Coaches and age

Paterfamilias

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I was curious about the oldest coaches ever hired in the Big 10 and started doing a little research on sports-reference. It grew to the ACC because I didn't find a Big 10 hire older than mid-50's. While in the ACC, I found Jim Larranaga who was hired by Miami at the age of 61, so I asked Google if Larranaga was the oldest college basketball coach ever hired... I found this article Hiring Age

If you read the article you'll find that no coach over the age of 61 has been hired in the ACC, Big 10, SEC, Big 12 or PAC 12 going back to 1985. On my own research I was going back 50 years and I have a feeling that 61 has a good chance of standing up all the way back to the early 70's.

So Larranaga, Tubby Smith (Texas Tech) and Mike Montgomery (Cal) are all mentioned in the article, but Knight turned 61 during his first season at Texas Tech himself. Of those 4, only Larranaga was still coaching in his 68th year.

I was a promoter of Mike Woodson back when we hired Crean and was all but laughed off the board. I still think that Woody is likely undervalued as a coach, and I was kind of excited to see people actually writing articles promoting him. All of that said, isn't it just a bit crazy to hire the oldest coach of the last 50 years to a power conference school? To make matters worse, the other guys who landed top gigs in their sixties were already proven masters of the college game. Woodson would not only be the oldest, but also the least experienced in the college sense at least.

It's aggravating on the one hand, because it would have been nice to see Woodson get his due consideration 13 or 14 years ago. On the other hand it's pretty dang concerning that there seems to me an all out media push for him now that he's 63 years old and all of the sudden I'm on the wrong side of the Woodson bandwagon yet again... lol
 

Frosty83

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The only problem is with the players respecting the coach. I don't care about the age. If the players don't respect him because of his age, they they have the problem and probably won't respect anyone.
 

Paterfamilias

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The only problem is with the players respecting the coach. I don't care about the age. If the players don't respect him because of his age, they they have the problem and probably won't respect anyone.
I seriously doubt that Woodson would have any problems in that area. I also don't see his age as a detriment to coaching ability. Longevity is the issue and it's a big one, especially when you consider he'd probably not be walking into a situation where you hit the ground running like Howard did. I mean there's a reason why no other power conference school has ever hired anyone this old before, or at least not that I can find.
 

Frosty83

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I seriously doubt that Woodson would have any problems in that area. I also don't see his age as a detriment to coaching ability. Longevity is the issue and it's a big one, especially when you consider he'd probably not be walking into a situation where you hit the ground running like Howard did. I mean there's a reason why no other power conference school has ever hired anyone this old before, or at least not that I can find.
My supposition is that many at that age don't want those positions. It is not that they are not qualified. If Woodson is willing to come and take the IU position is really the question.
 
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Paterfamilias

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My supposition is that many at that age don't want those positions. It is not that they are not qualified. If Woodson is willing to come and take the IU position is really the question.
I guess that could possibly be a factor. Seems more likely that AD's are trying to find long term solutions for their coaching positions, unless of course for mid-majors where you figure they'll either be leaving for greener pastures or receiving a pink slips within a few years, depending on if you hit the pitch or not.

Woody could coach well into his 70's too, but man the Big 10 is a rugged league and energy requirements at a high echelon program are great. Not saying it can't be done, but these are factors worthy of heavy consideration.
 
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Paterfamilias

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How about age of coaches of last 25 NCAA titles??? What does that say??
I love old coaches, They've typically got it down to an artform. It's not about age it's about longevity. Ole Roy won a Title at 66 or 67, but Carolina hired him when he was 53... hell he's been coaching blue blood ball since he was in his mid 30's. Maybe, I'm looking at it all wrong... but I'm thinking it's just a little bit insane!
 

HurryinHoosiers

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Yes, but what about his personality? I know nothing about it. The same goes regarding Woodson. Age is nothing, a given. Personality is everything. How engaged in life is he?
Very similar to Brad Stevens actually. Calm composed, serious, friendly, humble. I could go on but ya know...
 
