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Username Post: Mike Martin? Seriously?        (Topic#13569)
Full Bear 
Pre-Frosh
Posts: 4

Age: 45
Reg: 06-01-12
06-01-12 11:58 PM - Post#129649    

Unlike most of Mike Martin's supporters here I don't know him personally and didn't play with him. I am sure he is a great guy and he was a decent player, but I am an older alum who sees this as another dark day for our beloved Bears.

Jack Hayes had an opportunity to change the culture of this program and he failed miserably. Unfortunately our new AD was bullied by the alumni into hiring a 30 year old coach who has never even been the head coach for a CYO team. Look around the country and see successful programs. They hire quality coaches not alumni with friends on the committee.

Martin's experience is limited at best. He sat on Miller's bench and then survived to stay with Allen. Because he recruited one player (Z. Rosen) to Penn with talent we are supposed to think he can load up our roster. He has been an asst. for a mediocre program, and has never had to lead a program, deal with the media or be the final say in any decision. There is no easier job in life than an asst. coach.

We had a list of possible coaches that had success as HEAD coaches and/or more experience as higher level assts. Stewart (Pac 10), Young, Walsh (Big East), Anderson. We apparently didn't even interview Maker from Williams. Not sure if he was interested. Regardless, these guys have all sat in the big chair and performed. They have been held accountable. They have won conferences. They have taken teams to the NCAA tournament albeit at a lower level. They have called a play in a huddle down one with 5 seconds to go and needing a bucket. Walsh was coaching in the Big East and the NCAA tournament when Martin was in HS. What has Martin done? How is he different than TJ? And do you think because TJ played AAU with him, he's going to be excited to be his sidekick?

Last time I checked this was a Division One job. How many other D1 programs would make a hire like this? I am shocked that no other posts have focused on what a terrible choice this is. Harvard hired Tommy Amaker and we hire a guy who has never been involved in a NCAA game outside of the Ivies. We needed a coach and Jack Hayes let alumni politics assure another decade of mediocrity at best.

Way to go Jack. Hoped you had a spine...guess we got the answer.

 
AsiaSunset 
Postdoc
Posts: 3690

Reg: 11-21-04
06-02-12 07:19 AM - Post#129650    
    In response to Full Bear

The examples of Ivy assistants who have gone on to be successful both in and out of the league are numerous. There have been a couple failures but the names that come instantly to mind are Dunphy, Thompson 111, Johnson, Donaghue, Robinson and Carmody. I think Jerome Allen will ultimately join this group in time and he was elevated from the unpaid asst position at Penn and had far less coaching experience than Mike Martin.

Brown's bb head coach likely earns near the bottom of the pay scale for D1 programs and the facility is unimpressive even for the league. Mike has his work cut for him. It's a challenge.

I think you're pretty lucky to get a quality person and coach like Mike Martin. I know we will miss him at Penn.

 
pennhoops 
Postdoc
Posts: 2416

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Mike Martin? Seriously?
06-02-12 11:42 AM - Post#129653    
    In response to Full Bear

This is obviously a Penn perspective but I think you're way off.

  • Full Bear Said:
Because he recruited one player (Z. Rosen) to Penn with talent



Here you're just flat out wrong.

  • Quote:
has never had to lead a program, deal with the media or be the final say in any decision. There is no easier job in life than an asst. coach.



Okay, that's a little weird to say, but whatever.

  • Quote:
or more experience as higher level assts. Stewart (Pac 10), Young, Walsh (Big East), Anderson. We apparently didn't even interview Maker from Williams. Not sure if he was interested. Regardless, these guys have all sat in the big chair and performed. They have been held accountable.



Wait, I thought assistants were puppets and worthless.

  • Quote:
What has Martin done?



He was an integral part in taking a six win team to a 20 win team in two seasons.

  • Quote:
Last time I checked this was a Division One job.



Allegedly.

  • Quote:
How many other D1 programs would make a hire like this?



Robert Morris, for one, and they're doing fine.

  • Quote:
Harvard hired Tommy Amaker and we hire a guy who has never been involved in a NCAA game outside of the Ivies.



So if Brown's wealthy and powerful alums want to band together, drum up the cash and the institutional support to hire Ben Howland when he's pushed out at UCLA, go for it. That's what Harvard did. Harvard decided it wanted to have a winning program after a million blah years and essentially bought a foundation and have done a pretty good job so far of building that up. There is nothing to suggest there's that kind of desire and influence from Brown's junta.




 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3437

Reg: 11-22-04
06-02-12 03:02 PM - Post#129656    
    In response to pennhoops

Understanding that I'm happy for Mike and think he did a good job for Penn, could we please stop bringing up the 6 games to 20 games thing? Because under that logic don't we blame him for getting us from 20 wins down to 6 in the first place? Yes, I know, I know. Miller sucks. But if Mike gets credit for the rise, seems he should get dinged for the fall.

