10:58:08 AM »
No, he did not have a questionable background. Al McGuire's record at Belmont Abbey was 109-64.

Yeah and his last two years there he was 6-19 and 6-18.  He was on his way out of Belmont if he didn't improve. 

HarveysWallbangers

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 11:12:34 AM »
Come on! Al McGure was a great college player, had success as a coach at Dartmouth and Belmont and...oh yeah...PLAYED IN THE NBA!!! He had a fantastic amount of experience.

Besides, Marquette was in the toilet when he was hired.  Hiring Buzz would have been an appropriate gamble if we were in the doldrums, but we are not.

Henry Sugar

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 11:17:15 AM »
Just validates my position that its not Buzz's fault he was hired. Now we have to give the man a chance.

I'm with you 100%, and frankly, I think Buzz has done an above expectations job so far.

A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

Pakuni

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 11:25:00 AM »
If I might conjure up a little Allen Iverson here:

"Process? We're talking about process? Process?"

All this stuff about process is played out and, frankly, irrelevant. The administration quickly came to the conclusion that, after Bennett and Miller said no, Buzz was their guy.
Interviewing five other people probably wasn't going to change that.
Waiting five more days, or five more weeks, almost certainly wasn't going to change that.
He was their guy, he was there, they hired him, they moved on. Simple as that.

It boggles the mind that so many continue to be so hung up on the process.
The hiring process won't determine how many games Marquette wins next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that. Or the year after that.
It won't determine how many top 100 recruits Buzz lands.
It won't determine conference and NCAA tournament success.
It won't determine MU's APR scores or tradition of running a clean program.

And it is by those factors -- not the process -- by which Buzz's hiring will and should, be measured. All of this stuff about process will be, as it is now, meaningless drivel. Because all that matters is whether the administration did or did not select the right guy, not the process they followed to come to that conclusion.


THEGYMBAR

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 11:27:03 AM »
Harvey---You are right on Al. No comparison the hire. Process has changed a ton in four decades. Yet, Buzz's resume is hardly Al's. I am not pissed at Buzz about the hire and agree we have to give him a chance. My feeling really is similar to Ray Rhodes...one and done if he fails.

THEGYMBAR

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2008, 11:31:30 AM »
Pakuni---Have you ever been part of a "process"? Of course the process matters. This is a big hire and big hires are done with a purpose. It is not done by the seat of the pants. This hire is the biggest hire at MU in ten years. If Fr. Wild stepped down unexpectedly do you think it would take longer than five days? Fr. Wild means less to MU than the bball coach. 500 guys could take Wild's spot and not miss a beat. Replacing Crean is probably 20 guys that you would feel confident that we expect the same success.

If you think the process is meaningless than we got what we deserved.

ATWizJr

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 12:24:24 PM »
Pakuni is right.  MU followed the process it had set up for itself.  It interviewed it's top choices.  Nos. 1 and 2 said they were not interested.  No. 3 was and was hired.  End of story. Let's go forward and judge the process by the results in future seasons.

Pakuni

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 12:55:27 PM »
Pakuni---Have you ever been part of a "process"? Of course the process matters. This is a big hire and big hires are done with a purpose. It is not done by the seat of the pants. This hire is the biggest hire at MU in ten years. If Fr. Wild stepped down unexpectedly do you think it would take longer than five days? Fr. Wild means less to MU than the bball coach. 500 guys could take Wild's spot and not miss a beat. Replacing Crean is probably 20 guys that you would feel confident that we expect the same success.

If you think the process is meaningless than we got what we deserved.

My thoughts on process now affect Marquette's success? Wow, never realized I had that kind of importance.

Anyhow, your silly notion that Fr. Wild means less to Marquette than a basketball coach aside ... yes, the process is meaningless.
What counts are results, not process.

Let's say 24 hours after Crean left, Steve Cottingham stepped up to a microphone at a hastily called press conference inside The Al and announced that Larry Brown had agreed to a five-year deal, with no buyout, to become Marquette's next head coach.

Would we then be having this discussion about process? Would people be complaining that the administration acted too quickly? Would we be questioning Cottingham for not interviewing Chris Lowery or Brad Brownell? Would we be obsessed about his messy divorce with his previous employers after they placed him in an untenable position?

I feel pretty safe assuming the answer to all of the above would be "No."

So let's at least be honest here: Nobody cares about the process. Because if an even more abbreviated process process landed Larry Brown or Sean Miller or Tony Bennett, nobody would be griping about it.  The people p*ssing and moaning about process just don't like the hire, but just don't want to admit it, lest Buzz proves them wrong.

The bottom line is the success or failure of MU basketball does not hinge on the process used to hire a head coach. All that matters is whether or not they got the right guy.

Niv Berkowitz

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 01:21:51 PM »
A good process helps ensure that the decision you make is a good one. Without a process, you are swatting flies hoping to hit something.

I hated it when Cottingham was hired, and I hated his total disregard for a national search. His and this administration's utter cluelessness, unwillingness, and/or laziness befuddles the mind. This school has no clue how to fill jobs from outside. They are only concerned with ensuring those within the bubble stay there.

It's awful. Absolutely awful.

And in closing...I hope Buzz is very successful. And if he is...that still won't change the fact that the hiring process he came in on was a total f-ing joke...but it will at least make the medicine taste good at least.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 03:08:28 PM by Niv Berkowitz »

jce

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 01:36:00 PM »
Fr. Wild means less to MU than the bball coach.


That's just nutty right there.

