Since kids grow up wanting to be Hokies I guess, Buzz Williams will be the new head coach at Virginia Tech. Before we get all upset about losing our guy... check this out:
Buzz Williams deal is 7 years and in the neighborhood -- give or take a couple of bucks -- of 18 million.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 21, 2014
With $500k per year to Skip Holtz and $375k per year to Stan Heath through 2018, plus $560k through next June to Doug Woolard, our budget numbers look like the Raiders in terms of dead money. Williams also probably got access to a plane being in Blacksburg, and I'm not sure if we can offer the kind of charter access he might have been seeking. Va Tech is a tough but winnable job in a much better league with more money available. We can't blame USF for losing a guy on this one as it's just a better gig, and we're not even sure how hard Mark Harlan went after him anyway.
But all might not be lost Bulls fans, and add another reach candidate to the list: We're hearing Shaka Smart of VCU will be getting serious consideration for the USF job as well. The Rams are playing late tonight against Stephen F. Austin, and obviously we won't be hearing much until their tournament run ends. But when it does, expect him to be considered.
Smart led the Rams to that glorious Final Four run in 2011, has won a game in the NCAA's each of the last two years, and will probably do so again tonight. His "Havoc" (TM) style would certainly put butts in the seats as it's a super fun system to watch and would help in recruiting too. Having a very charismatic guy selling an athletic, pressing style of basketball is just what USF needs. And outside of Rick Pitino, maybe no one in America does it better than Smart.
If this actually happened I might wear a Speedo and streak through the middle of campus in celebration, and I wouldn't be alone (V5 meetup??). It would be an amazing get for the Bulls, as he brings all the dynamics USF seeks: he wins, he can engage the community, and will have the Bulls playing an exciting brand of ball.
I don't know if USF will hit a home run on this hire or not, but this would be a walk-off grand slam that changes things forever. Let's at least dream about it for a minute, shall we?