There’s money to be had regarding women’s hoops in this area. Maybe not enough to buy a pad next to Bill Gates, but I always wondered why Washington was letting its women’s hoops program flounder when there’s an obvious base of fans in the area who would check the team out, if any good.
Those Mendiola years weren’t that long ago, you know.
Well, it appears athletic director Scott Woodward isn’t going to leave any money out there, putting a respectable deal on the table to lure a proven coach. I’m going to leave the massive discrepancy of former coach Tia Jackson’s deal versus the new one out because Woodward had nothing to do with it.
So, Woodward hired Kevin McGuff as its new women’s basketball coach today. The five-year deal worth $475,000 annually was finalized Saturday night, making McGuff, 41, the first male coach in UW’s 37-year history. He was previously the winningest coach in Xavier women’s hoops history, compiling a 214-73 record in nine seasons with six trips to the NCAA tournament.
Jackson, a first-time head coach, was signed to a five-year contract worth $180,000 base ($280,000 guaranteed) annually in 2007. She never posted a winning season, resigning March 14. She’ll be paid for the final year on her contract, however.
One of my followers on Twitter put the UW on blast for hiring a “White guy from the Midwest.” I have to laugh at the assumptions, hoping the first isn’t stating the only white women with Northwest ties can coach at Washington. But most of all I had to chuckle because there’s another successful white guy who’s also from Ohio in Storm coach Brian Agler. Think UW would fret at McGuff equaling Agler’s achievements on the NCAA level?
People had the same reaction when Agler was hired regarding reverse gender discrimination. Seeing how black women are treated, I should be on that trip, but I’d rather UW have a good coach to put a good product on the floor regardless of gender. McGuff is known to do that consistently, graduating potential WNBA first-round draft picks Ta’Shia Phillips and Amber Harris this year.
Xavier wasn’t even on the map when McGuff took the position. He’s since helped the Musketeers breakthrough their mid-major tag to be discussed annually. And that’s for a school in Cincinnati. Recruiting should be a little easier in Seattle.
A No. 2 seed, Xavier was eliminated by Louisville in the second round of the tournament this season. Following the loss, Woodward approached McGuff about the position in Cincinnati. Woodward spoke with other coaches, too, most notably Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves, who’s good friends with McGuff.
Washington, which only loses one senior, will hold a press conference on Tuesday to officially introduce McGuff. With his past ability to recruit, coach, and build passion among a fan base, McGuff appears to be a good pick to help the Huskies usher in the new Pac-12 conference.
*Photo credit: Kevin McGuff by The Associated Press