Anthony Grant to Tech? Great idea, but where’s the money?

That does look like a Georgia Tech tie, does it not? (AP photo)

That does look like a Georgia Tech tie, doesn't it? (AP photo)

Kelly Quinlan of JacketsOnline.com has identified Anthony Grant of Alabama as a possibility to come coach Georgia Tech. You’ll have noted that I didn’t include Grant on my (slightly redrawn) short list of names for the Jackets, and I didn’t for a simple reason: I don’t think he’d take the job.

When Georgia had an opening in 2009, Grant wasn’t just on my list: He was my first choice. And, being human, I did note that Grant, who wound up in Tuscaloosa, went 2-0 against Mark Fox, who wound up in Athens, this March. (Not that Fox wasn’t a good hire — he was.) I like everything about Grant: His history as a Florida assistant; his record at VCU and now the way he has taken a not-terribly-talented Tide team and taught it to defend.

If Dan Radakovich could land Grant, I’d say call off the search and have the press conference tomorrow. But I’m afraid what happened with Georgia in 2009 could happen to Tech. The Jackets will make a pitch to a hot guy at a big school, and he’ll wind up getting a fat raise to remain at said big school.

You’ll recall that Evans, then Georgia’s athletic director, pursued Jeff Capel of Oklahoma and Mike Anderson of Missouri, each of whom had taken his team to the Elite Eight. It was believed Evans thought he’d persuaded Anderson to take the Georgia job, whereupon Missouri announced he’d signed a contract extension. Three days later, after flirtations with Oliver Purnell of Clemson and Frank Haith — Frank Haith? — of Miami, Evans hired Fox.

As it happened, Georgia got lucky Capel didn’t succumb to its siren song. Oklahoma fired him Monday. Anderson has kept on winning, and now he is — depending on whom you believe — either the only choice to succeed John Pelphrey at Arkansas or the last man the Razorbacks should hire. (Some believe Anderson’s ties to Nolan Richardson, who’s still bitter over being forced out in Fayetteville, will cause Arkansas to look elsewhere.

Back to Grant: Alabama is a school that has never been afraid to get excited about basketball. C.M. Newton and Wimp Sanderson had superb teams there, and even Mark Gottfried had a couple. Tide administration has every reason to think Grant will lift this program onto the SEC’s top shelf, and Alabama surely has more money to throw at Grant — who’s already making $1.83 million per season, or half a million more than Paul Hewitt was earning — than Tech could.

And that’s why Grant wasn’t on my dumb little list. (I nixed Anderson for the same reason.) I don’t see Tech as being able to pay $2 million per annum for a new basketball coach. (For comparative purposes, Paul Johnson makes $2.3 million.) If I’m wrong and Grant winds up wearing a gold tie, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. He’d be a great get. I’m just not sure he’s gettable.

By Mark Bradley

320 comments Add your comment

juvenal

March 15th, 2011
9:04 am

juvenal

March 15th, 2011
9:05 am

more name on the list…guess i’ll have to renew after all……….

Mark Bradley

March 15th, 2011
9:09 am

Kudos, juvenal.

Jesse Stone

March 15th, 2011
9:15 am

capel getting canned = one more Coach K disciple that didn’t make it. We don’t need Duke assistant du jour. They have all the success of Belichek assistants

42-34 Dawgs Still Run This state

March 15th, 2011
9:19 am

Agree Mark that Bama wouldn’t let Grant go. tech will have to look more mid to bottom tier, which is in line with where their lousy program is at.

goldwreck

March 15th, 2011
9:19 am

Grant is not the answer.

chewyandrw

March 15th, 2011
9:19 am

Bradley, why not Pelphrey? His teams work hard, he has a winning record, and knows the South. I know its hard to get a fanbase excited about someone who just got fired but I wanna hear your thoughts.

Mark Bradley

March 15th, 2011
9:20 am

I wouldn’t touch John Pelphrey. And Georgia Tech won’t.

Paul B.

