USFs hiring of Orlando Antigua is the right move
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The media melee that engulfed the search for USF's new head basketball coach left me at a crossroads as I decided the topics I should cover in this piece.
Should I begin with the Steve Masiello escapade? Maybe UNLV Head Coach Dave Rice's matador-like illusion of our beloved Bulls?
How about the horrifying tale that left 15-year old Orlando 'Hurricane' Antigua with a bullet lodged in his skull? Antigua's 4.75m five-year deal despite never being a head coach… The answer to all of the above is a resounding 'Nope'!
Instead, I have elected to share my thoughts on USF's newbies and why I believe Mark Harlan's first hire was a magnificent one.
Harlan found a coach that embodies the passion, work ethic and drive required in a leader planning the
Resurrection of a squad that finished 12-20 just two-years removed from a NCAA Tournament appearance.
Back to the glory days of Jim Leavitt and Big East dominance... And dare I mention the pure joy of Stan Heath's 2012 March Madness run? The man who has spent six-years by the side the great John Calipari knows how to win.
Not only is Antigua a role model for young men across the nation, he possesses the 'I've been to the ship' confidence of a humble, true-blue winner.
Harlan was a bold hire by the University of South Florida as well, especially given some of the circumstantial critiques like this one from his days at UCLA.
I found the article troubling, namely the allegations of deceit and lack of concern for the opinion of the student body. That being said, Harlan is a proven leader and sustained success throughout his career.
Harlan must own his self-proclaimed mantra 'No Excuses' if our beloved Bulls have any shot of regaining a piece of the national spotlight.
I know what you're thinking; Antigua was not the first choice. Hell, we aren't even sure if Antigua was the fourth or fifth choice on the list that cost USF at least $60k. The real question is: does any of this stuff actually matter?
The answer is a resounding No! Like Harlan's self-proclaimed mantra, Bull Nation will accept #NoExcuses. I want to remind all of you where we started:
ESPN's Dick Vitale once described USF men's basketball as "the hardest job in America'' because of the
facilities and the program's history, with only three NCAA tournament bids in 43 seasons." I for one believe Antigua brings all the characteristics needed to make South Florida Basketball a name all fans
must consider while filing out tournament brackets once again.