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NCAAB: A Contrast in Coaching Searches: Oregon vs. Creighton

April 26, 2010

Oregon can’t claim the most protracted college hoops coaching search this offseason — that honor goes to UNC-Wilmington, which took nearly three months to hire Buzz Peterson. No, the Oregon search was just over one month, but the way it unfolded, it felt like the job had been open for years. Oregon has reportedly landed its next coach — Creighton’s Dana Altman — after being rejected by numerous other big names.

Altman is a fine college coach and had a great run with the Bluejays, going 327-176 in 16 seasons. He might not be “splash” that the Swoosh hoped for, but they could’ve done worse. So while Altman hasn’t even been introducedyet at Oregon, there are already reports that the Bluejays are on to their next coach: Iowa State’s Greg McDermott. Details via KCCI:

According to Action 3 News in Omaha, Greg McDermott has accepted the head coaching job at Creighton. The deal is reportedly worth $10 million over 9 years.

The transition from Northern Iowa, where McDermott went 90-63 with three NCAA Tournament appearances, to Iowa State has been less than smooth. McDermott hasn’t posted more than 15 wins in any season and the Cyclones have been near the bottom of the Big 12 the whole time. Perhaps even worse is the fact that he wasn’t able to make it work with Wesley Johnson, who went on to star at Syracuse, and Craig Brackins, who is also considered an NBA talent. Still, McDermott has ties to the region and a track record of success in the Valley. It’s a hire that makes sense if it indeed goes through.

The point being this: Creighton appears to have done everything Oregon failed to do. It identified a logical, attainable candidate and then went out and hired him. The Ducks spent their 41-day hunt like a hungry person who’d wandered into a grocery store with a lot of money and no list of what they wanted or needed. If Creighton goes on to seal the deal — and it could happen as soon as Tuesday, according to this report — they did an admirable job in creating a smooth coaching transition.

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