Tech’s Hewitt finds a seasoned assistant, and that’s good

Paul Hewitt has done something right. Yes, Paul Hewitt.

Georgia Tech announced Tuesday that Hewitt had hired Robert McCullum as an assistant basketball coach. You might never have heard of Robert McCullum, but that’s OK. He’s not a household name. He is, however, a basketball coach of long standing, and the Jackets need all the coaching they can find.

McCullum is 55. He has been a Division I head coach, but not a successful one. (He had losing records at both Western Michigan and South Florida.) That’s OK, too. What he brings is experience. He has worked with Lon Kruger (at Kansas State, Florida and Illinois) and Eddie Sutton (at San Francisco). He has actually had to call a timeout.

Since Dean Keener left the Jackets after the 2004 Final Four and Cliff Warren departed a year later, Hewitt has had to do too much. Last season’s staff included Peter Zaharis and John O’Connor, both of whom came to the Institute as directors of basketball operations, and the former Jacket Darryl LaBarrie, who arrived by way of East Carolina. (O’Connor left this spring to become head coach at Holy Family.) Put simply, there was no counterweight to Hewitt.

For the longest time the only head coach in college basketball who could overcome a lightweight staff was Tubby Smith, and eventually even he got worn down. Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo are the best in the business, and they lean heavily on their assistants. Florida didn’t become a national champion until Billy Donovan hired Larry Shyatt to sit beside him.

Hewitt didn’t need another youngster to recruit and break down film. (Tech’s recruiting isn’t the issue.) He needed an assistant who’s older and who has a broader background. McCullum fits the profile. This isn’t to suggest Hewitt has found his own Shyatt, but it is to note that, for the first time in a while, the Tech head coach has effected a staff upgrade.

82 comments Add your comment

Ted M

June 16th, 2010
9:24 am

great…lets see how it plats out next season.

Ted M

June 16th, 2010
9:24 am

FromtheBARstool

June 16th, 2010
9:26 am

Still not happy by a long shot.

F-105 Thunderchief

June 16th, 2010
9:29 am

Hewitt has missed Charlton Young. Maybe this will help.

GTHorsie

June 16th, 2010
9:31 am

Mark, when you say that “Tech’s recruiting isn’t the issue”, I disagree with that. I feel that “one-and-done” players are hurting the overall program. There is no continuity, no transition from one season to the next. Tech did very well with 3 and 4 year players, and have struggled since we started recruiting the big name one-and-done guys.

One thing I read about this new coach is that he has improved the graduation rates everywhere he has been, with mandatory class attendance, etc. Great stuff, and glad to have him on board.

Go Jackets!

Flea Market Montgomery

June 16th, 2010
9:32 am

It’s just like, It’s just like, a mini mall

Benjamin

June 16th, 2010
9:57 am

I agree with GTHorsie on the recruiting talk.

We get these exciting players like Favors for one year, but I don’t view that as real recruiting success.

Other than that, it was a good pickup to land McCullum.

ormewood

June 16th, 2010
10:00 am

it’s gonna be a long winter for the Tech hoops team, I suspect.

Curious George

June 16th, 2010
10:01 am

After the George O’Leary fiasco and the failure to do a proper background check on him, why wasn’t Georgia Tech able to ascertain this new Assistant Coach’s true alias is “Sammy Stephens” of Montgomery, AL?

What does Mr. Stephens know about basketball?

Doesn’t he look like more of an offensive line coach for football than basketball?

wardo

June 16th, 2010
10:03 am

If Uncle Hewey was such a good recruiter we wouldn’t be wondering who are big men are gonna be this year. Give me a break. I will need to see results before I accuse Uncle Hewey of upgrading the staff. Just wondering…is it against the rules to recruit white coaches or players?

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messin with...........

June 16th, 2010
10:07 am

nice hire Coach.

GT GRAD

June 16th, 2010
10:13 am

All GT fans should support the Basketball team, Paul Hewitt and our new assistant Coach (Robert McCullum)…………….we do not know what the future holds, but I hope this group melds together and creates a winning formula which lasts for several years!

GT fans who consistently bash Paul Hewitt MUST realize that thier actions are having absolutely no effect on DRad or the decision makers regarding Paul Hewitt’s future at GT…………..however, the constant negativity MOST DEFINITELY has a detrimental affect on GT recruiting efforts. You people need to grow up and think about the unintended consequences of your actions!

