Brian Gregory will have to create own excitement for Tech

Brian Gregory coached at Dayton eight years, going 1-2 in NCAA tournament.

Brian Gregory coached at Dayton for eight seasons. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 8:56 a.m.)

Sometimes you don’t get the buzz hire (and in this case we don’t mean Buzz Williams). Sometimes you don’t sell tickets or get anybody to run through a wall at the news conference. But sometimes all of that is overrated.

Georgia Tech has hired Brian Gregory of Dayton as its next basketball coach, and we’ll find out soon enough if it was the right decision.

Does he get a lot of people excited? Judging by the reaction when his name leaked out on Twitter a few days ago, no. But that really doesn’t mean anything, unless athletic director Dan Radakovich was hoping to sell season tickets this week.

Georgia didn’t get buzz with Mark Fox. The Falcons didn’t get buzz with Mike Smith.

Excitement from coach hiring last only until the open tipoff or kickoff. After that, you have to win. Gregory has done that. He was 172-94 in eight seasons at Dayton, including 97-46 in the last four. He went to the NCAA tournament in his first season in 2003-04 and lost, and five years later went 27-8 but lost in the second round.

His greatest postseason success: Dayton won the NIT last year.

In the Atlantic 10, Dayton went 22-10 in conference play in Gregory’s first two seasons, but only 48-48 in the next six years.

Shaka Smart, Chris Mooney and certainly the sudden king of the hill, Brad Stevens — probably would have gotten more people excited. But that doesn’t mean Gregory can’t win everybody over.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

103 comments Add your comment

Speedy

March 28th, 2011
8:42 am

Welcome to the Flats, Coach.

Lee

March 28th, 2011
8:48 am

Yes, welcome Coach.

DBH

March 28th, 2011
8:48 am

Excellent point, Jeff, regarding both Fox and Smith. If we were honest, we would all admit that when those respective hires were made, the collective response from UGA and Falcons fans was, “Who?!” In hindsight, those have both turned out to be pretty good moves. A not-so-sexy hire is exactly what Tech needed because it forces us to focus on the basketball, not the buzz. Go, Jackets! :-)

Cbell

March 28th, 2011
8:50 am

I don’t get this hire…..would have much preferred Craig Neil/Mark Price combo. Nothing here to get excited about.

spider

March 28th, 2011
8:51 am

i will not run this hire into the ground like some are doing until he gives me a reason too, lets give the guy a chance.

Go Jackets

March 28th, 2011
8:55 am

Everyone, please have faith in Dan’s decision making here. When Dan hired Paul Johnson, we were not all going crazy about the hire with excitement. But we learned that CPJ is a winner and that he is the PERFECT coach for Georgia Tech. I have no doubt that there is something about Coach Gregory that Dan sees that will make him a good fit for us as well. Welcome to Atlanta. Lets start winning (and playing defense, and shooting wild 3’s on every possession).

Me

March 28th, 2011
8:56 am

Not all UGA fans are “sold” on Mark Fox. Didn’t get the most out of Leslie or Thompkins this year. Let Trey Thompkins walk all over him. Some of us think Mark Fox is the Jim Donnan on UGA basketball.

Another Dawg

March 28th, 2011
8:57 am

Uh, Georgia created plenty of positive buzz with Mark Fox.

The difference is that we aren’t a basketball school.

Jeff Schultz

March 28th, 2011
8:58 am

DBH — Thanks

TommyJack

March 28th, 2011
8:58 am

Sometimes these kinds of hires work out well. Tech wasn’t exactly in the driver’s seat for hiring a Coach K type. Wish him well.

gdawginkalamazoo

March 28th, 2011
8:59 am

These days you just have wait and see. I didn’t know who Coach Fox was other than reading Neveda’s record in the paper. My opinion was give the man a chance to see what he can do.
Good luck Bees!

Quick question, a little off subject. Jeff that has been bugging me all weekend. When Kentucky beat Ohio State this weekend, was considered karma or irony, that they got beat by a lying cheating coach?

