Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reported Tuesday that Alabama is poised to make a big run at Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall when the Shockers’ season is over. Parrish says the school has no other candidates on its wish list and will offer Marshall “in excess of $3 million per year.”
Here’s more from Parrish:
The sources said Alabama’s administration is determined, one way or another, to make a big hire to replace Anthony Grant in response to Auburn employing Bruce Pearl last March, and Marshall is essentially alone atop the wish-list. Alabama cannot offer Marshall great basketball tradition, school officials understand. But one source said they plan to pitch “piles of money, an athletic department with a culture of winning and every resource he needs to compete with anybody on a national level.” It’s possible football coach Nick Saban could eventually be involved in what would amount to a high-profile recruitment.
“Alabama is gonna go big,” one source said.
Here’s the thing: Unless Marshall really needs the money — and he’s already making plenty of it in Wichita — he should politely decline, just as he’s done after UCLA, North Carolina State, Missouri, California and Tennessee came calling in the past.
There are numerous reasons why.
Wichita State is a better program
Marshall took the Shockers to the Final Four in 2013 and had an undefeated regular season in 2013-14. Now he has Wichita State back in the Sweet 16 after it beat in-state bully Kansas in this year’s round of 32. There is no better time to be a Wichita State fan. Compare that with Alabama, which was a regular NCAA tournament qualifier in the 1980s under Wimp Sanderson but has since been more or less a non-entity. In the 23 seasons since Sanderson resigned in 1992, the Crimson Tide has made the NCAA tournament just eight times and advanced past the tournament’s first weekend just once, and Alabama has just one NCAA tournament appearance in its last nine seasons. That’s a sad, unacceptable success rate for a power-conference program.
Saban casts a huge shadow
Yes, it’s probably pretty nice that Alabama can trot out football coach Nick Saban during the wooing process. But then you take the job and realize, “No one here is paying any attention at all to me.” At Alabama, basketball is a pleasant diversion between the bowl game and spring practice. Wichita State hasn’t fielded a football team since 1986. Basketball is king.
Marshall makes plenty of money at Wichita State
He’s going to make a base salary of $1.8 million this season, plus bonuses for on-court and academic achievement. He lives on a golf course. “We live well in Wichita. We love Wichita. Everything is in place for us to be there for a long time,” he said in 2013, per the Wichita Eagle.
Better jobs will be out there soon
Mike Krzyzewski is 68 and isn’t going to coach forever at Duke. We already know that Jim Boeheim has, at most, three years left at Syracuse and may not get a chance to appoint Mike Hopkins as his coach-in-waiting. Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, John Beilein, Rick Pitino: All in their 60s.
Marshall is 52. He can wait for a better job than Alabama.