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Topic:  Grading Schaus' Hires

Topic:  Grading Schaus' Hires
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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 2:22:44 PM 
With all of the debate around Saul, some (myself included) have been arguing that we should take a closer look at Schaus' track record too. Had some free time this afternoon and decided to "grade" out each hire he's made. I try to follow all of our sports to some extent, but obviously have more knowledge of certain sports than others.

You average these out, and you get a "C" overall - which confirms my thoughts that Schaus is, at best, average in making coaching hires. Some hits, some misses. But it's interesting that 2 of his 3 best hires (Groce and Hermanek) came in his first year. Recent track record has been much worse.

Apologies if I missed anyone. Tried to be provide a tough, yet fair grade for each coach...

A: Bob Boldon (Women's Basketball) - Absolute home run. More consistent tenure than Groce, with regular season and postseason success. Amazed he hasn't been snatched up by the P5.

A-: John Groce (Men's Basketball) - Everything that needs said has been said. Great in the postseason, regular season was mixed bag.

A-: Jodi Hermanek (Softball) - Took a program that had not done much historically and built it up in all facets (facilities, recruiting, etc). Ended on a high note and hit the ceiling of about what you can do with softball in the MAC.

B: Rob Smith (Baseball) - The "Groce" of MAC Baseball. Two MAC Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournaments. Other seasons have been sub-par. As high variance of a coach as you'll find in any sport.

C+: Jim Christian (Men's Basketball) - We gave JC a life raft just when he needed one out of TCU. Hard to shake the feeling that he "used" us a bit to reset his career and move on to bigger things. A successful 2 year tenure, but left lots of headaches for the next guy. IMO, Schaus just didn't find the right fit for what we needed at the time.

C-: Aaron Rodgers (Soccer) - A very average hire. Program hasn't been terrible, but hasn't been great. Best season was this year (lost in MAC semis). If he's the basketball coach, contract wouldn't be renewed. Seems like he's sticking around, though.

D+: Saul Phillips (Men's Basketball) - It's all been said. Hire was made (IMO) primarily because we thought he'd stick around. Had success in the lower ranks of D1, but recruiting philosophy hasn't translated well to the MAC. Great guy "off the court", just a poor fit for what we needed.

D+: Deane Webb (Volleyball) - This hire is very "Saul-esque". He was a successful coach at a historically dominant, "low D1" school. Inherited a program that was head & shoulders above the MAC, though the MAC was slowly catching up. We are now an incredibly average mid-major volleyball program, and it's hard to get back on top once you've slid this far. Sad for those of us who have been following back to the Carlston era.

D-: Rachel Baugh (Swimming) - Only reason this isn't an "F" is that she's not Semeka Randall. Tanked a program that historically was one of the best in the MAC. Decision to let go of Greg Werner (previous coach) was a very misguided one, but that's a story for another day.

F: Semeka Randall (Women's Basketball) - Probably the worst hire he has made, by far. 50-112 record over 5 seasons. Schaus even admitted to a group of donors (at a table, not on mic) in the Rohr Room soon after the hire that he "wasn't sure about it".

I: Carter Cheves (Golf) - Way too early to tell. Nowhere to go but up.

I: Ali Johnstone (Field Hockey) - Too early to tell. Was probably a mistake to let go of the prior coach due to spurious allegations.

I: Mason Norman (Swimming) - Too early to tell. This program lacks any momentum, and used to be dominant.

I: Kenzie Roark (Softball) - Yet to play a game. First "bigger" hire of the Nellis era, and about what you'd expect (done on the cheap). Not expecting much here.
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shabamon
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 2:45:06 PM 
Interesting post. I think that's too low of a grade for Deane Webb. I would put him around a C+. I don't know much about volleyball, but I don't see any glaring lapses in player development, strategy, or recruiting. Injuries have really hindered their success, but injuries seem to be up across the board in many sports recently.
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shabamon
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 2:46:01 PM 
Bob Boldon is an A+ and extra credit. Took a program that was smoldering in a dumpster to the NCAA tournament in just two years.

Last Edited: 2/4/2019 2:56:33 PM by shabamon

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 3:10:33 PM 
shabamon wrote:
Interesting post. I think that's too low of a grade for Deane Webb. I would put him around a C+. I don't know much about volleyball, but I don't see any glaring lapses in player development, strategy, or recruiting. Injuries have really hindered their success, but injuries seem to be up across the board in many sports recently.


I struggled with Webb's grade a bit. Ultimately, had a hard time giving him any better than Saul.

When Webb arrived, we were dominating the MAC. He had a couple good years with Theis' recruits. Then, the bottom absolutely fell out once those players graduated. The thought of Ohio Volleyball being 13-18 just 5 years ago would have been unfathomable.

