Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Goodbye Coach Greenberg

If you've ever had to fire someone that you liked, then you probably know how I feel to see Coach Greenberg leave the program. If you've ever had to fire someone you didn't like, then you probably know how Jim Weaver felt in letting Greenberg go.

Seth Greenberg is a great defensive basketball mind, a good recruiter and puts a good face on the program in the national media. But during his 9 years in Blacksburg he never ran an offense that was effective, he had very abrasive relationships with many of his assistant coaches and he didn't have the same "atmosphere" surrounding his program that some of the other athletic programs at VT had.

I say that those positives and negatives balance each other out. And therefore the deciding factor has to be in the W-L column. While I will be the VERY first person to say that the Hokies were flat-out robbed at gunpoint of two NCAA tournament appearances during Greenberg's tenure, I will also say that those appearances would have been guaranteed if his teams closed out either the '08 season by beating a bad Clemson team at home on Senior Day or by not getting swept by a terrible Boston College team in the '11 season. Greenberg lost a lot of games that he shouldn't have lost as head coach at Virginia Tech.

 Now having said that, I liked his passion and his No B.S. approach to the game. I am confident he will land a gig coaching somewhere and maybe even doing some TV work during the upcoming season. But the same thing that happened to Coach Stinespring, happened to Greenberg. He could start recruiting in the talent to take the team to the next level, but he just wasn't able to get the team to the next level. And at the end of the day, in a business where people make a whole lot of money, getting those results matter.

 I bet that if the Hokies had won a few more of those very winnable games during Greenberg's tenure and he'd made a few of those NCAA tournaments, we wouldn't be looking at a coaching change in Blacksburg right now. But the critical factor for Hokies everywhere isn't to get wrapped up in what happaned to Greenberg, but to see if Weaver makes the right move in bringing in a coach in who can keep this amazing string of recruiting going AND coach these players up. This team is loaded with talent, if they can find a coach who can motivate them and coach them up, they are definitely an NCAA caliber team next season. Bring in the wrong person and the Hokies will lose out on their two incoming star players as well as possibly lose some of the current players to transfer.

 It's a crucial juncture for Virginia Tech basketball. Jim Weaver made one tough but correct decision (although for goodness sake he should have let Greenberg know before announcing the press conference), but the even more important decision is coming up.

 GO HOKIES!!!!!!

2 comments:

Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

I'm sorry, but to me Hokies basketball under Seth Greenberg is like Hokies Football under Frank Beamer. I never looked at Tech as a "sports school" when I chose the opportunity to attend. Frank Beamer made football relevant at Tech. But it took him upwards of 10 years to build a real program. And that was working with somewhat of a solid base.

Greenberg had the reputation of a couple of random stars Curry, Coles, Custis to work with. He brought a nobody team that once in awhile produced a sudo-star to a team that can legitimately compete.

He did this without a Michael Vick.

I argue that Seth Greenberg has done more for his sport at Virginia Tech than Frank Beamer has done for his.

Me mad. Me angry. You don't want me to be angry.

MadJay said...

Our friend Will at www.techsideline.com who is a far better writer than me, expounds further on why it was right for Greenberg to go.

EhhTee, I will boil it down more simply. The frustration I felt at watching Virginia Tech's offense in football over this past decade (until last season) was the same frustration I felt watching our basketball team under Greenberg. You can tell the players are better than they are playing and whether it's a "family atmosphere" in the program or not, the coaching was not good enough anymore for this program. Yes, Greenberg lifted Tech up from the absolute dumps, but as recruiting improved, our results did not.