If this was a blind resume comparison like we see during the Bubble Watch portion of the college basketball season, an Ivy League head coach who just led his team to their first ever first place finish being courted by an ACC program would naturally signal that a coaching change would soon ensue.
But in this case it's not that simple, and the fact that Tommy Amaker spurned the University of Miami for its still vacant head basketball coach position signals that Amaker has a good head on his shoulders.
Aptly distinguishing Harvard as a "great institution," Amaker formally declined an offer this afternoon to coach the Hurricanes for roughly $1.2 million over the next five seasons. This, in short, is the right decision, and not a missed opportunity. Because of "The "U's" athletic department and its fans non commitment to basketball, a move to South Beach would have brought ominous clouds and an inevitable resignation in two to three years.
After leaving Duke as a player and assistant for Coach K, Amaker left for Seton Hall and then Ann Arbor, leading us all to believe he would spread the gospel of his mentor and be build a once proud Michigan Wolverines program. Instead he went 108-84 (43-53 in the Big Ten) and never even sniffed the NCAA Tournament [although it should be noted that Michigan did win the NIT in 2004 and finished as its runner up in 2006].
That experince probably humbled Amaker, and knowing he can leave a real legacy at a school that loves to love people that leave legacies speaks volumes as to how far he's come as a head coach.
In just four years in Cambridge, Amaker has etched the program's two winningest seasons in its thick history books, and returning in 2011-2012 is the entire rotation from this season, including the Ivy League POY Keith Wright.
The Crimson will be the favorites to win the league next season, and once they likely cruise into their first NCAA Tournament next spring, maybe then can their head coach re-assess the coaching landscape and see what better offers come his way.