A Change At The Helm Necessary?

For a coach to stay at a program for 10+ years, he or she should have achieved a certain amount of success.

Yes, Coach Gottfried has won a regular season SEC title in 2002, and got a tough Alabama team to the Elite Eight in 2003. (Don’t forget the multiple trips to the NCAA Tournament under his belt) But, what else can he hang his hat on? Does he have a winning SEC record? After Saturday, Mark Gottfried’s conference record sits at .500. How many winning seasons in conference play does Gottfried have? One more loss and it would leave Mark Gottfried sitting at 3 out of 10 years with winning SEC records.

Unfortunately, we have to start talking about this topic more and more as the season decline continues. What makes it worse is the fact that we can’t attribute this fall to a single fault in play. When the defense is playing well, we can’t hit any free throws. When we have a high shooting percentage, the other team scores on us like it is going out of style. Week to week, game to game, things just don’t seem to be working for this Alabama team.

Some would argue that it should be put on the players since a handful of them can’t tell the difference between a good shot and a poor shot. My question to them would be if the player isn’t changing his shot selection, does this mean the player is under-performing, or is the coach under-performing? To me, the answer is pretty clear.

Alabama fans are not demanding Final Fours and National Championships for our basketball program. All we want is to compete in the SEC, win the SEC West occasionally, and make it to the NCAA tournament more times that not. We’d love an SEC tournament title, and would jump for joy if we made it to the Final Four. But, we’ll always appreciate an exciting coach that can compete with the best in conference, and even nationally when possible.

Right now, I really don’t know what to do with Mark Gottfried. I’ll always want good things for for a member of the Alabama alumni base, but I also want this program to come back from the bottom of the SEC standings. Can this be achieved with Mark Gottfried, or does his time in Tuscaloosa need to come to an end? Can this decline be attributed to injuries/illnesses, or should Gottfried receive a majority of the blame? I’d love to hear what you have to say on this issue.

If it does come time for Mark to leave, I would prefer him taking a job somewhere else before we had to fire him. It would be better for both sides, leaving Mark without that scarlet letter of “F”ired on his forehead, and Alabama with the relief of not having to fire a loyal Alabama man. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see….


2 Responses to “A Change At The Helm Necessary?”

  1. will Says:

    Every defender of Gottfried always brings up the SEC (regular-season) title in ’02, and the Elite 8 trip in ’04. Note that the SEC (regular-season) title resulted in a second-round exit from the NCAAs, and the team that made the Elite 8 snuck into the Dance (with more than one person questioning whether Gottfried would be fired going into that round) and made it to the Elite 8 because they got hot from 3-point range (and also, they nearly got knocked out in the first round before Antoine Pettway saved everything). All that to say that he gets wayyy too much credit and shouldn’t be retained on the strength of those two things alone.
    Here’s where he should get credit: he took a program in disarray — and really, you had to be there in ’99 and ’00, when Coleman was dead, when students were staying away in droves, when the best player on the floor for ‘Bama was a big white dude with a crew cut — and made it into one that matters. It’s not great, but it does matter.
    However, in the opinion of the DP, Gottfried peaked as a head coach during the 2006 season (when Chuck Davis got hurt and he led an average team to the NCAAs improbably). Much like Mike Shula, I think he’s a good coach and a nice guy, but you’ll never be much better than average with him. And hey, at Alabama, maybe that’s good enough.
    Is that good enough, TD?


  2. TideDruid Says:

    That’ll do Will. That’ll do

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