 
Full Bear 
Pre-Frosh
Posts: 4

Age: 45
Reg: 06-01-12
Re: Mike Martin? Seriously?
06-02-12 04:19 PM - Post#129657    
    In response to pennhoops

1) Andy Toole was hired from within after a very successful tenure under Rice at Robert Morris. They went to the NCAA tournament. Has Martin been part of that?

2) Stewart, Walsh, Maker, Young and Anderson have all been HEAD coaches. That was my point. Some had additional high major asst. experience.

3) Martin was part of a resurgence under Allen, so he must have also been part of the collapse with his mentor Miller.

4) The biggest question was left unanswered...has Mike Martin ever been a head coach at any level? Are we prepared for otj training.

5) I am sure he is a great guy. How does that qualify him to be our head coach when we interviewed more qualified candidates.

 
Old Bear 
Postdoc
Posts: 3274

Reg: 11-23-04
06-02-12 04:38 PM - Post#129658    
    In response to Full Bear

Certainly FB (Full-of-it Bear?) is entitled to his opinion, but I,for one, believe Martin as well qualified a candidate as any of those FB mentioned and I am both comfortable and pleased with his selection.

 
pennhoops 
Postdoc
Posts: 2416

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Mike Martin? Seriously?
06-02-12 04:59 PM - Post#129659    
    In response to Full Bear

  • Full Bear Said:
1) Andy Toole was hired from within after a very successful tenure under Rice at Robert Morris. They went to the NCAA tournament. Has Martin been part of that?



Seriously? Having been to the tournament or not is what qualifies /an assistant/ to be a good coach? Okay then.

  • Quote:
2) Stewart, Walsh, Maker, Young and Anderson have all been HEAD coaches. That was my point. Some had additional high major asst. experience.



Seriously? Casper College? Williams? Maybe Martin coached a CYO summer team. That's about on par with those.

  • Quote:
3) Martin was part of a resurgence under Allen, so he must have also been part of the collapse with his mentor Miller.



Jeff, you of all people ought to know that the kind of damage Miller wrought was special and singular and anything that had the taint of him after he was gone would have continued to infect the program. Therefore, I'm willing to give Martin a pass on that one.

  • Quote:
4) The biggest question was left unanswered...has Mike Martin ever been a head coach at any level? Are we prepared for otj training.



Okay, off the top of my head and I don't want to waste a lot of time with this because it could go on forever, Tom Crean, Ben Howland, Bill Carmody (he may have been an HC one season at the JUCO level; I'm not sure), Craig Robinson (U of C Lab School just doesn't count) - none of them had head coaching experience. I'm not sure why you think only being a high major assistant matters so much, unless you've got some kind of BCS hangup (it would jibe with the one you've got for the Tournament, I suppose). This is very middle major stuff. A guy coming from a Big East/Pac 12 environment with no Ivy experience could well find the transition to Ivy recruitment to be very tough.

  • Quote:
5) I am sure he is a great guy. How does that qualify him to be our head coach when we interviewed more qualified candidates.



Seeing as I was present for the interview process I can tell you with all certitude that... well. Nah, I'm going to keep the reasons to myself. They're too cool to share.

 
Old Bear 
Postdoc
Posts: 3274

Reg: 11-23-04
06-02-12 06:18 PM - Post#129661    
    In response to pennhoops

Was Donahue a head coach before Cornell?

 
Howard Gensler 
Postdoc
Posts: 4141

Reg: 11-21-04
06-02-12 06:58 PM - Post#129663    
    In response to pennhoops

To paraphrase (or maybe it's a direct quote) the great screenwriter William Goldman: "Nobody knows anything."

As Paul Chrystie and I have remarked often, two of the most logical hires in Penn coaching history were Craig Littlepage (alum, assistant at Virginia) and Tom Schneider (assistant at Penn, head coach of Patriot-winning Lehigh). Neither worked out so well. Fran Dunphy was an odd hire (a lifelong assistant who'd spent one year as an assistant at Penn for a bad team). That worked out very well.

Mike Martin is a good guy, a Brown alum and a VERY hard worker. He's VERY competitive. He could do an amazing job Brown and still not win the League but if he doesn't have success at Brown I suspect it will have less to to with his own abilities than with the difficulty of having success at Brown.

 
Howard Gensler 
Postdoc
Posts: 4141

Reg: 11-21-04
06-02-12 07:00 PM - Post#129664    
    In response to Old Bear

  • Old Bear Said:
Was Donahue a head coach before Cornell?



Yes. He was head coach of the Springfield HS junior varsity.