HelluvaEngineer

March 28th, 2011
8:59 am

Welcome to Tech! I think this is a fine, but not stellar, hire. Radakovich has some very serious questions from the fanbase, we hope he will have answered (although it’s unlikely given how tight-lipped he is). Why could have he not waited two/three days to see how Wichita State’s season panned out and maybe go after Gregg Marshall?

Jeff Schultz

March 28th, 2011
8:59 am

CBell — Personally I never believed the Neal/Price combo was going to happen. I think those interviews were merely to appease the segment of the fan base that wanted DRad to bring back some of the old Tech guys.

yellerjacket

March 28th, 2011
9:00 am

Good thing DRad knows more about this than all of us. Craig Neal and Mark Price? Let it go, folks.

Jeff Schultz

March 28th, 2011
9:00 am

Go Jackets — That’s true about Paul Johnson and I should’ve included him. Some folks were excited but others questioned his offense and whether he could recruit and win in a BCS conference.

yellerjacket

March 28th, 2011
9:02 am

I would have liked to have seen us wait on Marshall as well, but Stevens wasn’t going to happen, and Smart hasn’t been a head coach very long. I like the hire…other than the striking resemblance to Ron Zook.

Jeff Schultz

March 28th, 2011
9:02 am

Gdawginkalamazoo — Hah. Funny. But I think irony is the word your looking for here.

We'll See

March 28th, 2011
9:05 am

Yeah, he could be the next Mark Fox or Mike Smith… but he could also be the next Larry Drew!

peacengrits75

March 28th, 2011
9:06 am

Blank stare…

al davis

March 28th, 2011
9:06 am

why did drad need to hire a consultant? Doesnt he get paid to as AD because he knows who to hire. what a cop out

Go Jackets

March 28th, 2011
9:07 am

Like I said above, have faith in Dan. Look at our sports programs across the board (yes, including the women’s programs) and it is obvious that Dan knows what he is doing.

DBH

March 28th, 2011
9:07 am

Everybody’s talking about “buzz” and “excitement”, but such things last for only a short time. What Tech needs is consistency, stability, and excellence – things our basketball program has been known for until recent years. The ACC is one of the most competitive conferences in all of college basketball, and Tech needs a coach who possesses the maturity to know what it takes to recruit and win over the long-term. Hopefully, Gregory will prove himself a good recruiter and can bring the right STUDENT-athletes into Tech who can excel both on the court AND in the classroom.

Dayton Flyer

March 28th, 2011
9:09 am

`
A stellar hire.

Ozzy

March 28th, 2011
9:11 am

This hire shows exactly how much damage Hewitt has done to a once proud program. We are truly at the bottom of the conference with no where to go but up.

On the bright side, there should be plenty of tickets available in the brand spanking new arena. I wonder how much we’re paying Eddie Fogler for this?

ormewood

March 28th, 2011
9:12 am

I think this guy can coach. He comes from a conference that gets two, maybe three bids a league, and Xavier always gets one of those spots.So the margin for error is slim when it comes to getting to the NCAA.

He’s got one thing in common with Paul Hewitt. He whipped UNC the last time his team faced them.

peacengrits75

March 28th, 2011
9:12 am

Go Jackets….we really don’t care about the women’s swim team… no offense.

RochesterJacket

March 28th, 2011
9:13 am

Who’s buying season tickets now? I hope this works out. I still believe Noodles and Price was a no-lose situation. They would have had majority support even if they did lose.

peacengrits75

March 28th, 2011
9:14 am

We pay Hewitt 130,000 a month for the next three years… paying Galley too.

Go Jackets

March 28th, 2011
9:17 am

It’s not about caring about the women’s swim team. With that said, Dan Radakovic is in charge of the women’s swim team, the women’s tennis team, the women’s basketball team, the volleyball team, the softball team, etc. and they are all winners. The point is that Dan knows how to do his job insofar as hiring coaches and promoting the right environment for success.

Tech Man

March 28th, 2011
9:19 am

Noodles/Price was the hire to make. DRad likely made a decision to protect his opportunities elsewhere down the road.

