Georgia Tech’s new coach: Unsexy-yet-solid Brian Gregory

New man in town: B.G. of GT (AP photo)

Talkin' 'bout the new man in town: B.G. of GT (AP photo)

On Friday night Georgia Tech denied it had made an offer to Dayton’s Brian Gregory. By Monday morning Tech apparently had. The Dayton Daily News reports that Gregory has accepted the job.

And I know what you’re saying: This isn’t the sexy hire. This is actually the anti-sexy hire. Gregory is neither hot not particularly young. (He’s 44.) His teams haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2009. But sizzle is no longer the issue. The question now: Can the guy coach?

The answer: Yeah. He did good work — not great work, but good — at a mid-major that takes roundball very seriously. (Check back and you’ll note that the Dayton Flyers were the NCAA runners-up in 1966-67, Year 1 of Lew Alcindor’s reign at UCLA.) He learned under Tom Izzo, who’s among the very best, and his teams bear that signature Izzo toughness. This is not a terrible hire by any means.

Neither, it  must be said, is it a slam dunk. Gregory’s last Dayton team fell short of the NCAA tournament — it was beaten in the Atlantic 10 final by Chris Mooney’s Richmond — with a talented roster. Indeed, freshman point guard Juwan Staten had already announced he was leaving, owing to differences with Gregory. If you’re hearing sighs of “good riddance” regarding Gregory emanating from southern Ohio, there’s your reason. His last team was a relative dud. But it still went 22-14.

Gregory has a chance to make Tech a habitual winner, and that would be a departure. Not since 2005 have the Jackets had back-to-back winning seasons, which is the reason there was a job here for Gregory to take. He will bring a consistency that this program, for reasons unclear, had come to lack. Indeed, the greatest criticism of him in Dayton was that his teams played the same way all the time. After years of wild mood swings, that sort of sameness could become a blessing at the Flats.

Could the Jackets have waited on Gregg Marshall of Wichita State or even Shaka Smart of VCU? Sure, they could have. But there would have been no assurance either man would have taken this job, and to have gone deep into April without a coach would only have devalued Tech’s position. And clearly money was an issue; Tech could never have outbid North Carolina State or Oklahoma or Missouri for the last Hot Coach standing.

We’ll discuss this more as the day goes along, but for now it’s enough to say: Tech has a coach. He might not be the hottest or youngest coach around, but he’s a pro. And now the Jackets move forward.

By Mark Bradley

266 comments Add your comment

Buck Commander

March 28th, 2011
8:22 am

Monday Morning First!!

Rickster

March 28th, 2011
8:24 am

Dang! Second.

Rickster

March 28th, 2011
8:25 am

But I had a dream last night that MB had passed away. So I’m definitely glad that he’s here.

mrb

March 28th, 2011
8:29 am

Not sexy? Who cares, it’s basketball, not Victoria Secret!

Mark Bradley

March 28th, 2011
8:29 am

Kudos, Buck Commander.

Scary dream, Rickster.

GTT

March 28th, 2011
8:30 am

How is this different than Paul Hewitt?

CJ

March 28th, 2011
8:30 am

Please tell me he didn’t get a rollover contract

DawginLex

March 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Good solid hire. If he learned from Izzo, his teams will be more fundamentally sound than anythign seen at Tech since Whack or maybe even further back.

The thing I saw lacking from Tech that the teams in the NCAA’s had this year was toughness. Not so much physical but mental. Izzo is a master at that.

If he truly learned, you have yourself a good one.

Gordon

March 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Initial reaction is disappointment, but I’m sure I’ll warm up to him and he will get my full support. I do wonder why he was chosen over the Tulsa coach and Marshall wasn’t even given consideration.

GTT

March 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Gregory @ GT = Lon Kruger @ Hawks.

good work Mark

March 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Enter your comments here

sugarpikegang

March 28th, 2011
8:32 am

Go Jackets! Now, let’s get to business!

bigguy

March 28th, 2011
8:32 am

You woke me up to tell me that????

DBH

March 28th, 2011
8:34 am

Solid hire. But can he recruit? That’s the question.

jj

March 28th, 2011
8:34 am

Ask the Dayton fans are they sorry he is leaving? Enough said.

Walker, Texas Ranger

March 28th, 2011
8:35 am

We’ll probably look back on this hire like we did the hire of Mark Fox

Wow, Sexy

March 28th, 2011
8:36 am

So, this is a guy that Tech went into denial mode about on Friday, then settled for on Sunday night? Great vote of confidence. Is he getting a multi-year deal?

and

March 28th, 2011
8:37 am

Bet he does not use all his times-out early! If he really wants to make Tech fans feel good…hire a Tech guy as an assistant.

RomeDawg

March 28th, 2011
8:37 am

Not sexy is not the same as a bad hire! Wow! If I am a Tech fan I am left to wonder what happened. A VERY AVERAGE coach. Tech missed completely on this one. UGA hiring Fox doesn’t seem like such a bad hire anymore does it?

Vols/JacketsFan

March 28th, 2011
8:39 am

Vols get Counzo Martin, an up and coming sleeper coach, under an NCAA cloud and the best Tech can do is “solid” Gregory?

UGASlobberknocker

March 28th, 2011
8:40 am

Fox hire for Ga wasn’t that sexy of a hire and it is working out fine.

