Friday, April 22, 2011

Basketball coaching carousel takes unusual spin

Logic suggested a Final Four coach from the Colonial Athletic Association would parlay his success into a job with a "power conference" school.
It happened, but not with that coach.
Shaka Smart, who led Virginia Commonwealth from a play-in game to the Final Four at Houston, is signed to a newly minted long-term contract to stay with the Rams.
Jim Larranaga, on the other hand, agreed Friday to become the new coach at Miami, leaving George Mason, which he took to the Final Four in 2006.
Larranaga and Mason still felt the benefits of the 2006 tournament run as VCU took its turn playing Cinderella in March.
Larranaga was part of the CBS crew that analyzed the Final Four, and he and the Patriots were featured in stories that recalled how they set the table for the success of other mid-majors, including Butler.
Larranaga, 61, leaves a GMU team that won the CAA regular-season championship in 2010-11.
At Miami, he joins a school that has had great success in football over the past quarter-century.
In basketball, however, the Hurricanes are dwarfed by Atlantic Coast Conference powers Duke and North Carolina, plus the likes of Maryland, Georgia Tech and Florida State.


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