I might argue that the overall result has been worse than Saul's. Saul didn't inherit a dynasty - Webb did. We were the "Gonzaga of the MAC" in volleyball (to borrow DA's reference in another thread).
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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 3:11:17 PM 
shabamon wrote:
Bob Boldon is an A+ and extra credit. Took a program that was smoldering in a dumpster to the NCAA tournament in just two years.


Agree. I've never been much on "A+", but he would be one. Perfect hire made at the right time.
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 4:08:45 PM 
A guy who often gets overlooked is Mike Lessinger. He left the program in very good shape for Geoff.
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cbus cat fan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 4:23:20 PM 
Catfan 28 and others more knowledgeable than myself. You mentioned a few hires in the athletic program that have been near disasters. Here is the part of the hiring process that bewilders me. When I was teaching and coaching in high school, if a basketball or football vacancy came open, I and others could give the school's AD a few candidates off the top of our tongue to interview. My guess is he already possessed most of the names I and others would throw out. Unless someone was going through some sort of personal crisis, no hire would be a near disaster or dumpster fire. Perhaps it wouldn't work out as he and others in the school community would like, but there were no disastrous hires. How in the world can this happen for any men's or women's sport at the Division I college level, where there are so many resources available that a high school program simply cannot afford?

Last Edited: 2/4/2019 4:25:39 PM by cbus cat fan

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 5:28:14 PM 
cbus cat fan wrote:
How in the world can this happen for any men's or women's sport at the Division I college level, where there are so many resources available that a high school program simply cannot afford?


Interesting point that certainly gets you thinking.

The biggest difference between college and high school? Recruiting. While there is undoubtedly a bit of recruiting in big-time high school sports (don't tell me there isn't), it's not a primary function of any coach on that level. In the MAC, there are a lot of good coaches. Tons of parity. A big difference-maker is talent. Look at what Buffalo has done. Or WMU Football under Fleck. Getting a slightly higher caliber athlete than the rest of the league can place you in a dominant position.

IMO, the biggest reason college coaches can become "disasters" is because of poor recruiting. A coach that comes in and leaves the cupboard relatively bare after 5 years will still have negative repercussions for 3-4 years after their departure. Some programs struggle for decades to escape that cycle (think EMU football).

Even if you look to the pro level (where resources are at their highest), one of the top reasons for a coach to fail is lack of talent. Owners/GMs will use the coach as a scapegoat, but unless talent improves, the next guy struggles just as much. As big of a difference as coaching can make, you have to have the horses to compete. If your talent level is vastly behind your competitors, it's hard for any coach to work enough magic to create results.
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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 5:31:04 PM 
Alan Swank wrote:
A guy who often gets overlooked is Mike Lessinger. He left the program in very good shape for Geoff.


Agreed. Admittedly, I didn't follow volleyball too closely at the time. But he did an outstanding job to set the program in motion. Geoff may have never taken things to the level that he did without Mike coming first.
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cbus cat fan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 5:40:40 PM 
Thanks Catfan28. The thing I was really getting at were Division I college coaches who really have no business coaching in high school let alone college. I have had conversations with past MAC coaches who told me that there are assistants at both the men's and women's level at various sports who only got there because of connections etc. These MAC coaches were as flummoxed as I was, as to how some of these assistants were given head coaching jobs. I would have thought the search process was fairly rigorous even for lesser followed sports, but it does not appear to be the case. I just wonder how that can happen?

Last Edited: 2/4/2019 5:41:44 PM by cbus cat fan

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 5:52:02 PM 
cbus cat fan wrote:
Thanks Catfan28. The thing I was really getting at were Division I college coaches who really have no business coaching in high school let alone college. I have had conversations with past MAC coaches who told me that there are assistants at both the men's and women's level at various sports who only got there because of connections etc. These MAC coaches were as flummoxed as I was, as to how some of these assistants were given head coaching jobs. I would have thought the search process was fairly rigorous even for lesser followed sports, but it does not appear to be the case. I just wonder how that can happen?


Heck, the BGSU AD decided to hire a football coach based on a Google search for "top offenses". ADs are just as human as you and I.

I've made a lot of good hires in my career, but had some real duds too. Some people learn/adapt their hiring philosophy over time, while others repeat the same mistakes over and over. From what I've heard, Schaus does hiring virtually "by self" and does not solicit much feedback from staff, colleagues, etc. This allows for a lot of bias in who he selects...and, not surprisingly, some high variance results.

