Friday, April 22, 2011
WPTZ sports reported this evening that UVM Coach Mike Lonergan is a finalist for the coaching vacancy at George Mason. The other finalist, Bill Courtney -- head coach at Cornell -- has stronger ties to George Mason, having helped departing Coach Jim Larranaga build George Mason into a mid-major powerhouse. If you think "mid-major powerhouse" is an oxymoron, you may be right, but if it does in fact exist, George Mason helped that term become a reality with their amazing run to the 2006 Final Four. Larranaga left Mason a couple of days ago to become the head coach at the University of Miami, a decision that must have come down to money. I mean, honestly, who wants to coach the Hurricanes?
Why would Lonergan make sense at George Mason? He was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, which happens to be where George Mason is located. He won the NCAA Division III National Championship coaching the Catholic University of America, which is in D.C. He moved on to be an assistant coach at the neighboring University of Maryland in 2004, before joining the coaching staff at UVM shortly thereafter. You would imagine Lonergan and his family like Washington D.C.
The decision on who will fill the coaching vacancy will probably be made within the next couple of days, so we will keep our eyes on that. Some part of me thinks Lonergan really enjoys being at UVM, but I suppose that's what every naive college fan of a small school thinks until their coach up and leaves.
Who would be a good fit to fill Lonergan's shoes if he did leave? Here's my list:
John Thompson Jr.
I will create a real list if Lonergan actually does leave. Until then, I will continue to believe our coach is staying.