Obviously the most obvious reason is that we want to keep our elite coach.
But there’s more to it than that. The other part of it is it’s another way of expressing ourselves as an elite program. It’s something that can be publicized that lists us with the big boys, the blue bloods. Just like having the high attendance, the huge arena, the whole enchilada.
Texas A&M qualifies as an elite football program, on par with Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State … based on their coach’s salary, according to this criteria. Or at least their fan base now gets to express themselves as such.
To me, winning is what allows you to express yourself as elite. When you have a great coach that is primarily responsible for the winning, you pay him/her whatever it takes to keep them, and care less about what others think of the salary.
I’m not meaning to instruct someone else how to “keep score”. To each their own, I suppose. I’m just saying, for me, that using coaches’ salaries as a reason to beat your chest as a fan (instead of winning, as the reason), sets you up to be ridiculed the same way that A&M fans are ridiculed when they crow about how they are now an elite football program.
Winning takes care of the salary issue. A coach wins enough and he will get paid… and the fans can then beat their chests all they want about the huge salary, all the while the winning is what really matters (and quietens the critics).
(Interesting that, for a brief time, John Calipari actually had a bigger salary than Phil Jackson, who had already won multiple titles at the time. Bulls fans probably laughed at any Nets fans that would even insinuate that they were “elite” based on the coach’s salary)
Isn’t it strange? Eric Mussleman has never been considered an elite coach. He has had job after job in the coaching world. I would bet 90% of our fan base did not know who he was prior to being hired at Arkansas. He is one excellent coach…so why did it take him so long to get recognized?
Relatively speaking, it didn’t take him that long to get recognized after he decided to go to the college game. His first year as a college assistant was in 2012-13. He was a head coach by 2015 and probably had good programs trying to hire him away from Nevada by the end of his third season.
I think his success speaks to the quality of coaches that are in professional basketball. It will be interesting to see if and how quickly Indiana can turn around after hiring an assistant away from the Knicks. Not every coach is equal in ability, but I tend to think anyone who brings a pro basketball coaching background to college is going to have a good chance at succeeding.
All starts with a very good AD who is “fair”, smart, has a keen eye for coaching talent. Proven he can run this show effectively.
AR already had everything else needed, fans, facilities, tradition. Just needed some HC’s that can prove themselves and get compensated appropriately & quickly.
I think also, Muss, his personality, and talents are better suited to the college game. It’s clear, due to his father, why he started in the professional leagues. If he had started a few years earlier in the college game, rather than staying in the NBA/professional game, he would probably be established as one of the top 5 college basketball coaches in the country.
However, he probably wouldn’t be at Arkansas now. Therefore, I’m really glad he took the exact route that got him this job at Arkansas.
I think the style he’s coaching now fits in the college game. He pushes players hard. Did he do that as an NBA coach? I couldn’t tell you. I never knew who he was until he was at Nevada, but I don’t watch anything NBA except the league title series.
Bottom line is that the top BB players want to play for the coach & program that will best enable them to play NBA. Muss appears to be one of a best coaches to evaluate & prepare top talent to achieve that level. So glad HY found Muss & that he will continue to be our BB coach.