Tom Crean is officially out as IU men’s basketball head coach, and the question now turns to what is next for the program. One thing that’s certain is whoever lands the job in Bloomington will get paid handsomely.
IU Athletics Director Fred Glass said at a press conference Thursday the decision is going to take time because he will consult with basketball experts from around the country and throughout the state of Indiana to find the right fit for the program.
The top priority for Glass in this coaching search is to find someone who plays by the rules and has no significant NCAA infractions, he said. In addition to that, Glass said he wants a coach who cares about the wellness and academics of the players but more importantly someone who can win Big Ten and National Championships.
“We want somebody who is a proven winner, somebody who is a proven recruiter who has the ability and desire to recruit in the Midwest and especially in Indiana,” Glass said. “Somebody who is a good tactician in the games, a developer for talent and somebody who is a leader of men.”
Glass said he does have some idea of whom he wants as the next head coach for the IU men’s basketball program but is looking for a high-caliber name.
He expects the search to take some time due to the first round of the NCAA Tournament beginning Thursday. Glass said he doesn’t want to interfere with any potential candidates in their current situation until they finish their season.
Glass, who has two degrees from IU, said he’s a strong believer in "Hoosiers for life" and said if anybody with IU ties reaches out to him for the job, he’ll give them an interview.
“To me IU ties is a double-check plus, being a former IU person in one-way or another is a double-check plus, being from the state of Indiana is a double-check plus,” Glass said.
Glass said he’s not going to foreclose somebody because they don’t have IU ties or college basketball head coaching experience, but those two aspects are high on his radar for the next man in line.
With five National Championship banners hanging behind the north basket in Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall, it would seem IU is an elite job. However, that fifth banner came 30 years ago and it’s been 15 years since the Hoosiers' last national title appearance.
Glass said he doesn’t accept the reality that IU isn’t an elite job.
“In some ways I think that’s the beauty of the opportunity, that the next coach can put his mark on a program that hasn’t had the success that we expect generally in that timeframe,” Glass said. “We have all the resources to get there and I think looking forward can be a powerhouse to be reckoned with the right leadership because of all those attributes we have, including resources.”
Crean was able to take from NCAA sanctions to Big Ten titles and Sweet Sixteen appearances, but could never make a deep tournament run and wasn’t consistent enough to solidify his stay in Bloomington.
He took the program from point A to point B, but now it’s Glass’ job to hire someone who can take IU to point C: a National Championship.
Glass said a search firm may or may not be used in the process of finding the next head coach but emphasized he can’t overstate enough how much of a big deal this next hire is.
Whoever will end up as the next coach at IU, it will likely be a big name and potentially a very familiar name to IU basketball fans. Glass said he’s already had people reach out to him within the first hours that the job has been available.
As for the money that will be connected with that name on the contract, Glass sees no reason to shy away from what IU has to provide.
“Resources won’t prevent us from getting who we want,” Glass said.
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