Cremins - Do you Miss Me Yet

June 16th, 2010
10:16 am

Hewitt is still the Head Coach and noting will change the fact – HE CAN’T COACH!

Cremins - Do you Miss Me Yet

June 16th, 2010
10:17 am

GT Grad – If alumni hadn’t complained with their voices and the wallets we’d still be watching Chan Gailey on the sideline. You need to grow some!

buzz29

June 16th, 2010
10:17 am

I used to love Tech Basketball until it turned into NBA development program. Hope CRM can teach the fundamentals.

Pi$$onaDawg

June 16th, 2010
10:27 am

DawginLex where are you? Oh, DawginLex why are you not here yet crying? Here dawginlex. Here boy. Come and CRY like a lil girl.

PawleysIslandJacket

June 16th, 2010
10:27 am

It won’t matter…as long as Hewitt is here GT will be a mediocre program.

jacketfan

June 16th, 2010
10:31 am

Ugggghhhh. He worked with Eddie Sutton. Let’s hope he did not pick up any of Eddie’s character flws.

PaulHewittFanClub

June 16th, 2010
10:40 am

I friggin’ LOVE PAul Hewitt. He is the man that directed this program to our one & only nat’l championship game.

We beat Duke this year and WE RUN THIS CONFERENCE

If any of you bring up that little 73-66 loss I’ll punch you in the mouth, we have bigger fish to gry than worrying about losing to UGaG!

Ted M

June 16th, 2010
10:41 am

GT GRAD – that’s just plain bullcrap. Hewitt has deserved his criticism. Your position supposes that recruits are morons.

Delbert D.

June 16th, 2010
10:58 am

Paul Hewitt needs to have a heart-to-heart with Coach K.

Hewitt: “How can you win championships and your guys don’t leave after one year?”

Coach K: “That’s easy. I don’t recruit that type of guy. It’s about standards.”

Slutty Grandma

June 16th, 2010
11:06 am

GT Grad, get your shizznit together and gimme a break! Hewitt deserves the criticism and pressure he was getting from his fan base, why you may ask? Hmm, I will tell ya why, because he coached horribly this past season with TOP and I mean TOP recruits, so whats tha dilly yo? Well, guess this upcoming season will tell the story, hope with a happy ending!

Mark Bradley

June 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Luol Deng left Duke after one season. So did Corey Maggette. And signee Kyrie Irving could be a one-and-done.

Walker, Texas Ranger

June 16th, 2010
11:16 am

If Hewitt doesnt have a banner year recruting, he will be out after this year. The team will be lucky to have a .500 record and will be much worse in the ACC. Get ready to pay him.

ormewood

June 16th, 2010
11:16 am

BTW, Tech is not the only program that loses guys after one season. Texas has lost Durant and Avery Bradley after one year. Duke lost Deng after one year, McRoberts after two. UNC lost Marvin Williams and Brandon Wright after one year, Ed Davis after two. UCLA lost Kevin Love after a year. Kansas just lost Henry after a season. Anywhere that Calipari coaches, players leave after a season.

Losing guys after one season to the pros is not an excuse for sustained mediocrity.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2010
11:18 am

I tell you we look more and more like Georgetown every year, without the wins of course.

dap01

June 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Great. I have tremendous confidence in Hewitt. He is a great leader, great basketball mind and he has all of the yellow people fired up!

Blue Fox

June 16th, 2010
11:24 am

With apologies to Yogi, this hire feels like deja vu all over again.

Gordon

June 16th, 2010
11:24 am

Upgrading the staff was one of the things you mentioned Hewitt needed to do in your last Hewitt column this spring, Mark. So this is a good step. But if I recall there were several others, the most important being “win more games”.

We’ll see.

GT Alum

June 16th, 2010
11:31 am

Lex, that’s really messed up. That’s just not even funny.

Gordon

June 16th, 2010
11:37 am

Mark,

Would you happen to know if McCullum leans towards being an offensive or defensive minded coach? Obviously we all hope it is the former.

I don't get a tingle

June 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Great now Paul has someone to sit beside him with a worse headcoach record than his. I can already hear the excuses next year; “you fans just are not supporting Robert like you should”,….

