In the wake of the news that (now former) Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon has accepted Maryland's offer to replace the recently retired Gary Williams, there's been some mild to moderate concern expressed that Marquette coach Buzz Williams, a former assistant at A&M and Texas native, might be interested in the TAMU coaching job. Some of that concern, of course, is fueled by the predictable and incessant (and apparently sourceless) speculation of Badger Boy Andy Katz, who was quick to stoke the "Hey, Buzz at A&M would make a lot of sense" fires last night.
For m'self, and only m'self: I'm not convinced that I should be worried. At least not yet. Here's why:
The following is a list of the coaches that Texas A&M has employed since 1963:
- Shelby Metcalf (who coached there for 26 years until he was fired in 1990);
- John Thornton (who finished the year after Metcalf was dumped);
- Kermit Davis, Jr. who left Idaho to take over in College Station;
- Tony Barone, hired away from Creighton;
- Melvin Watkins, who came from Charlotte;
- Billy Gillispie, who jumped from UTEP;
- and Turgeon, who was lured away from Wichita State.
If you're scoring at home, that's five coaches making the move from mid-major-dom to take the reins at A&M. Not one of them came from a power conference, and not one of them made the (at best) lateral move that Coach Buzz would be making to take the Aggies job.
The other thing that has me unconcerned: I know Coach Buzz is on record as saying that he's never made a decision based on money and that the dollars will never be a primary motivating factor for him, but let's be honest: it has
to matter a little bit, doesn't it? And if that's the case, A&M hasn't shown that it's willing to spend the kind of money that gets people's attention: Turgeon, for example, made $1.5 million this year
, a bump of about $300,000 from 2009. What's more, A&M's football coach, Mike Sherman, makes $1.8 million, which places him firmly in the middle of the pack amongst Big XII coaches
. Maybe A&M makes the leap and ponies up the kind of cash that Rick Barnes gets at Texas, but I'm not holding my breath.
All this being said, of course, the unknown element at this point is whether Coach Buzz and his family want to go home. Maybe that pull is strong enough to overcome a sizable salary difference and the prospects of what looks like a significant rebuilding project for a football-first school, but again: I'm not worried. Yet.