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abraxis

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Very similar to Brad Stevens actually. Calm composed, serious, friendly, humble. I could go on but ya know...
Okay, I accept that as truth, not knowing, myself. I recognized Archie’s lower than normal low key demeanor right away, but was able to rationalize it into acceptance by thinking Coach K at Duke didn’t seem to have an engaging personality either, at least court side from what I could see, and from what little I could remember of him as a grad assistant for Knight. It gave me hope.

A little side story...my buddy was going to IU business grad school in the late ‘70’s and got paired up with a Polish classmate, Mike Krzyzewski, for a big project about to come due. One day K gave him a call to announce, “You’re on your own now. I gotta go interview for a coaching job opening up at Army, my alma mater”. The rest is history, as is this. Coach K was an assistant for only one year under Knight, but it was a historic one, ‘74-75. I imagine Knight wrote his “student” a nice letter of recommendation for the
military school’s administration. Their interviewee had no head coaching experience, but they were certainly familiar with him as a distinguished alum.

Here’s another interesting tidbit...which of the original Div 1 schools have the dubious distinction of being the only four to having never made it to the NCAA tournament? Give up? If so, the answer is The Citadel, William & Mary, Army, and St Francis (NY).
 

go_iu

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Yes, but what about his personality? I know nothing about it. The same goes regarding Woodson. Age is nothing, a given. Personality is everything. How engaged in life is he?
He's quite, unless he got a different demeanor assistant coaching it would be hard for me to imagine him bitching anybody out. Think it's probably born of being so talented that he never really probably experienced that much
 

kkott

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Thanks! ... just when I'd sold myself on Woodson as our Coach, you go and make an interesting point! It just underscores how unusual of a hire it is, and by that age, most have already determined the course of their coaching career. But I don't think 63 is a big deal, IF you determine he's the right guy. If he's impressed you enough in interviews and interactions to make you believe that, then he should have at least 8-10 good years in him, and if he's the right guy, that's enough to chart a new course. But, yet, it underscores how strange and risky he is as a hire.
 
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Okay, I accept that as truth, not knowing, myself. I recognized Archie’s lower than normal low key demeanor right away, but was able to rationalize it into acceptance by thinking Coach K at Duke didn’t seem to have an engaging personality either, at least court side from what I could see, and from what little I could remember of him as a grad assistant for Knight. It gave me hope.

A little side story...my buddy was going to IU business grad school in the late ‘70’s and got paired up with a Polish classmate, Mike Krzyzewski, for a big project about to come due. One day K gave him a call to announce, “You’re on your own now. I gotta go interview for a coaching job opening up at Army, my alma mater”. The rest is history, as is this. Coach K was an assistant for only one year under Knight, but it was a historic one, ‘74-75. I imagine Knight wrote his “student” a nice letter of recommendation for the
military school’s administration. Their interviewee had no head coaching experience, but they were certainly familiar with him as a distinguished alum.

Here’s another interesting tidbit...which of the original Div 1 schools have the dubious distinction of being the only four to having never made it to the NCAA tournament? Give up? If so, the answer is The Citadel, William & Mary, Army, and St Francis (NY).
Your side story brought back a memory. I was in the MBA program class of 1975, and I took a management class with Professor John Mee. Mike Krzyzewski was in that class. As I recall there were less than 10 students in that class, so I remember hearing that he was an assistant under Knight. No idea of course that he'd become a legend. That memory has stuck with me all these years.
 

abraxis

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Your side story brought back a memory. I was in the MBA program class of 1975, and I took a management class with Professor John Mee. Mike Krzyzewski was in that class. As I recall there were less than 10 students in that class, so I remember hearing that he was an assistant under Knight. No idea of course that he'd become a legend. That memory has stuck with me all these years.
It sounds like you were classmates of my buddy who told the story. We graduated in ‘73 then he went on to IU MBA school shortly thereafter. He lurks here but seldom posts so I’ll leave it at that.

I’m not sure there’s ever been a coaching duo of greater minds capable of translating their knowledge into two separate programs of such great long term success than that of Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski, starting together on one bench.
 