March 15th, 2011
9:22 am

Per Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News, Mr. Grant will be staying at Bama. Hope he’s right, he’s an amazing coach and we don’t wanna lose him anytime soon.

Basketball is LAME.

March 15th, 2011
9:24 am

Save the $$$ on a Paul Johnson raise— or better yet, use it to hire a defensive coordinator who’s serious, and not in semi-retirement.

We Want Mark Price

March 15th, 2011
9:25 am

As an alumni contributing a significant amount of money to GT athletics, I demand that we offer a former player and none would be better than Mark Price.

Coach Paul Johnson is the new sheriff in town on the gridiron and Coach Mark Price (I LOVE the sound of that!) would be the new sheriff of the hardwoods.

Goldenrod

March 15th, 2011
9:26 am

CPJ is the new sheriff in town? Wait, what? He has lost two out of three to the leghumpers!

Charles

March 15th, 2011
9:28 am

Grant may want out at Bama if Tech can just match his salary. Young, sharp black man living amongst the bammers with a chance to move to Atlanta and the ACC. Don’t sleep on this one. He’ll listen.

Gordon

March 15th, 2011
9:30 am

Maybe it isn’t all about money. Maybe Grant doesn’t want to be second-fiddle his whole career at a football school in a football conference.

The basketball court is already named for Cremins, but if Anthony Grant comes to Tech we’ll name the football field after him.

Dink

March 15th, 2011
9:33 am

Ahh, C.M. Newton, a really good and underrated coach. His Tide team with Leon Douglas and T.R. Dunn had the great, ‘76 Hoosier team of Scott May and Kent Benson on the ropes until falling late. One of my all-time favorite tourney games.

Mark Bradley

March 15th, 2011
9:33 am

Ho, ho. Gordon made me laugh.

juvenal

March 15th, 2011
9:33 am

funny, Gordon…..

Mark Bradley

March 15th, 2011
9:34 am

Alabama fans will never forget the block/charge that went Kent Benson’s way (and against Leon Douglas).

TechDan

March 15th, 2011
9:39 am

Never mind the fact that A) there is a contingency fund to help pay for firing a coach and B) WE GET A $6 MILLION A YEAR INCREASE FROM THE NEW ACC TV CONTRACT!

Stop asking about money. We have plenty.

woebegong

March 15th, 2011
9:42 am

The ACC is a football conference. That is a stretch. The ACC has been whipping peoples butts for years all over the country in Basketball. I would think the SEC is to football, what the ACC is to basketball. Tech. can get a good BB coach because they have been in the past, a darn good BB school. It will be hard for tech. to ever be routinely successful in football, like UGA is. Academics, size and such will prevent that. In BB, with the talent locally right in Atlanta alone, you should and could be a beast with the right coach.

Americus Jacket

March 15th, 2011
9:42 am

As also someone who contributes to the Athletic Association, I DEMAND that other contributors who demand that they be part of the decision be ignored. I loved Mark Price — I feel he was the player who defined our early success in the ACC. But as head coach? I think we need someone who is working now.

I have written in earlier posts that I think Craig Neal would be the alum who I would hope they hire, but what do I know? The bottom line: I trust DRAD, and whomever he hires, I will support that coach. I will continue to support Tech, and I will never ask for “quid pro quo” on these donations.

That said, I really hope we find someone fresh and new who we don’t have to pay a wheel barrow full of money to come to Tech. Just find someone hungry, who knows how to coach, and will love Tech as much as me. That’s not asking too much, right?

DScottGT91

March 15th, 2011
9:45 am

We have to be realistic, and I don’t think Grant is a realistic potential hire. He is worth a phone call, but not a serious investment of time/resources beyond that.

What about Mark Price makes you think he will be such a huge success? I mean, I love the guy as a scrapper and a shooting technician. But do you think GT should hire someone with NO collegiate head coaching experience? If that answer is yes, take it one level deeper – should GT hire someone with only 1 year of experience as an assistant at the college level? Because, if I have my facts right (and feel free to correct me in they aren’t – I just looked on wikipedia) that is what Mark Price brings to the table. I personally don’t think his “consulting” duties with various NBA teams will mean much in terms of his ability to coach on the college level.

