Dickerson to Clemson? Not Yet

It's time for the annual coaching carousel in college hoops, and one of the strong rumors has Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson looking to fill the head coaching spot at Clemson. Not so fast, everyone!

Dave Dickerson is one of the hot assistant coaches in the nation. He has played a major role in recruiting the talent that took Maryland to the last two Final Fours and a championship last season. He has earned an opportunity to run his own program, something that WILL happen sooner rather than later.

The pros and cons of the Clemson job are fairly obvious. A strong factor in favor of him taking that position would be his deep roots in South Carolina. Another pro would be the opportunity to coach in the ACC so early in his career.

The cons would include his lack of head coaching experience and the fact that Clemson has very little positive basketball tradition going for it. This is a program that has never been to the Final Four and has never even reached the championship game of the ACC Tournament (you know how strongly I feel about that).

It would be very tough for any coach with no prior experience to build a program nearly from scratch it one of the toughest conferences in the nation. I can't help but wonder if he, or any coach with his background, wouldn't be better off heading up a mid-major program for a while before jumping in to the big-time. Quinn Snyder and a handful of others have shown that a coach can succeed by skipping that step.

If it is possible to turn around the basketball program at a football school like Clemson, I would certainly give Dickerson a good chance at pulling it off.

What has bothered me about this story, however, is a column written in The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina yesterday by Ron Morris. In this piece, Morris extensively quotes Dickerson actively campaigning for the job. Here is the link to that column:


This struck me as totally out of character for Dickerson, who has always impressed me as a stand-up classy individual who would not focus on trying to advance his career while his current team was trying to defend the national championship. I contacted the Maryland athletic department, which released this quote from Dickerson "It has been my goal to be a head coach, and I am flattered to be mentioned when people discuss different openings. But right now my focus is on this team, this program, and helping Maryland defend our national championship." That is much more in line with what I would have expected.

I would personally hate to see Dickerson at Clemson because I would like to root for whatever team he winds up coaching without reservation. I would also like to see him have better odds on succeeding than he would trying to salvage the Tigers' program. However and whenever it happens, I am sure he will handle the pursuit of his new position and his departure from Maryland with professionalism and class. He won't be sniffing around and campaigning for a job like the writer from Columbia indicated.

Let me know what you think on the message board or by e-mail at terpwriter@aol.com.

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