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mobilehoosier

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I think Woodson’s age helps w parents. See latest recruit. Dad mentions Woody and NBA. Parents know Woody from NBA. I didn’t factor that. Woody is a real hero to many. I get more excited every day about the whole thing. Dolson building leadership infrastructure . Woody retires and next man up. Sure ready to kick some ass again. Go Hoosiers!
 

Dwader3

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I'm assuming that many of your replies are from older guys. Most of you think anyone over 60 is old, and that helps those of you in your 40's and 50's feel young. Speaking for a young person under 30, most of us feel anyone over 40 or 45 is old. We lump all of you in the same category. You are all capable of being grandparents. We don't think a 45 year old is more relatable than a 60 year old. Sorry, it's the truth. Stop trying to put yourselves in a 18 year old's head.

In my family, my grandparents are considered wise and intelligent, but not cool. Maybe they are cooler than my parents, I don't know. Stop worrying about Coach Woodson's age, for younger people, you're all in the same boat....old. An 18 year old isn't thinking like a 40 year old.
 

Harry Hondo

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I'm assuming that many of your replies are from older guys. Most of you think anyone over 60 is old, and that helps those of you in your 40's and 50's feel young. Speaking for a young person under 30, most of us feel anyone over 40 or 45 is old. We lump all of you in the same category. You are all capable of being grandparents. We don't think a 45 year old is more relatable than a 60 year old. Sorry, it's the truth. Stop trying to put yourselves in a 18 year old's head.

In my family, my grandparents are considered wise and intelligent, but not cool. Maybe they are cooler than my parents, I don't know. Stop worrying about Coach Woodson's age, for younger people, you're all in the same boat....old. An 18 year old isn't thinking like a 40 year old.
Well, then I guess 48 year old Juwan Howard has nothing on Woodson, except one year of college coaching and a lot less coaching experience overall. With today’s recruiting pickup it seems that 63 won’t hurt. We weren’t going to hire someone under 40, anyway.
 

Dwader3

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Well, then I guess 48 year old Juwan Howard has nothing on Woodson, except one year of college coaching and a lot less coaching experience overall. With today’s recruiting pickup it seems that 63 won’t hurt. We weren’t going to hire someone under 40, anyway.
That's my point, Juwan isn't a sexier name that Woodson for a young recruit. There really isn't degrees of old for young people, to most of us, you are all old. But that's okay, it isn't an insult. Didn't any of you feel that way when you were young? A 30 year old still wants to identify with a 20 year old, and never wants to hear they can hang with a 40 year old. That doesn't mean I don't want to be coached by an older person, I don't even think about age then.
 

abraxis

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I can’t speak for all old people, but personally I never knew “old codger” would be this much fun. I think it comes with being free of responsibility and the duress of trying to fulfill unrealistic expectations. Plus, with all of life’s experiences pretty much come to past, one can’t help but see the twisted way of thinking in the younger generation, not knowing reality like we do. It makes us feel like we’ve lived our lives in the best of times, and with that feeling come waves of contentment. Age creates the patina of life, wrinkled in time.
 

abraxis

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I'm old to high school girls. We all have our cross to bear.
A little advice for some of the younger Whippersnappers...it’s a good/bad news thing from the Old Sage on Highest, something shared in whispered volume amongst fellow men when they turn the age of 60. The bad news is women get old and wrinkled in time, with bodies morphing into something never expected when first committed in marriage. The good news is they’re just as horny for the big bodini at age 70 as they were at 17 in my dreams. Everyone needs to feel special inside until the end of time, despite outward appearances dictating otherwise. Go for it, Gray-beards! Never give up the fight, just turn out the light!
 

kkott

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That's my point, Juwan isn't a sexier name that Woodson for a young recruit. There really isn't degrees of old for young people, to most of us, you are all old. But that's okay, it isn't an insult. Didn't any of you feel that way when you were young? A 30 year old still wants to identify with a 20 year old, and never wants to hear they can hang with a 40 year old. That doesn't mean I don't want to be coached by an older person, I don't even think about age then.
C'mon, Juwan was part of the Fab5, and everyone, young recruits included know about them. There are 30 for 30s and documentaries on it. Very few will know who Mike Woodson is... and that's OK, but it's silly to say they have the same name recognition to young prospects. Woodson is basically a generation older than JH.