Kirby Hocutt and Tom Boeh, on the other hand, had search committees for all of their head coaching hires. Not saying a committee is a necessity, but it does allow for a variety of opinions in the room. Schaus has pretty much picked all of the above coaches entirely on his own, with (what used to be) a rubber stamp from the President. With Nellis there, I expect there may be some vetos - especially in terms of salary.
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GoCats105
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 6:18:26 PM 
shabamon wrote:
Bob Boldon is an A+ and extra credit. Took a program that was smoldering in a dumpster to the NCAA tournament in just two years.


While we're on the subject of Boldon...and knowing full well the MAJOR differences in men's and women's basketball...I wonder if he would ever be interested in switching?


"Puppies, walks in the park, March wins; those are all my favorite things." - Saul Phillips

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 6:21:29 PM 
GoCats105 wrote:

While we're on the subject of Boldon...and knowing full well the MAJOR differences in men's and women's basketball...I wonder if he would ever be interested in switching?


Of note, that's what Maine did this off-season. They're currently 5-18, so the jury is out on how this experiment goes: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/05/reports-bob-walsh-... /
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Bobcat1996
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 8:14:37 PM 
I would rank Jodi Hermanek in softball ahead of Groce. Didn't she not only win a MAC regular season title, but the MAC tourney also in 2018? Sure Groce got hot in the March and won the league tourney, but he was very average during the regular season. The softball coach in 2017 also won the MAC EAST. I realize that mens basketball has more people attend games, but I am ranking Jodi higher.
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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 8:33:43 PM 
Bobcat1996 wrote:
I would rank Jodi Hermanek in softball ahead of Groce. Didn't she not only win a MAC regular season title, but the MAC tourney also in 2018? Sure Groce got hot in the March and won the league tourney, but he was very average during the regular season. The softball coach in 2017 also won the MAC EAST. I realize that mens basketball has more people attend games, but I am ranking Jodi higher.


Jodi Hermanek was close to an "A" when I ranked these. Only knock was it took a lot of years to get to the point of being a top-tier MAC team. She was hired in 2008 for perspective.

Groce gets bonus points for NCAA success, but no doubt the regular seasons were pretty mediocre.

IMO, they both have some blemishes, hence the "A-" rather than A. But without a doubt, they are among Schaus' top hires (along with Boldon).
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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/4/2019 11:32:02 PM 
Alan Swank wrote:
A guy who often gets overlooked is Mike Lessinger. He left the program in very good shape for Geoff.


+1
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OU_Country
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 10:40:44 AM 
catfan28 wrote:
Heck, the BGSU AD decided to hire a football coach based on a Google search for "top offenses". ADs are just as human as you and I.

I've made a lot of good hires in my career, but had some real duds too. Some people learn/adapt their hiring philosophy over time, while others repeat the same mistakes over and over. From what I've heard, Schaus does hiring virtually "by self" and does not solicit much feedback from staff, colleagues, etc. This allows for a lot of bias in who he selects...and, not surprisingly, some high variance results.

Kirby Hocutt and Tom Boeh, on the other hand, had search committees for all of their head coaching hires. Not saying a committee is a necessity, but it does allow for a variety of opinions in the room. Schaus has pretty much picked all of the above coaches entirely on his own, with (what used to be) a rubber stamp from the President. With Nellis there, I expect there may be some vetos - especially in terms of salary.


Great insight, a little frightening, and eye opening for sure.



Twitter: @ou_country

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GoCats105
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 11:04:41 AM 
catfan28 wrote:
cbus cat fan wrote:
Thanks Catfan28. The thing I was really getting at were Division I college coaches who really have no business coaching in high school let alone college. I have had conversations with past MAC coaches who told me that there are assistants at both the men's and women's level at various sports who only got there because of connections etc. These MAC coaches were as flummoxed as I was, as to how some of these assistants were given head coaching jobs. I would have thought the search process was fairly rigorous even for lesser followed sports, but it does not appear to be the case. I just wonder how that can happen?


Heck, the BGSU AD decided to hire a football coach based on a Google search for "top offenses". ADs are just as human as you and I.

I've made a lot of good hires in my career, but had some real duds too. Some people learn/adapt their hiring philosophy over time, while others repeat the same mistakes over and over. From what I've heard, Schaus does hiring virtually "by self" and does not solicit much feedback from staff, colleagues, etc. This allows for a lot of bias in who he selects...and, not surprisingly, some high variance results.

Kirby Hocutt and Tom Boeh, on the other hand, had search committees for all of their head coaching hires. Not saying a committee is a necessity, but it does allow for a variety of opinions in the room. Schaus has pretty much picked all of the above coaches entirely on his own, with (what used to be) a rubber stamp from the President. With Nellis there, I expect there may be some vetos - especially in terms of salary.


