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The Coaching List Shortens

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Minnesota didn't waste any time filling their vacancy.

The Pioneer Press is reporting the current Xavier Coach Sean Miller will become the Golden Gophers next head basketball coach. The Press is reporting that Miller will receive approximately the same $800,000 contract that head football coach Tim Brewster recently received.

Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press takes a hard look at the current coaching options. Well worth the read. At the end he endorsed current West Virginia head coach John Beilein. Rosenberg makes a great point showing that out of the 3 mid-major coaching hires in 1999 (Alford, Monson and Ryan) only Bo Ryan has managed to continue his success. It's scary to think that today's hot coaching commodity can quickly end up Iowa's next former coach. Speaking of which, Iowa is now sans-head coach now that Alford has left for New Mexico. I don't think anyone will miss him.

What it all comes down to is be careful what you wish for. Fill a void too quickly without doing your research and you can get burned. As the Ann Arbor News points out, "The courtship between Amaker and Michigan was hurried. Sixteen days after Brian Ellerbe was fired on March 13, 2001, Amaker was hired." Amaker was interviewed twice by phone and once in the Philadelphia airport. Martin basically hired Amaker in an airport lobby.

Thankfully, the search is substantially different this time around.

"I always have my cadre of guys who can dig deeper into coaching style, relationships with players, relationships with high school coaches for recruiting purposes,'' Martin said. "Are they somebody who's a good public speaker who likes to go out and meet your alums?''

Doing his homework is something Martin should've done the first time. But the learning curve in his business is very steep so I'm willing to give him a pass on his initial decision. However, now that his first two high profile hires, Amaker and former women's basketball coach Cheryl Burnett, are gone with their programs no better on the court that when they found them, the spotlight glares strongly upon Martin to do everything right.

He must find the right person for each job. Because over the next few years both football and hockey will need new coaches, and this is the last chance Martin will get to show he is a worthy caretaker of Michigan's athletic tradtions.