Welcome to the basketball program, new head coach Jim Christian! Now that you are settled and don’t have a chance to back out, I would just like to check – are you crazy?
Just making sure, but you’re leaving a team that made the NCAA Tournament this year and lost two of its five best players for a team that fell far short of the National Invitation Tournament and lost two of its five best players.
You’re leaving a team that averaged 3,500 plus fans a game for a team that would kill to put that many butts in the seats. Bear in mind, Kent State University’s total enrollment is about 34,000 and ours is a bit closer to 9,000, but nonetheless.
Coach, if there is such a thing as a “right person” for this job, I think you are it. It was time for a change, and you’re more than qualified after a great six years with the Golden Flashes.
However, a couple of week-one hints never hurt anyone at a new job, and I am glad to give them to you.
1) Mess with Texas – I know we’re in a football state, but the Baylor roster had seven Texans on it. The University of Texas had nine, Texas A&M had 16 and six them came from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. All three of those teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament this year. Not only does putting hometown heroes on the court lead to more fans in the stands, but it turns out these men can play. There is no reason our recruiting should be beaten locally by A&M or Baylor in state. I mean, they are talking these players into living in Waco.
2) Go Greek – Occasionally, the university downplays the presence of “Greekdom” on campus to those who are new around here. Let your eyes be the judge. See those Croakies and boat shoes around campus? Without the Greeks’ support, we will continue to have a joke of a student section. I’m not saying you need to recruit from intramural teams, but establishing a better relationship between the program and Greek fans will create a better home-court atmosphere.
3) Get the Word Out – TCU will always be a football school. That’s why we’re marketing spring football all across campus, despite the fact that several other teams are in season. You can have a well-attended, winning program here. I promise. As long as you don’t settle for being overshadowed by that other program and demand a proper share of the advertising dime, there is an audience for you. But don’t pull a “Pony Up” and try to get fans to watch a terrible team. You’re capable of a 20-win program. Build that here, and Daniel-Meyer may be rocking again. I hope sooner than later.
So, welcome, Christian. Get to work with those tips in mind next week, and I cannot wait to see what you bring in the fall.