Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Glass Expects Lynch To Coach at IU For “Long, Long Time”

Fred Glass is a Bill Lynch fan. Understand that. The Indiana athletic director wants Lynch to succeed. In fact, he expects it. He says, when the time is right, he will sign Lynch to the kind of long-time deal that will squelch all this fan grumbling about getting a new coach.

Wait. Let’s qualify a few things. No deal will squelch all the grumbling. Some fans just don’t like Lynch, but they probably have never met Lynch. To know him is to like him. He is personable and passionate and carrying. He is, in so many ways, the perfect coach for Indiana.

Of course, the big qualifier is Lynch has to win. As everybody knows, a three-year record of 14-23 –- 7-17 in the last two years -– isn’t good enough. This is why Glass is committed to honoring the final two years of Lynch’s contract, but not to extending it.

Yes, that’s a potential recruiting problem, but that doesn’t explain why the Hoosiers are having one of their best recruiting efforts in decades. They already have 21 oral commitments, four more than any other Big Ten team. They have two four-star players and 11 three-star guys.

Yes, Glass has noticed.

“I don’t think the current longevity of his contract has hurt his recruiting,” Glass said. “We’ve had the best class that we’ve had in a long time going back beyond Bill’s tenure.”

Glass is high on Lynch’s approach to redshirting freshmen (only six true freshmen have played in the last three seasons), developing players, recruiting and commitment to academics.

Still, winning is crucial, although Glass refused to give a specific number of victories to ensure Lynch gets an extension.

“I want improvement,” Glass said. “I will subjectively evaluate success. I’m very adverse to setting litmus tests because I think that’s a cop out. That’s what administrators do when they want a safe harbor to say, ‘Well, I’ll put this on automatic pilot. If you hit this, you’re in. If not, you’re out.’ I think that’s dangerous.

“We’ll look at everything. We’ll look at recruiting. We’ll look at retention. We’ll look at progress. We’ll look at wins and losses.

“I’m not a goof. I know that wins and losses matter. They matter a lot to me. They matter a lot to Bill Lynch. But I’m not going to defer to a (number) to make a judgment solely on that.”

Glass fired soccer coach Mike Freitag last year not so much because of the won-loss record but because he didn’t like the direction the program was headed. He doesn’t have that problem with Lynch.

So if the Hoosiers play to their talent and not their defensive experience, if they learn to finish (a big theme in preseason camp that starts Friday), some other school will have coaching uncertainty (can you say Michigan?).

Lynch will have an extension.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. Wins and losses are a very noisy way to look at performance. Signs of improvement are obvious in terms of recruiting. The pistol offense and 3-4 defense gives IU a competitive advantage. Plus, the redshirting strategy will pay off in the long-term. I just hope Coach Lynch is around when the players in the 2011 class are 5th-year seniors.