Mike Bobinski officially took the plunge on Friday afternoon, firing head basketball coach Brian Gregory after five full seasons on The Flats. This is the first major move for Bobinski, who took over the reigns at Tech a few years back following the departure of Dan Radakovich to Clemson, and should provide the AD with a phenomenal opportunity to showcase the eye for basketball talent which likely played a large role in landing him the job in the first place. Everyone wishes that the Gregory era would have been more successful, but moving on is the right decision for the school and likely for Gregory himself. If nothing else, we can at least respect the way that coach Gregory ran a program: cleanly, respectably, and academically-focused. Best of luck to him at whichever school he lands at in the coming weeks.
In fact, Mike Bobinski is already handling the firing about as well as you can. He has said all the right things on every topic from budget to potential replacements, making many questioning onlookers much more comfortable with the situation. If you have any reservations about MBob's ability to hire a suitable basketball coach, drop them now. His basketball pedigree is beyond impressive; it's borderline unrivaled. After all, this is the man who hired three coaches during his Xavier tenure: Thad Matta, Sean Miller, and Chris Mack, all of whom are currently leading perennial tournament teams at Ohio State, Arizona, and Xavier, respectively. He knows exactly what he's doing, and the fact that he elected to move on at this moment tells me that the budget isn't as big an issue as we'd like to think. I can't wait to see the name he comes up with.
One potential candidate to replace Gregory, Tech legend Mark Price, wasted no time before revealing that he is not interested in taking over on The Flats. Price, who just concluded his first season as head coach of the Charlotte 49ers after spending some time as an assistant with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, was assumed by many to have been the frontrunner for the Tech job given his connections to Atlanta. Interestingly enough, Price was one of the candidates to interview for the job back in 2011 when it ultimately went to Brian Gregory. Apparently he just wasn't feeling sufficiently prepared or enticed this time around, possibly for the better. There is no real indication that Price would be a great head coach for Tech at this juncture; he didn't prove much at Charlotte this season considering that his team finished well below .500 in the Conference USA. At best, Tech likely would've had a solid enough coach to contend once in a while. At worst, the school would've been forced to burn a bridge with one of its most notable alumni after a failed and unnecessary experiment.
One fantastic bit of news regarding the timing of Gregory's firing is that the Tech job is almost unanimously regarded as the best-available in all of college basketball and figures to remain that way, at least for the time being. That statement was cemented over the weekend when Pittsburgh hired former Vandy coach Kevin Stallings to fill in for Jamie Dixon, who bolted for TCU after the season. The icing on the cake in that regard is that the Stallings hire was an atrocious decision by Pittsburgh; he was likely not even on Tech's radar. After all, this is a guy who couldn't muster a winning record in the SEC after 17 years. Good luck with the best conference in college basketball.
Who would you like to see replace Brian Gregory at Tech?