How long can one live on the “glory days”? It’s a question often asked about coaches in major college and pro sports but perhaps no team is dealing with it more than the Washington Huskies basketball team. Longtime head coach Lorenzo Romar is still living pretty on the Brandon Roy–Nate Robinson days. Problem is, this is 2012, and his team is going nowhere. The time is now for the Huskies to make a change at the top.
Last year, he had two first round NBA draft picks and still couldn’t make the NCAA tournament. His teams racked up gaudy win numbers against the mediocre PAC-12 but were left out because they couldn’t win any of their big non conference games. Romar was part of the reason.
Year in and year out, he’s one of the worst “X and O’s” coaches in college basketball. He’s survived solely on athletes and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Home losses to the Albany Danes and getting absolutely smoked by the Colorado State Rams are the end of the line for me and this isn’t because he’s got a lack of talent.
This year’s roster includes highly rated players in Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs and C.J. Wilcox. All of them are upperclassmen yet his teams come out flat and aren’t able to recover. Perhaps, with as long as Romar has been there, they are starting to tune him out. It’s time for fresh start.
The school itself has some of the best facilities in the conference and have a decent history. This isn’t some middling FCS program trying to go big time. Overall, their national recruiting has been rather limited under Romar. That is unacceptable in this era of college hoops. While most of the guys that took them to their great heights in the 2000’s were indeed local kids, that’s a risky game to play. You’ve got to expand your brand.
Finally, loyalty is a two way street. While the university signed him to a 10 year contract two seasons ago he has still flirted with the idea of leaving. The Illinois Fighting Illini and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves were supposedly interested. I call his bluff and let him go. There are plenty of up and coming young coaches who would like a crack at one of the better jobs out west.
Like my article? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter (@tmichaelcronin). I look forward to your thoughts.