The expectations for the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs should be decently high heading into the 2013-14 season. With the returns of three starters and the eligibility of Texas A&M transfer Naji Hibbert at the forefront, the Bulldogs certainly will have the opportunity to compete for a conference championship next season.
Just a few weeks ago however, the coaching carousel in college basketball began to spin once again. After Brandon Miller was promoted to head coach at Butler, he began to round out his staff and he targeted the reigning Big South Conference Coach of the Year in Chris Holtmann. That left the vacancy at Gardner-Webb, but the Bulldogs have now reportedly found an ideal fit in hiring Tim Craft — an assistant at East Carolina — to replace Holtmann.
Craft, who was an assistant at Gardner-Webb from 2004 to 2007 will be returning to the school fresh off four seasons at East Carolina. Craft is obviously familiar with the school and the program, so given the timing of this new hire, there’s no doubt that Gardner-Webb has made a good move by bringing in someone like Craft.
A season ago, the Bulldogs finished the year at 21-13 and earned a spot in the CIT. That appearance marked the school’s first-ever trip to a postseason tournament. It certainly would be something special if Craft can build off that immediately and guide them back to the postseason — possibly to an even better tournament, including their shot at the NCAAs.
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