Rival Views: Which program made the best long-term hire?
As the college coaching carousel begins to wind down, it makes sense to take a look back at the various hires made in recent weeks. Today, we examine which program made the best long-term hire. As usual, National Basketball Analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans have Rival views.
BOSSI'S BEST: What does it take to build a champion?
BOSSI'S VIEW: UCONN AND DAN HURLEY
As is always the case with the annual coaching carousel there were some great hires and there were some dubious ones. For my money, though, Connecticut made the best hire for the long-term success of its program with Dan Hurley.
The UConn job probably never gets the credit it deserves nationally but it is a great job with resources, fans, history and now another potentially great coach in Hurley. The program is in need of a rebuild and Hurley has proven he can do that every step of the way. He did so as a high school coach at St. Benedict's in New Jersey and he's done so as a college coach during stops at Wagner and Rhode Island.
Could there be some worries about the NCAA's investigation of the Huskies that may hamper him? Of course, but word on the street is that any violations are likely minimal and Hurley is too smart a guy to take that job without assurances that they aren't facing major trouble.
Hurley can recruit - two Rivals150 players in his 2018 Rhode Island class - he can coach and he's got the strong personality needed to be successful. That's why I like his hiring at UConn the best.
EVANS' VIEW: PITT AND JEFF CAPEL
Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke had her back against the wall after missing out on top coaching target Dan Hurley, but she ultimately came up with a home run hire that brought Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel on a seven-year deal.
Capel is arguably the greatest assistant coach recruiter of the one-and-done era and was Duke's lead recruiter for Justice Winslow, Brandon Ingram, Jahlil Okafor, Marvin Bagley III and R.J. Barrett. Will he be able to land such blue-chip prospects at Pitt? Not immediately, but he should be able to engineer a thorough roster turnaround in time.
Capel found success at VCU and, early in his tenure, Oklahoma. Pitt's program is the lowest it's been in decades but Capel is more than capable of bringing the Panthers back.
Lyke's tenure will largely be defined by Capel's successes or failures with the Panthers, but the second-year athletic director won this year's coaching carousel and kick-started a Capel-led revitalization.