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Was Brad Stevens Almost Hired At OSU?



Photo Attribution: US Presswire

Photo Attribution: US Presswire

Hold on…I’ll wait…you’re still crumpled over your keyboard…waiting…OK…let’s take a look.

Yesterday on the Sports Animal (a bastion of intelligent sports coverage, I know) Doug Gottlieb talked with Jim Traber and J.D. Runnels. He had this to say about the Stevens/OSU thing…

Incredibly, in the year 2012, the Sports Animal doesn’t have a clip of the interview but I had more than one person text/call me to confirm that this is pretty much how the conversation went down.

Gottlieb went on to say that he told Holder he wasn’t sure if Stevens could recruit in Big 12 country and eventually Holder decided to go in a different direction anyway.

First of all, it’s interesting to me that Holder consults Gottlieb on things like coaching decisions. Smart (because Douggy is well-connected) but not expected from an egomaniac like Holder.

Also, and @carsonc5 mentioned this to me, Holder would have been crucified if he’d hired Stevens — a mid-major coach who, to that point, only had one season of Butlermania under his belt. It was a 30-4 season in which Butler lost to Tennessee in the second round, but still.

And before you say “oh he’s turned down bigger programs than OSU, he never would have come here.” Consider this:

Lastly, I go weak in the knees to think of the things Stevens could do with Marcus Smart (he’s like a multimillionaire’s Ronald Nored). OSU will never land Bill Self, but Stevens would have easily been the next best thing.

And in case you weren’t depressed enough, here are Ford and Stevens’ records since Ford was hired at OSU…

Stevens: 117-38 (three tourneys, two title games)
Ford: 88-56 (two tourneys)

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