This was originally published in The Athletic.
It seems almost impossible that a dozen years have passed since Mick Cronin inherited a shell of a roster and a mess of a University of Cincinnati basketball program, given how often the circumstances that led to his taking over the Bearcats have been revisited.
Only 33 Division I head coaches have been in their current jobs longer than Cronin’s been at UC – a number that seems big, but isn’t. And as much as Bob Huggins’ 16 seasons in Clifton felt like an eternity, it’s not at all hard to imagine Mick’s tenure lasting longer.
UC’s head coach has established a few things in those 12 years. The Bearcats are going to play relentless defense. Mick is going to cajole his players and work the officials loudly and demonstratively. The name “Cincinnati” will appear on the screen on Selection Sunday. And unprompted or not, Mick Cronin will tell you what he thinks.
It’s what I like most about him.
To read my entire piece, go to The Athletic.