I'm pretty sure a search committee was used when Saul was hired. I know I read or heard that somewhere.


"Puppies, walks in the park, March wins; those are all my favorite things." - Saul Phillips

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 11:18:57 AM 
Regardless of what the official record might say, the very successful Solich hire was made by McDavis. I doubt the next basketball coach will be hired by Nellis. I think it'll again be a one-man Schaus show.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 11:31:12 AM 
GoCats105 wrote:
I'm pretty sure a search committee was used when Saul was hired. I know I read or heard that somewhere.


I can assure you that there wasn't based on conversations I've had. Schaus has never used a search firm or committee. It's a one-man show.

To back that claim up, Christian was hired by BC on April 3:
http://www.espn.com/boston/mens-college-basketball/story/...

Then Saul was hired on April 6:
http://www.ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/spec-rel/040614aaa...

Anyone who's been a part of any search committee knows decisions aren't made that quickly. Schaus hired Saul at the Final 4, which was April 5th-7th: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_NCAA_Division_I_Men%27...

From what I've heard, Schaus identified Saul as "the guy" pretty much immediately. Interviewed him and extended an offer on the spot. That's pretty much how all of his hires have been.

As I said, the result of that is a lot of bias - and some high variance results.

Last Edited: 2/5/2019 12:08:17 PM by catfan28

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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 11:34:13 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
Regardless of what the official record might say, the very successful Solich hire was made by McDavis. I doubt the next basketball coach will be hired by Nellis. I think it'll again be a one-man Schaus show.


+1,000. If Schaus gets the chance to hire the next football coach, that really concerns me. IMO, Solich will outlast him, though.
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finnOhio
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 11:58:43 AM 
catfan28 wrote:
GoCats105 wrote:
I'm pretty sure a search committee was used when Saul was hired. I know I read or heard that somewhere.


I can assure you that there wasn't based on conversations I've had. Schaus has never used a search firm or committee. It's a one-man show.

To back that claim up, Groce was hired by Illinois on March 30th:
https://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/illini/illinois-h...

Then Saul was hired on April 6:
http://www.ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/spec-rel/040614aaa...

Anyone who's been a part of any search committee knows decisions aren't made that quickly. Schaus hired Saul at the Final 4, which was April 5th-7th: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_NCAA_Division_I_Men%27...

From what I've heard, Schaus identified Saul as "the guy" pretty much immediately. Interviewed him and extended an offer on the spot. That's pretty much how all of his hires have been.

As I said, the result of that is a lot of bias - and some high variance results.


Those two hires were not separated by a week, they were separated by 2+ years. Not a good example. There was a coach in between them here at OHIO.
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catfan28
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 12:09:36 PM 
finnOhio wrote:


Those two hires were not separated by a week, they were separated by 2+ years. Not a good example. There was a coach in between them here at OHIO.


Hah! Brain fart. That's how forgettable the Christian tenure was, I suppose.

I edited my post above to avoid confusion. The point still stands: Christian was hired on April 3rd, Saul on April 6th.
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GoCats105
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/5/2019 1:15:56 PM 
catfan28 wrote:
GoCats105 wrote:
I'm pretty sure a search committee was used when Saul was hired. I know I read or heard that somewhere.


I can assure you that there wasn't based on conversations I've had. Schaus has never used a search firm or committee. It's a one-man show.

To back that claim up, Christian was hired by BC on April 3:
http://www.espn.com/boston/mens-college-basketball/story/...

Then Saul was hired on April 6:
http://www.ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/spec-rel/040614aaa...

Anyone who's been a part of any search committee knows decisions aren't made that quickly. Schaus hired Saul at the Final 4, which was April 5th-7th: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_NCAA_Division_I_Men%27...

From what I've heard, Schaus identified Saul as "the guy" pretty much immediately. Interviewed him and extended an offer on the spot. That's pretty much how all of his hires have been.

As I said, the result of that is a lot of bias - and some high variance results.


Yeah I think you're right. Not sure where I was pulling that from. I went back and re-read some of the Saul Phillips hire threads. Really interesting stuff there.

BTW, the same freaking names are being brought up again this time around. Think outside the box, people!


"Puppies, walks in the park, March wins; those are all my favorite things." - Saul Phillips

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OrlandoCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Grading Schaus' Hires
   Posted: 2/7/2019 1:46:30 AM 
It’s really sad what’s happened to volleyball to an extent. I know at one tome we were one of the better attended programs in the country. Beating State in the NCAA’s was fun. Bobcat Dragon took me to the OU v Miami volleyball game one year - the Ozone got into a shouting match with a young Miami fan who didn’t take kindly to the ‘point Ohio’ chants. Good times were had by all.
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