But maybe I am wrong. How many former players have succeeded coaching at their alma maters in the last 20 years? If it is a significant list, maybe I will re-think things…..

MatthewH

March 15th, 2011
9:46 am

I still llike your suggestion of Chris Mooney of Richmond. He’s goona be a hot commodity especially after his team beats Vanderbilt.

Americus Jacket

March 15th, 2011
9:47 am

While we’re on basketball, my favorite Bobby Cremins moment: We had just beat Depaul at the end — when Depaul was still someone to be proud to beat. Joey Myers was the coach, and when the handshake at the end of the game happened, Cremins gave Myers a big bear hug. Myers look of surprise and disgust tickles me every time I thought about it. I loved Cremins and his enthusiasm. I hope we will get someone who has that in him.

DScottGT91

March 15th, 2011
9:50 am

By the way, I DO really like the idea of Craig Neal…..

Reason

March 15th, 2011
9:52 am

Don’t Think Grant will come maybe UAB coach Mike Davis will.

T3

March 15th, 2011
9:53 am

Again…

GT’s TOP candidate is STILL not on anyone’s list.

It will shock everyone !!

Delbert D.

March 15th, 2011
9:55 am

Capel had dismal results the past 2 years, plus a play-for-pay scandal. (from Wikipedia).

BSmith

March 15th, 2011
9:57 am

Reason #1, and the only reason, that Anthony Grant did not get the UGA job is that he was not even interviewed. UGA hired a search firm to narrow the field for the 2009 search, a search which just so happened to be lead by Fox’s agent. While Fox is building a solid program in Athens, Grant has real momentum behind his program in Tuscaloosa. If GT is able to land Grant, watch out because this is the man whose recruiting and defensive intensity were critical in building the Florida basketball program.

Americus Jacket

March 15th, 2011
10:01 am

I would agree that hiring alumni is usually a horrible idea. But when you’ve gone from the hottest ticket in town to a place better for cricket sounds than basketball, I think you need to consider it. Would Coach K be successful at Army? (I think that’s where he went.) And the only football coach at Tech I have ever hated? Curry. And even though he jumped ship after a good season, many wanted him to become the AD. Yes, it can be messy.

So unless God comes to DRAD in a dream to tell him, the choice for head coach is going to be a crap shoot long term. I was in love with Hewitt after a couple of seasons, and apparently so was the Athletic Department. But we saw how that turned out.

My only request from my Tech brethren is to support whomever is named. I will say this: Support from the alumni and fans will only help make the coach a success.

O-me

March 15th, 2011
10:01 am

If GT could land Grant…the new dome would be full all the time. Just saying get him and they will come.
Still like Mooney ……

Hewitt Fan

March 15th, 2011
10:03 am

@Mark,

you are the main reason why GT will have a hard time landing a coach!

Tech Guy

March 15th, 2011
10:04 am

Tech is taking on a huge debt to renovate the basketball coliseum and has to pay Hewitt over $7million. They will not be able to afford a proven coach. They will hire someone who is deemed to have potential but who will not require a big salary. If that coach is successful, we’ll be looking for a new coach in three years.

ha-ha

March 15th, 2011
10:04 am

T3 stop the BS

ha-ha

March 15th, 2011
10:06 am

Hewitt lover…Mark is just doing his job. Any Coach that wouldn’t come because of Mark we don’t need. Do your damn job and Mark will support you.

Chuck

March 15th, 2011
10:07 am

How bout that coach with only consonants in his last name?

Worm

March 15th, 2011
10:08 am

The Big East is getting most of the players in the ACC talent pool area..They can stay closer to home and be iin a BETTER conference..ACC lived for years in New York,DC,Baltimore-No more.

