Sometimes the simplest of statements are the most profound and that's what we got out of the Northwestern Athletic Department as they announced the firing of Bill Carmody as their men's head basketball coach.
Northwestern University Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips has announced that Bill Carmody will not return as the head coach of the Wildcats' men's basketball program.
And with that statement, gone is the 2nd longest tenured coach in he Big Ten. That honor will now belong to Bo Ryan of Wisconsin.
Carmody spent 13 years at the helm in Evanston, compiling a 192-210 record, but a disappointing 13-19 campaign this season (due to injuries and a lack of quality depth), sealed his fate.
Why the change? Well, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, this is why:
AD Jim Phillips: "We needed a different voice, a new leader, a change in order to ultimately accomplish our goals." #northwestern
— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) March 16, 2013
Sure, at most Big Ten schools that kind of record wouldn't get you 13 years at the helm of a program, but this is Northwestern we're talking about. Any postseason tournament before Carmody got to Evanston was a miracle. They haven't won a Big Ten title since back in 1933.
You could also say this team took a step back in terms of post-season play after failing to even make the NIT tournament, something they did in their previous five seasons prior to 2012-13.
All of that points to change being needed if you ask me. At some point you are who you are and it clearly wasn't going to be changing anytime soon, especially not to an AD that is more aggressive in his approach now that he is into his 5th season in Evanston himself.
Northwestern has hired Parker Executive search firm to lead the search for the next head coach of the Wildcats. What will be interesting to see is what happens to this roster come next season.
No doubt that Jim Phillips is looking at the likes of Duke, Stanford and even his own football program as prime examples that you can be competitive despite strict academic standards and its true. You can win – hell, look at Harvard (not withstanding their own scandal once at Harvard) – who found ways to win on a national stage with Tommy Amaker and without athletic scholarships as well.
It can be done and while this season had it's share of harsher moments out of the control of Carmody the totality of his 13 years says it was time to go.
Speculation is already swirling around some names to be looking for, and the Chicago Tribune did a great job of breaking it all down for us, so I recommend checking out their video here.