Skatastrophy

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 01:44:50 PM »
A good process helps ensure that the decision you make is a good one. Without a process, you are swatting flies hoping to hit something.

I hated it when Cottingham was hired, and I hated his total disregard for a national search. His and this administration's utter cluelessness, unwillingness, and/or laziness befuddles the mind. This school has no clue hot to fill jobs from outside. They are only concerned with ensuring those within the bubble stay there.

It's awful. Absolutely awful.

And in closing...I hope Buzz is very successful. And if he is...that still won't change the fact that the hiring process he came in on wasn't a total f-ing joke...but it will make the medicine taste good at least.


Well said.

The lack of process doesn't show conviction, it shows laziness and complacency on the part of the administration.

ChicosBailBonds

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2008, 01:48:51 PM »
I just find it interesting that the AD is out still defending his choice.....I guess more than a few people (certainly not those know nothing internet folks   ;) ) might have raised a few concerns.


ATWizJr

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 02:49:23 PM »
Those of you who say you are criticizing the process not the hire are full of it.  worse, you are setting yourselves up to be right nomtter how Buzz does.

He does poorly (in your estimation) your response, "see we told you so, the process was flawed."

He does well, your response, " MU was so lucky he did well since, the process was flawed."

Give it up.

Pakuni

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 03:11:33 PM »
Those of you who say you are criticizing the process not the hire are full of it.  worse, you are setting yourselves up to be right nomtter how Buzz does.

He does poorly (in your estimation) your response, "see we told you so, the process was flawed."

He does well, your response, " MU was so lucky he did well since, the process was flawed."

Give it up.

Yep. That's what I've been saying for three weeks. I think it's very safe to assume that the process zealots around here wouldn't blink had MU hired Sean Miller or Tony Bennett without first conducting a "national search" over several weeks.

Niv Berkowitz

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 03:13:58 PM »
Glad to see you're on our side AT Wiz.

Regardless of the outcome, the process sucked and should never, ever, ever be repeated again. And...regardless of the success/failure of Buzz, suppoters should never, ever, ever let the school or Cottingham forget.

One way to do this is via the wallet (a steep price). Another way is by hammering him on blogs, in print, and/or in person. Since many of us here don't know C-ham, we can only vent here.

Oh, one other thing...

For Cottingham to sit there in that interview and thumb his nose at all the fans/critics in the god-for-sakened public that wanted a national search or other candidates to be considered, can I just say he has a lot of f-ing nerve.

QUICK FLASHBACK FOLKS - HE DIDN'T WANT THIS JOB!!!! Now, he suddenly knows more about the hiring process than any of us? Guess what, prior to Buzz, I had just as much experience hiring a head coach as he did. Zero.

Niv Berkowitz

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008, 03:16:03 PM »
You're right Pakuni. Wanna know why? Because Miller actually has a recume of winning and a proven track record. He would be one of those people that are on the Option 1A, 1B list. If they say "no", most people would actually interview others.

Option 1? Nope
Option 2? Nope
Oh well, let's just hire the guy down the hall then.

 

Avenue Commons

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2008, 03:27:55 PM »
Agreed



Yeah, what's Buzz supposed to do, turn it down?
We Are Marquette

jce

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2008, 03:36:15 PM »
Glad to see you're on our side AT Wiz.

Regardless of the outcome, the process sucked and should never, ever, ever be repeated again. And...regardless of the success/failure of Buzz, suppoters should never, ever, ever let the school or Cottingham forget.


I guess I don't understand exactly what you want the process to be.  It's Cottingham's choice to hire who he wants...assuming his superiors agree.  He clearly seemed to look at a couple of candidates that he thought would be good fits in Bennett and Miller.  He then also talked to Buzz.

Did you want him to put together a search committee?  Or did you just want him to interview a dozen more candidates?  Part of me says that if he really liked Buzz, what is the point of going through a process just for the sake of going through a process?

Jon

Pakuni

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2008, 03:39:34 PM »
You're right Pakuni. Wanna know why? Because Miller actually has a recume of winning and a proven track record. He would be one of those people that are on the Option 1A, 1B list. If they say "no", most people would actually interview others.

Option 1? Nope
Option 2? Nope
Oh well, let's just hire the guy down the hall then.


OK, then at least admit you don't give two shakes about the process. If adherence to a certain process anmd so-called national search were so important to you, you'd demand that said proceess be followed regardless of who the university hires.
Clearly, that's not the case. So why not drop the pretense and just admit you don't like the hire? There's nothing wrong with not liking the hire.

THEGYMBAR

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2008, 03:44:18 PM »
Pakuni....Coach means more than Fr. Wild everyday of the week. How many kids in NYC or Chicago care who the President of the school is? ZERO that is how many. Everyday students are influenced by sports and that plays as big a role as anything in MU's success.

Process= professionalism. Cottingham hire was done poorly and was a mistake, thus he has no idea on how to hire a coach. The process was not there because he had no idea what the process should be. No multi million dollar business remains one with processes.

THEGYMBAR

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Re: [Cracked Sidewalks] Cottingham details 'the process'
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2008, 03:55:03 PM »
Pakuni---Your thoughts do influence MU if you right them a check. Supporting the school financially after they prove to lack professionalism is why it continues. If fans, alumni and students griped enough they might actually listen. They know everyone follows and supports.

I hope that enough people piss and moan and MU decides to make choices like other elite programs. They want Duke or Kansas money for tickets but they make decisions like they are UW Whitewater.