RomeDawg

March 28th, 2011
8:40 am

Also note that not one ACC school in the final 4 but there is a team from the weak SEC. Maybe the ACC and Tech don’t have the same basketball luster as yester year?

lanier

March 28th, 2011
8:40 am

hey he beat Ole Miss this year lol, anyway Tech is a football school or it used to be

Goldenrod

March 28th, 2011
8:41 am

Oh good lawd, first I wake up to thunder, lightning and torrential downpours and now I see D-Rad went out and hired a no-name loser. This sucks a nut.

al davis

March 28th, 2011
8:41 am

spider

March 28th, 2011
8:41 am

i hope he does a good job here, i will not run him into the ground until like some are till he has proven he cant do the job.

JW

March 28th, 2011
8:42 am

This recap of the Dayton season could have been written about us. Except we did not have 2 players transfer out. Goodbye Mr. Royal.

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?s=751 0dd8fd674378431187d7be7036b4e&t=17761

Gordon

March 28th, 2011
8:43 am

Well Mark, now we know why you were asking us last night how we would feel if Gregory was hired.

Let’s just admit it folks – GT isn’t the top 20 job we thought it was and the ACC isn’t the basketball conference we thought it was. Times change. Let’s just pull hard for our team and enjoy whatever success we have.

HelluvaEngineer

March 28th, 2011
8:43 am

Well said, MB. Definitely not a sexy hire, but orders of magnitude better than what we had. Let’s give him a shot and back the gym next year!

Mark Bradley

March 28th, 2011
8:44 am

Maybe they could have done better. But they sure could have done worse.

DHD

March 28th, 2011
8:44 am

They weren’t wanting to have sex. They needed a basketball coach. What’s up with these weird headlines lately? Just report the news.

spider

March 28th, 2011
8:45 am

at 8.45 ESPN.com does not show this yet, i wonder if it is because they figure GT to be a non story

shoulda just hired this guy

March 28th, 2011
8:45 am

Chris

March 28th, 2011
8:47 am

Everyone should read his resume before being too disappointed. This guy can coach. I like the hire, he’s proven. Averaged 20 wins a season, and WON the NIT last year.

al davis

March 28th, 2011
8:51 am

give paul johnson all the money and cancel the new arena

JW

March 28th, 2011
8:52 am

“That’s the reaction I had once the 2010-11 Flyer basketball season abruptly ended in Charleston, SC, with a first round exit in the NIT. The defending champs were out, the NCAA tourney hopes already vaporized, and the roller-coaster season finally over. But not before things went completely off the rails this week with the announced departures of Juwan Staten and Brandon Spearman, two recruiting coups in a freshmen class that were supposed to take UD to the proverbial next level. In some ways it was a fitting exclamation point to a season that seemed irreparable from the start. The chemistry was poor, the execution suspect, the game plans tired, and the patience of 13,000 fans completely used up. It was a season in need of a mercy killing, but the patient was left to suffer on the operating table until the bitter end. Why and how it went so wrong is the question we’re all asking.”

JIMBOB (aka James Robert)

March 28th, 2011
8:54 am

As an MPB sufferer, I must say that he has a remarkably nice head of hair. Sexy? Can’t say, but thumbs up on the coiffure.

wreckmaniac

March 28th, 2011
8:55 am

NC State is probably going after Smart and/or Stevens

Mark Bradley

March 28th, 2011
8:57 am

The word from Dayton is that the negativity there was getting to Gregory, who needed a fresh start. Well, he’ll get one.

peacengrits75

March 28th, 2011
8:58 am

Hmmmmm…. doesn’t exactly “ignite my fan base”
Is what it is… hopefully Price will get an offer as an assistant. That would be pretty cool. Rad even…

wreckmaniac

March 28th, 2011
8:59 am

I’ll warm up when I see a 10-6 conference season.

Mark Bradley

March 28th, 2011
9:00 am

I should probably note yet again that I had touted Gregory for the Georgia job in 2009, although Anthony Grant was my first choice. And I had him on both my Tech lists, meaning the February version and also the updated March installment. Though in the latter I called him “probably a fallback choice.”

Kareem

March 28th, 2011
9:01 am

Rome Dawg, we’ll see how your program does after Leslie, Thomkins, and Fox leave in the next month.

Jamaaliver

March 28th, 2011
9:02 am

FYI, he did win the NIT last season by beating UNC in madison Square Garden. So at least he can compete with the Roy Williamses of the world.

Rickster

March 28th, 2011
9:04 am

Final “Fiasco” tally:

Rickster: 122 points (Rank: 671)
Mark B: 74 points (Rank: 5,338)

After a performance like that… any demise of Mark Bradley would have been self-inflicted.

:-)

Bobby Cremins

March 28th, 2011
9:05 am

OMG Tech has hired Tom Bergeron as our new head basketball coach!

Mark Bradley

March 28th, 2011
9:05 am

Then again, Paul Hewitt won his last four games against Carolina.

Macon Jacket

March 28th, 2011
9:05 am

The key thing is we didn’t waste a lot of $$$ on some lame sport.

It will come in handy at the end of FB when we go shopping for defensive coordinator who understands you can run a 3-4 defense with undersized, unathletic nose tackles.

GT fan

March 28th, 2011
9:07 am

Prediction: Shaka Smart will be the next Paul Hewitt. Remember all the hype about Hewitt in 2004? Smart should take the big job somewhere after next Monday, or sign a “Hewitt-type” contract at VCU!

Macon Jacket

March 28th, 2011
9:07 am