Thanks, Mick Cronin.
Thank you for looking at an impossible situation and seeing a realistic opportunity. The spirit of 2006 died at your hand. Many Thanks.
Thank you for picking up a proud, deeply ailing program and giving some shine back. You didn’t do everything everyone wanted. But in 13 seasons you made “anything possible” possible again.
The bunch of unrealists will scream that your teams were never outdone, even though your first three teams did so heroically and your last team did the same. The story is of little use to the unrealists, who believed that after a long-lost pedigree, UC should make Sweet 16s by acclamation.
They won’t notice your exploits. They’ll be glad you’re gone. Those of us who remember Marcus Sikes and Marvin Gentry and John Williamson and Adam-everlovin’-H have only one thing to say and that is thank you.
Nobody else wanted the job after Nancy Zimpher fired Bob Huggins. It was the quasi-am version of putting on a HazMat suit. No noteworthy returnees, recruits alighting left and right, no end in sight. Cronin actually wanted the job.
Hometown Guy revives Hometown program, stays 13 years, probably could have stayed another 13. 49th place nationally in base compensation among the Division 1 coaches according to USA Today.
Cronin made $ 2.2 million this year. He’ll make $ 4 million a year at UCLA for six years if he can hold out.
I don’t know why Cronin chose this step. He did not respond to a text message. I can imagine: he didn’t like being number 49. It wasn’t necessarily the money. It was what the money was. Perhaps he thought he did a better job than the gentlemen in Utah, Illinois, Missouri, Providence, and Nebraska, among others. All have cashed major checks. Luke Fickell is set to make $ 2.3 million this fall for his third year coaching UC football.
Did Mick think he got the most out of Clifton? Given the secondary conference, and yes, the defense-dominated style that Cronin plays, getting very good players to UC has not been easy. This will be a recurring pain until Cincinnati pushes itself into the Power 5. It is not imminent.
In that regard, Cronin’s departure is identical to Marvin Lewis’. Lewis realized that he had done all he could with the Bengals. He exhumed her, but couldn’t take this little miracle to the proverbial next level. Nine tournaments in a row have been impressive for Cronin. Once there, he rarely collected more than a copy of the home game. Maybe that’s why UC didn’t just open the vault to keep it.
Now that we’ve given Cronin his right …
This is a strange setting.
West Side Mick is now Westwood Mick. Does anyone see this pairing as logical? Ginger just married Mr. Howell, right at 301 Westwood Plaza, also known as the Pauley Pavilion. Cronin is a typical Cincinnati guy. Everyone here knows that. LaLa is about to learn.
If you make enough money, you can be who you want. Does Mick earn enough? Is $ 4 million a year enough to make his 13-year-old daughter, Sammi, the fresh princess of Bel Air? I mean, Indian Hill in LA has three bedrooms and two baths in Burbank.
There is also the not inconsiderable question of style. I’m not talking about clothing or behavior. Cronin is a very good basketball coach who will never be Pat Riley. The problem is the style of play. Will his defense obsessed philosophy work in the land of Showtime?
In the old Big East, you could push and rub all night. Fifty-to-49 wasn’t frowned upon. It was admired. What about UCLA, where an LA Times reporter called Mick “Plan C” in the 100-day, uh, embarrassing Bruins coaching group?
Of course, Mick will have access to a better talent pool. And he really told you in early January that the 3-pointer had changed the quasi-am game so much that the offense actually played a role, a surprising admission by coach Cronin. Even if his last UC team didn’t excel at making threesomes or stopping them.
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Maybe he’s bringing the riflemen to Westwood that he never brought to Clifton.
This is a brave new world for Mike Bohn, Bearcats Athletic Director, who has received the luxury of stability and success from men’s basketball offices. I have no idea who Bohn could hire. One thing is certain: It’s a much better job than it was 13 years ago. Mick Cronin put out the dumpster fire and more.
We are indebted to him. To the cynics who cheer his departure: watch what you want.