RochesterJacket

March 28th, 2011
9:21 am

Did Hewitt really leave Tech in this bad of shape? I guess we have to wait to see who NC State hires to make a fair comparison. What if NC State is able to hire Shaka Smart or another big name coach? What does that say about Tech? What does that say about DRad? Time will tell.

Paul N Destin

March 28th, 2011
9:22 am

Cheer up Jackets..it could be worse and you could be 10RC fans today…just saying

Pawleys Island Jacket

March 28th, 2011
9:24 am

Color me very disappointed. This guy’s record isn’t as good as hewitt’s. Hope he doesn’t have a long contract.

collegeballfan

March 28th, 2011
9:32 am

The problem with hiring Craig Neil/Mark Price is that combined they have Zero wins as head coaches in college basketball.

That hire woiuld have been the ultimate drawing to an inside straight.

spider

March 28th, 2011
9:33 am

im curious if this story is really true as espn or usatoday are reporting anything???

JB

March 28th, 2011
9:33 am

Just because Fox and Johnsoon turned out to be decent doesn’t mean that another ho hum hire will be, too. Often ho hum IS ho hum.

The absolute best thing you can say about this hire is, well, lets see what he does.

Is what it is

He certainly isn’t gonna excite the rescuits down here, He doesn’t even know who they are.

HBTD!!!

Observer

March 28th, 2011
9:34 am

I don’t mind the hire. History suggests this guy can coach so let’s give him a chance. In the meantime, Craig Neal will get a head coaching job somewhere and gain some much needed experience. Then, he will be a more viable candidate down the road if this hire doesn’t work out.

Scott

March 28th, 2011
9:35 am

Brad Stephens was the right man for the job.

Gregory wasn’t.

CarolinaJacket

March 28th, 2011
9:36 am

For those who wanted G. Marshall (and I was one of the first to mention his name), I doubt that he would have taken to job if he reads all of these blogs. The fan support at WSU and Tech are from two different worlds — and they were that way back when they were losing. Reminds me of the Gamecocks who when they had football teams the couldn’t have beaten Presbyterian College, still packed the stadium with loyal, supportive fans. The same thing can not be said about Jacket fans, and this is a shame.

Gordon

March 28th, 2011
9:37 am

It’s not how they feel about you after day 1, it’s how they feel about you after 3 years. Good luck Coach Gregory.

spider

March 28th, 2011
9:38 am

i have too assume that GT program is so far down that neither ESPN or USATODAY is reporting this story at all on their websites.

JB

March 28th, 2011
9:41 am

espn IS reporting it.

HBTD!!!

Section242

March 28th, 2011
9:42 am

7-9 in the Atlantic 10? Just over .500 in a mid-major conference. That bodes well for sucess in the ACC. I am sure he will be outcoaching Williams and Coack K.

I guess he is getting paid by gate receipts. He will learn that he just got a pay cut.

Reality Check

March 28th, 2011
9:42 am

The truth is that GT fired CPH and got a coach that may not even be as good as him. This is a mid level coach for at best a middle of the pack team in the ACC. GT hoops has hit bottom and this coach does not have enouogh charisma to bring them back. D-Rad struck out because the top candidates turned him down, similar to Mark Fox at UGA. All the Fox fans UGA barely went over .500 in the pitiful SEC. In five years the search will begin again.

srschirm

March 28th, 2011
9:44 am

Go Jackets, how is Paul Johnson the perfect coach for GT? Just want to hear your opinion.

NGaTech Fan

March 28th, 2011
9:45 am

O.K. DRAD, now go get Price to come as an assistant. That’ll help with recruiting, fan base and will give him some experience should this hire not work out and we start “looking” again in 2-3 years.

Hoop Dawg

March 28th, 2011
9:52 am

Welcome to Athens Julian Royal!!!!

mowreck

March 28th, 2011
9:52 am

Well, in my opinion, excitement comes with winning. If he wins 20+ games the next four years here, like he did at Dayton, I’ll be excited!

Wolfpacker

March 28th, 2011
9:54 am

So will N.C. State get VCU’s Smart?

Tech had no chance.

gt45

March 28th, 2011
9:59 am

Welcome aboard, coach! You got your work cut out for you!