Tuesday, April 4, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 125

Cougar Comics Online

UH Baseball

Crowell garners POW award after 15-K outing

Boylen, Murphy interested

About the Cougar

Coaching search should end in Gladchuk's own backyard

Sports Opinion

Rohith Nandagiri

After the initial shock of Clyde Drexler's resignation, many Houston Cougar fans and supporters have been left waiting...again.

This search is just as taxing and just as excruciating. Unless you ask the players, the majority of the alumni and this columnist.

Patrick Bernard/The Daily Cougar

Clyde Drexler's walking away has left the UH basketball program right back where it was two years ago -- in search of leadership.

The obvious choice to me would be to select someone within the program, someone who can keep a bit of continuity with a program that has had two coaches in two years (Alvin Brooks was fired in January of 1998).

Reid Gettys has spent the last two years in the background doing all the little things. Along with Reid Martinka and George Walker, Gettys has made the contacts with area coaches, read every legal and logistical manual on the coaching profession, and for all intents and purposes was the glue that kept the team together.

UH assistant coach Reid Gettys has been Clyde Drexler's right-hand man during his short time at UH. Gettys left a law practice two years ago to hit the sidelines with his former teammate.

Pete Medrano/The Daily Cougar

The coaching search has become a circus right now, with everyone from John Lucas to Calvin Murphy to Shaft applying.

Chet Gladchuk, the UH Athletic Director, is a complicated man whom nobody truly understands.

But the question is not whether Gladchuk can dig it, but whether or not he can find a replacement that keeps the program groovin' forward. 

Shut yo' mouth.

Gladchuk, the king of hiring coaches, has hired new coaches in track (Leroy Burrell), women's soccer (Chris Huston), women's tennis (Jennifer Hyde), football (Dana Dimel), women's basketball (Joe Curl), men's basketball (Clyde Drexler) and softball (Kyla Holas). All this in two years.

But for the time being, Gladchuk has to be concerned with basketball. It is by far the most tradition-rich program in the city. This hire is important because, along with football, basketball is the money maker for this university. Plus it generates enrollment and helps retain students.

In the school year after Drexler was hired, enrollment in the University increased and attendance definitely increased.

But there is room for optimism because the program is in decent shape. The recruits who are coming in are impact players who will start immediately. Alton Ford, a McDonald's All-American, will start immediately and was recruited mainly by Gettys.

Drexler also wants to see someone from within. "I would like to see that happen. I think that the staff here has done a good job. They deserve a shot."

Gettys has said he wants the job. Walker has said the same thing. Who wouldn't? Gettys has said that if he is not named the head coach, he will resign as well and go back to his law practice. This would set the program back two years and leave the it with little direction.

In basketball coaching, the main thing is recruiting and chemistry. The strategy involved can be taught by a junior high coach. But it is meshing the styles of play and communication to the players which is very important. Gettys has established that he can communicate, based on the fact the players like him.

Plus, Gettys was considered the first assistant, and he is more media friendly than Clyde. But then, so is Bill Clinton. 

It's time to keep a Cougar in his place, and retain Gettys as the head coach. He is able to recruit, he is a man of virtue, and he understands basketball. Forget Wyoming, forget pro coaches, and forget all the hype. Hire a good assistant with all the tools to be successful. 

Let's just hope that Gettys can make his television show every Sunday night. It might be a good vehicle for promoting his basketball team.

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