 
Brown50 
Junior
Posts: 268

Reg: 11-28-04
06-02-12 09:37 PM - Post#129666    
    In response to Howard Gensler

It's a done deal so let's move on and choose another topic such as recruiting.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3437

Reg: 11-22-04
06-02-12 10:18 PM - Post#129667    
    In response to Brown50

I feel like you're Susan and everyone else is George. The topic will end of its own volition.

Pennhoops, I'm mostly fine with assigning all blame to Miller. I'll find a way to pin the recession on him if I'm given a little more time. But I still think if we're going to hand out a lot of praise for the resurrection he must take some of the blame for the abomination that our program became (more credit than blame though, obviously)

 
Bruno 
Masters Student
Posts: 913

Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Reg: 11-21-04
06-02-12 10:18 PM - Post#129668    
    In response to Brown50

Well, I for one am on record as not being too happy about Mike being chosen over the other nine finalists. But I'm happy for him and will root hard for him, and hope he will have success that goes beyond this season. I just want what's best for Brown.

I don't know if this decision was our new AD chickening out by choosing someone he thought everyone would like, or if this was Hayes having backbone and going against the grain by choosing a 29 year old who has never run a team. Maybe it's some of both?

I have to believe that the search committee saw something in Mike that some of us don't know about. I knew it when they made a horrendous decision with Agel - I knew it. So, clearly they don't always get it right. But, my hope is that if you have the balls to make this hire, then it's on the basis of something you see that is unique or winning or impossible to ignore or whatever - and that it's something that those of us who haven't watched him closely in the past few years (as I haven't) wouldn't see.

Listen, given the tenor of this decision, Mike needs to be good, needs to have success. And no blaming the facility or the Brown Alum support for the lack of Brown's success; that's absolute crap - two of our last three coaches were able to have very good success. As Hayes' first act, and as Mike's first HC job, there's pressure on both of them. I believe the leash will be short.

So, go win, Mike Martin. You've got a strong returning class. Win some next year and some beyond that. Use that energy and work ethic and ability to connect with recruits. If you leave us in a few years for a better job due to your success, I'll be the first to tip my cap.
LET'S go BRU-no (duh. nuh. nuh-nuh-nuh)


 
pchrystie 
Masters Student
Posts: 673

Reg: 03-14-06
06-03-12 07:52 AM - Post#129671    
    In response to Bruno

Not sure I understand the obsession w/previous HC experience. The two worst coaches in Penn, and perhaps Division I, history both had HC experience and yet proceeded to drive the program to depths unthought of.

At the same time, one can come up with any number of coaches who had significant success in their first HC jobs (Pat Riley, Andy Reid). I'm not saying that Mike is those guys, but you won't know until you hire him.

And (and I don't mean this with my usual Penn disdain), Brown is not Kansas. So if Kansas can hire someone (Roy Williams) without HC experience and it can turn out OK, perhaps Brown can too.

Others have covered the hard work, turnaround, designing plays, blah, blah blah. My kudos is that Mike is not the same coach as he was when he came to Penn, and that's a good thing. He's shown an ability to grow and learn and improve (something that his "mentor" was not able to do).

Finally, while I think Mike is a great hire for Brown, keep your expectations realistic. You might not like the facilities as an excuse, but neither of your "great successes" at HC won a title (and this was when Harvard was a non-factor and one or both Ps were non-factors), and one left with an overall losing record at Brown (including his last two years, so you can't blame the record on the bad team he inherited). I do think that Mike will be a good coach, but turning water into wine might be above his pay grade.

 
Bruno 
Masters Student
Posts: 913

Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Reg: 11-21-04
06-03-12 09:10 AM - Post#129672    
    In response to pchrystie

Paul, I think we define wine - and probably water, for that matter - differently. Nobody's asking Mike to win a championship next year; we'd be asking him to compete for one in the coming years, and winning enough games to be in the mix for it. As a Brown fan, I've never been happier than the two times we finished 2nd and hit the postseason.

So, if you're saying that we shouldn't expect Mike to do that, then how you can you suggest Mike looks like a good choice for Brown? I expect that if he's been hired, the search committee feels he'll be able to do that - and I hope he can. He needs to if he wants to keep his job beyond a few years. You can't say "great hire" and "don't expect that he'll be able to win there" in the same breath.

