This was originally published in The Athletic.
You’re not required to believe that Athletic Director Mike Bohn made the right decision by hiring John Brannen to be the University of Cincinnati’s next men’s basketball coach. I won’t agree with you if you don’t, because based on what I know about Brannen and his track record while coaching at Northern Kentucky, I believe he’s both a deserving successor to Mick Cronin and a coach who’s capable of maintaining and improving upon the program’s recent successes.
You don’t have to feel satisfied with how the search for a new coach played out either. Maybe you wanted something a little more expansive and thorough, which might not have been the worst thing ever for a school that rarely has an opening for its highest-profile coaching position. But you won’t get me to go along with the idea that any possible Cronin replacement was owed an interview simply because of his ties to UC’s past. Nor will I take much issue with an athletic director having a certain kind of coach in mind when vetting potential candidates and whittling the list down without wasting his time talking with interested parties that have no real chance of getting the gig.
And you have no obligation to plead blind, unwavering faith in the new guy either. Think there’s someone else who would’ve been a better choice? OK. Believe that a coach with a bigger name, or possesssing a longer resume, or with deeper ties to the school would be a more ideal fit? I might not necessarily agree, but that’s fine.
But the moment we found out that Mick Cronin was departing for the west coast, my immediate thoughts were less about where Bohn would find his next coach or the nuts and bolts that would go into determining how successful he’d be, but more about how a regime change could maybe repair some of the long-standing fractures within and around the program.
Being a UC fan these last 13 years has meant being a part of a fan base that often seemed divided between folks that long ago determined that they were simply never going to accept, or even like, Mick Cronin, and the people who gradually grew weary of hearing about how, no matter how much the program and the team might be prospering, things just used to be so much better.
To read more, go to The Athletic.