GT Fan

June 16th, 2010
11:48 am

Just make Robert the Head Coach and Fire Paul Hewitt. I will never support a Paul Hewitt team and I’ve been a fan for 35 years. As long as PH is there…to he!! with Basketball.(except womens BB)
I had great respect for Rads when he fired Chan and hired Johnson but he don’t give a damn for Basketball if he did he would fire DA Hewitt. The Fans demand better and deserve the BEST and thats not PH.

GT Alum

June 16th, 2010
11:49 am

I don’t know that we have a recruiting problem. We have a retention problem. Teams like Duke and UNC recruit top level talent. A lot of their guys, but not all, choose to stay around for longer than they have to, though. Of course, some of their top players get the great college player who won’t transition well to the NBA tag, too. They also tend to recruit a higher overall level of talent, not just 1 or 2 blue chip prospects.

.

June 16th, 2010
11:57 am

Paul Hewitt is another Alvin Greene (D) SC. A no Brainer?

Alabama Jack

June 16th, 2010
12:03 pm

Hey guys, give it a chance. We might be pleasantly surprised.

Kay

June 16th, 2010
12:15 pm

Hope you are right that this guy is a good addition to the Tech program.
We do need someone who knows what they are doing!

Drexel Gal

June 16th, 2010
12:25 pm

Great hire on an assistant coach. Now, how about a head coach?

MissNancy

June 16th, 2010
12:26 pm

Yeah, the man is here, and he’ll run the show. You’re booing before the first tip-off? I’m afraid some of you dolts are not aware how bad negativity is……

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2010
12:28 pm

GT GRAD

I know what the future brings, another ACC losing record. That was easy.

GT Fan

June 16th, 2010
12:30 pm

May be a seasoned assistant but that don’t mean its good….just how good is McCullum (dozen ? jobs)and will Stupid Hewitt let him coach are listen to him.
How many one and done are we signing this year?

ormewood

June 16th, 2010
12:39 pm

I think Hewitt is only bringing in one recruit this year. I believe a couple of guys red-shirted, but the odds of a red-shirted player becoming a key contributor are low. Meantime, Duke and UNC are brining in stellar classes. That’s not a shocker. But apparently, NC State has their best class in decades coming in, including a PG from Wheeler.

Justafan

June 16th, 2010
12:39 pm

MissNancy, you must be his wife . The name Paul Hewitt is “Bad Negativity” I wouldn’t let my son play for him.

Bravesfan79

June 16th, 2010
12:46 pm

What GT really needed was to throw some big $ for a ex head coach such as a Bob Knight or Lefty Drisel… to come in and be the top assistant and run the offense! Im glad Hewitt FINALLY brought in some help and not some guy who looks like he got hired off the Mcdonalds drive thru.
Clearly this is improvement, hopefully this guy can run a offense! But i think we could of done better.

Hey Mr McCullum, prove me wrong man. Im as big a GT hoops fan as anyone. But will you help improve our stagnent offense and install sets to run?

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2010
12:55 pm

Bravesfan79, I’ve been proving you wrong for how many years now? 5?

Paul in RDU

June 16th, 2010
12:57 pm

ormewood – You are correct about NCSU. Lowe is bringing in his best class ever and the Wolfpack’s best class in years. The standout player is CJ Leslie from Word of God – John Wall’s final high school. They should be good – even with Sidney on the bench.

JSS

June 16th, 2010
12:57 pm

@ GT Fan…
McCallum was a loyal assistant to a number of vagabond coaches, one who will be in the Hall of Fame (Sutton). You should consider that. Moreover, Bobby Cremins was never the same after Perry Clark left his side as his lead assistant in 1982. He was the one that got Steepe, Dalrymple, Price, and Salley to commit to Tech and put them on the winning that first ACC title. Sure he made the Final Four, but that foundation was Clark. McCallum might do the same for Hewitt.

ormewood

June 16th, 2010
1:04 pm

JSS, I’m pretty sure Steppe was at Tech before Cremins arrived.

GTFactCheck

June 16th, 2010
1:04 pm

PaulHewittFanClub – if CPH is “the man that directed this program to our one & only nat’l championship game,” how did we win it in 1990? I’m pretty sure GT was there without CPH.