I do like your point about not being obsessed with previous HC experience - you're right about that of course. But this is not just about previous HC experience; obviously, Mike's age and presence and management skills further exacerbate the issues around this hiring. Now, might he have the right presence and skillset? Of course - I have to believe (hope?) Hayes wouldn't have hired him without them. But I hire 29 year olds all the time, out of impressive b-schools or law schools, and with good job experience - and very few of them have the stuff to run things when they're hired. Is it possible that it can work? Of course. And I know you can give me the examples you can think of to show it can - but when you start to stack up the odds associated with the different elements at play here (they don't teach stats at Penn?), it gets less likely. So, the hiring of Mike Martin is not quite analogous to Roy Williams, I don't think.
LET'S go BRU-no (duh. nuh. nuh-nuh-nuh)


 
pchrystie 
Masters Student
Posts: 673

Reg: 03-14-06
06-03-12 09:57 AM - Post#129673    
    In response to Bruno

Bruno -

I think if you were to rank the 8 teams according to building blocks to win (facilities, fin aid, tradition, schedule, interest, etc.), Brown would rank 7th. Based on that, and that the gap between 1/2/3 and 7 is so large, I think a third place finish in the current environment would be the equivalent of a 2nd place finish in the Miller/Robinson years. And given that last year 4 teams had the opportunity to go to the postseason, a 9-5 league finish with maybe 18-10 overall probably gets you into postseason a bunch of the time.

Do I think Mike can do that? Yes.

Do I think Mike (or Roy Williams, for that matter) can win the league at Brown? No, especially now that you need two teams (at least) to go off the rails instead of one.

So if your expectation/hope is that Mike can consistently duke it out for 3rd/4th, I think that's a realistic expectation and one Mike can deliver on.

As for the hiring analogy, I get your point, but I'm also guessing that the 29 year-olds you hire aren't coming from a 3-person office where they have virtually the same responsibilities as the head guy. While the HC is ultimately responsible for the final decisions, the ACs have to make the exact same judgments re: ability to play, have to sell recruits on the HC and the school and the program, have to understand the admissions and fin aid parameters, have to schmooze the alums. No 29 year-old lawyer is going to have the same responsibilities as the managing partner, so I don't think the two scenarios are comparable.

 
magic3db 
Masters Student
Posts: 454

Loc: North Carolina
Reg: 07-26-08
06-03-12 06:31 PM - Post#129675    
    In response to Bruno

In case you missed it, young D1 assistants with no head coaching experience have demonstrated they can get the job done.

http://uncgspartans.com/sports/mbkb/2011-12/r eleas...


 
Full Bear 
Pre-Frosh
Posts: 4

Age: 45
Reg: 06-01-12
06-03-12 07:25 PM - Post#129677    
    In response to magic3db

Wes Miller played for UNC. He also happened into the job bc his head coach was let go mid-season and UNCG had no choice. Not even remotely apples to apples.

As many examples people want to provide with assts. who have been successful I can respond with more instances where they have crashed and burned. And many of those failures had much more valuable experience than Mike Martin's. Mo Cassara of Hofstra (Jack Hayes's last brilliant decision) is a good start. But that gets us nowhere.

All I was saying was, in my opinion, we could have and should have done better. Who had a better resume as an asst., Walsh at PC or Martin at UPenn, and Walsh has had phenomenal success at RIC and knows RI very well. What about Brown makes us think that only someone who went to Brown can understand what it takes? And I am sorry, why can't we think we can do better than 3rd or 4th? Is mediocrity really our goal.

Lastly, how is Martin all that different than TJ? If we were going to hire an unproven commodity, why not the one we already had who is supported by the players. And if we are going to point to TJ being part of a losing program, so too has Martin. TJ is an impressive young man and a local as well.

All that being said, I will continue to root for the Bears and hope that I am wrong. If I am I will gladly smear egg on my face. It's been interesting to see how much of the vocal support for Martin has come from Quaker fans.

 
gokinsmen 
Postdoc
Posts: 2524

Reg: 02-06-10
Mike Martin? Seriously?
06-03-12 10:51 PM - Post#129683    
    In response to Full Bear

I'm inclined to agree with Full Bear.

Brown does not have the tradition of Penn or Princeton. They are not Harvard -- the current Team To Beat. They did not have Cornell's Sweet 16 run. The Bears really could have used a Big Splash Hire (relatively speaking) to excite recruits, students and alums.

And considering Brown is primed for a big leap forward based on returning talent alone (not to mention graduation losses to other teams), this was a real golden opportunity to do that. But Hayes either failed or neglected to take advantage. Instead he ended up with a coach he could have gotten even in less-than-ideal circumstances.

If Hayes thinks Martin is a genius, a wunderkind, a future star coach...then it's a great choice. Otherwise I'd want to see a more experienced or higher-profile candidate get the nod.

 
Bruno 
Masters Student
Posts: 913

Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Mike Martin? Seriously?
06-04-12 08:16 AM - Post#129689    
    In response to gokinsmen

These last two posts synopsize my feelings on the hire, pretty much. I am hoping that the search committee saw something that suggests Mike may be a wunderkind, rather than thinking that his graduating from Brown or his age/experience blend made him the right choice over these other choices.

We'll see. Go Brown, Go Mike!
LET'S go BRU-no (duh. nuh. nuh-nuh-nuh)


 
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