Georgia Tech is looking for a basketball coach.
Chris Mooney would seem to be a desirable candidate.
He’s done wonders at Richmond, leading them to the NCAA tournament two consecutive times. They just reached the Sweet 16 in this year’s tournament.
Two of his best players are from Atlanta, with another recruit coming in next year from our area, one whom he beat N.C. State for. He knows the city. That’s a plus.
He’s familiar coaching at schools with demanding academic standards. Another plus.
But with every win in the NCAA’s, does Mooney get one step away from Georgia Tech?
There are several schools also looking for coaches right now, schools that would seem to have deeper wallets than Tech: N.C. State, Oklahoma, Arkansas and perhaps Tennessee (if they come to their senses).
Athletic director Dan Radakovich said that the buyout ($7.2 million) owed to Paul Hewitt won’t affect the next coach’s salary. I’m not sure how it wouldn’t, but I’m not privy to the inner workings of Tech’s finances.
I do know this: Mooney makes $750,000 at Richmond and signed a seven-year deal last year. I would assume that he would want to double that at his next gig. I know I would. The Atlantic 10 is a fine conference, but it’s not the ACC, SEC or Big 12 with deeper pockets and competition.
Plus, the next hire is going to have the indirect responsibility of filling up the $45 million McCamish Pavilion. That’s pressure that I would think adds dollars to the contract.
If Tech wants Mooney, how much will it be willing to pay?
There’s also this to consider: Wins will bring fans. Wins next year may or may not because the team will be playing at two different home sites while the new arena is being built. Will that affect how much Tech wants to spend on its next coach? Again, I don’t know. It may not factor in at all. After all, the next contract won’t be for or one or two years.
So what do you think? How much would you spend to bring in the next coach? Should Mooney be the guy?
I also don’t want to imply that Mooney, should he decide to leave, will simply choose the school that offers the most money.
This is all speculation, and I don’t do that often in blogs, but I am curious what will happen.
– Doug Roberson, AJC