In an interview with Sporting News posted today, Tom Crean said that he was approached recently for an NBA coaching position but turned it down. From Crean’s perspective, he believes that he has the best job in college basketball.
Yeah, I had some opportunities as an NBA assistant at Marquette. I recently had a third party call me to ask if I’d be interested in talking to an NBA team’s ownership group about a head coaching position. It took 10 minutes to say no. I think I have the best job in college basketball. I want to be at this for a long time. Hopefully, it’s the last job I ever have. I want to be here and have no desire not to be here. I look at this as a destination, the pinnacle of college basketball.
While the Indiana job is certainly a great spot, especially with the way Crean has been turning it around, calling it the best job in basketball is a bit of stretch. Of course Crean would never publicly say that his job wasn’t the best, which is understandable. It’s just a little silly to think in a world where both Coach Kryzewski at Dude and Tom Izzo at Michigan State are still currently working that Crean would have “the best job in college basketball”.
For guys like Izzo and coach K, they run their program the way they see fit and are an institution at their respective schools. They will never find themselves on the hot seat because they have shown their ability to coach leads to winning games and championships. Their name resonates among recruits as some of the best to ever coach in the NCAA.
When people think of Crean, they see a good recruiter whose coaching skills have yet to be truly determined. Last year, there were a lot of questions about his ability to really better his players and effectively adapt his game plan when it wasn’t working for him. As for his job security, while he may not be in any danger of getting fired, he isn’t on an elite level, if he had a few bad seasons, Indiana would not be afraid to let him go.
So while Crean may have a good job, he might want to consider making large statements too soon.