4 ncs are better than 1

March 15th, 2011
10:09 am

Rumor has it Grant is VERY interested in GT and would love to come. GT is a very proud BB program with a rich tradition. It has been proven over and over that the top talent loves GT. GT is in the ACC and has put MANY players in the NBA. Even under Hewitt, GT played for the NC. He turned down ugag because, well, it’s exactly that, UGAG. Just wait until Felton’s 2 first rounders bolt. But at least you got your once-every-decade invite out of it, by the skin of your teeth!

Delbert D.

March 15th, 2011
10:13 am

How about Shaka Smart of VCU? He coached under Billy Donovan and Oliver Purnell, plus 3 years at Akron. Young guy (33) and supposedly a great recruiter. 27-9 and won the NIT his first year (2009-2010.) 23-11 this year, beating Wake Forest, UCLA in regular season. Beat Drexel and Old Dominion in CAA tournament, losing to George Mason in final.

Very intelligent guy; Graduated Magna Cum Laude and also has a Master’s degree.

Chuck Sheen

March 15th, 2011
10:20 am

Rumor does have it he is quite interested. Also has the style of play that fits Royal’s game. Shump would stay as well. I could see his first year being an at large tourney bid and a top 4/5 finish in the ACC. Would electrify the fanbase again…

Jacketbacker

March 15th, 2011
10:21 am

I’m just glad we will soon have our basketball team back.

Go Jackets!!

Jacketbacker

March 15th, 2011
10:23 am

Alum with the big bucks and infuence will never go for a coach named Shaka?? Are you kidding me??

T3

March 15th, 2011
10:23 am

GT just spent $52 million to get a new facility.

GT then spent another $7 million in order to get a new guy.

At this point, I really dont see GT “skimping” on a B-Ball coaching salary.

Thats why I think D-Rad will “shoot for the stars”
and aim for a “big name” coach who can be here for 10 years.

Based on what D-Rad said, it looks likely its someone in the tournament.

Its just my calcluated guess, but I beleive there’s primarily one guy that fits that mold.

We’ll know it 2+ weeks.

UGASlobberknocker

March 15th, 2011
10:27 am

If Tech hires the coach at Richmond …They will win the NCAA Fan Snoozer Award by default.

Football…They’ve got the CPJ wishbone thing going ..nothing like watching 65 running plays out of 70 total to charge up the fan base. Boring even if they win. Skill position recruits hate it.

Basketball–Princeton offense..Wow . Why don’t we just bring back the 4 corners and eliminate the shot clock.? Get back to those classic 22-20 ACC games in the early 70s. If Tech hires the Richmond coach,every game will be 41-40. Top Recruits would rather go to BYU than to play in an offense where you walk it up every time.

one word: FAN-TASTIC

GT hulk

March 15th, 2011
10:27 am

Dear Basketball is Lame, I agree with you about a defensive coordinator, Groh is “too” old for these young kids.

RattlerGator

March 15th, 2011
10:28 am

Although they probably won’t be this bold, this is the move Georgia Tech needs to make. It would be controversial, but it would generate great interest, and — most importantly — it would have great promise to get recruits and win basketball games.

Rick Pitino Jr. down at UF.

He has worked at Northeastern University, Duquesne University, Louisville with his father, and now down at U.F. with Billy Donovan. It’s a bold gamble, true, but that’s what Tech needs and he can probably be had for a relatively inexpensive salary.

Dawg-Hatin' Jacket

March 15th, 2011
10:29 am

This should be real easy…Chris Mooney

UGASlobberknocker

March 15th, 2011
10:29 am

just entered my Fiasco…I’m the idiot with UGA in the Final 4. Beat Wash, beat NC, beat Xavier who we already have played and can beat, then beat Ohio State who I think is overrated. Its a no brainer.

OK ..going to take my meds now.

who cares

March 15th, 2011
10:30 am

GREAT IDEA TO WHO? Yesterday, you were pushing somebody else. Guess this is your pick of the day and we will be hearing about another one tommorow as well as Thursday and Friday.

I didn’t know you were on the committee to hire the next coach. Doubt if DRAD and company really needs your input.

Home cookin

March 15th, 2011
10:35 am

Mark,

What about your boy Dean Keener? I know he’d love a shot at it.