BLOOMINGTON – It was a long day and a good day for Rick Greenspan.
Shortly after a plane carrying new IU basketball coach Tom Crean landed at Monroe County Airport Tuesday night at approximately 10:30 p.m., IU's athletic director exited the hangar and headed to his awaiting car. He was visibly worn down from a highly-scrutinized search for IU's next basketball coach, but clearly excited about the man he's found.
"I'm tired and good," Greenspan said. "We have a visitor coming to see us tomorrow, and we're pretty happy about it."
That visitor is Crean, who will be introduced as IU's new basketball coach Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Hoosier Room in Memorial Stadium.
Crean comes to Bloomington with impressive credentials. He compiled a 190-96 record in nine years at Marquette, including a trip to the 2003 Final Four. His teams earned five NCAA invites in all, including one in each of the past three seasons.
"You look at his record, where he's been, who he's worked with – Tom Izzo, Ralph Willard," Greenspan said. "A lot of success with Marquette, paid his dues, a lot of experience, still a young coach, phenomenal motor, great energy. He's a good fit for us, and a good fit for the Big Ten."
He's also a hire that has excited IU fans. The morale had dipped dramatically in recent weeks following the team's late-season plunge, the de-commitments of recruits Devin Ebanks and Terrell Holloway, and the dismissal of players Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett.
But that changed quickly Tuesday when word first leaked about Crean's decision to come to Bloomington.
It had to be a satisfying moment for Greenspan, who has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as IU has been going through the search process. He was the center of attention again Tuesday night when he talked to a handful of reporters gathered at the airport, but all that changed when a car carrying Crean exited the hangar. Most of the reporters left Greenspan to try to catch Crean before he headed to his hotel in downtown Bloomington.
"You guys don't even like me – you take off," quipped Greenspan. "What the heck is this?"
But all joking aside, Greenspan is clearly excited about the man he's selected to take over his basketball program.
"He has a great motor, he's a great recruiter, he has a great history," said Greenspan. "He's turned over some terrific players and he's developed some terrific players. His teams play hard and play well and kids graduate and do the kind of things they should do."
Greenspan Talks About Crean Hire
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