Just a year after being named Big Ten coach of the year, and winning the conference title outright before making a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, Tom Crean is on the job hunt again..
Outside of his first three seasons (where he went 28-66 overall rebuilding the program), Crean won 27, 29, 17, 20, and 27 games before going 18-16 this past season, missing the NCAA tournament. That’s a good degree of success at most places, but not at Indiana, who decided to head in a new direction.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Crean (who, if you don’t already know, is the brother-in-law of Jim and John Harbaugh) shared the one piece of advice that a friend of his in the coaching profession told him.
“You have to get over the feelings of failure and betrayal as quick as possible.”
In the coaching profession, very few people go their entire careers without feeling the emotions of being fired, and even the profession’s most famous names in coaching have been victims of the falling axe for one reason or another.
Crean also shared that he has no regrets, but using hindsight there’s some things he probably would have done differently. Here’s an excerpt from SI:
“…he pointed out how the lack of graduate transfers on the market slowed his rebuilding process. Crean said he’d have made different recruiting and staffing decisions and also would have done small things like give free coaches clinics as soon as he’d arrived.”
Asked about coaching again, Crean expressed interest in getting back on the sidelines again, and hopefully next season, but stressed the right situation, and alignment in particular as something he’s going to be picky about. The difference between a good job, and a great job to Crean, isn’t about facilities, tradition, fan bases, or recruiting. For Crean it’s about alignment with the program, and its administration.
Head here to read the full piece, as Crean’s viewpoints that he shares with SI is enlightening in a number of different ways, as it provides important perspective during one of his most trying times as a coach.