Howard has the #1 recruiting class in the country for next year. With all the positives around our program, are you expecting that out of IU next year? Me neither, and most of that is on the recognition that at least opened the recruiting door for JH. CMW doesn't have that card to play with these kids.
 

kkott

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A little advice for some of the younger Whippersnappers...it’s a good/bad news thing from the Old Sage on Highest, something shared in whispered volume amongst fellow men when they turn the age of 60. The bad news is women get old and wrinkled in time, with bodies morphing into something never expected when first committed in marriage. The good news is they’re just as horny for the big bodini at age 70 as they were at 17 in my dreams. Everyone needs to feel special inside until the end of time, despite outward appearances dictating otherwise. Go for it, Gray-beards! Never give up the fight, just turn out the light!
well, that's one of the advantages to dating as an older guy: with healthy eating, exercise, yoga and taking care of themselves; there are some incredible looking older women!
 
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Dwader3

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C'mon, Juwan was part of the Fab5, and everyone, young recruits included know about them. There are 30 for 30s and documentaries on it. Very few will know who Mike Woodson is... and that's OK, but it's silly to say they have the same name recognition to young prospects. Woodson is basically a generation older than JH.

Howard has the #1 recruiting class in the country for next year. With all the positives around our program, are you expecting that out of IU next year? Me neither, and most of that is on the recognition that at least opened the recruiting door for JH. CMW doesn't have that card to play with these kids.
I'm talking strictly relating to the coach by his age factor. Juwan's age puts him in the same group to me, as does Woodson. Just commenting on their ages. I wasn't a fan of the fab five and I've seen all of the shows. Michael Jordan, Kobe, D Wade , LeBron and others, were my generation's superstars. I actually liked the Bird/Magic, Stockton/Malone stories better than the fav five too.
 

abraxis

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well, that's one of the advantages to dating as an older guy: with healthy eating, exercise, yoga and taking care of themselves; there are some incredible looking older women!
Yes, and it works both ways but in the end, gravity always wins. Never lose sight of the fact there are a lot more incredible looking younger girls...excuse me, women! They find you in pause for quiet reflection at the nursing home.
 

h20pls

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Reading these posts...I recall being a younger fella...Internet age and such...blowing things up...

I saw what was happening to older and frankly better managers...they had to find new careers.

It gave me pause...I thought "crap. Will I be pushed aside in my fifties and have to find some sort of work that I don't want just to make ends meet?"

And then we have this generation...everyone gets a trophy...legalized dope.

Not sure that companies can afford to let "old" guys like me retire. LOL
 

oldcougar77

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Reading these posts...I recall being a younger fella...Internet age and such...blowing things up...

I saw what was happening to older and frankly better managers...they had to find new careers.

It gave me pause...I thought "crap. Will I be pushed aside in my fifties and have to find some sort of work that I don't want just to make ends meet?"

And then we have this generation...everyone gets a trophy...legalized dope.

Not sure that companies can afford to let "old" guys like me retire. LOL
Yep. And the generation before ours (I'm 61) said the same thing about us. And the generation before that said the same thing about them. :)
 

Davehack

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C'mon, Juwan was part of the Fab5, and everyone, young recruits included know about them. There are 30 for 30s and documentaries on it. Very few will know who Mike Woodson is... and that's OK, but it's silly to say they have the same name recognition to young prospects. Woodson is basically a generation older than JH.

Howard has the #1 recruiting class in the country for next year. With all the positives around our program, are you expecting that out of IU next year? Me neither, and most of that is on the recognition that at least opened the recruiting door for JH. CMW doesn't have that card to play with these kids.
Fab Five. Best team money could buy.
 

h20pls

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Yep. And the generation before ours (I'm 61) said the same thing about us. And the generation before that said the same thing about them. :)
I suppose this may be true.

I think there are some pretty serious hiring challenges afoot...

Otherwise...I'm just a super star ;) and killing it as an old man.
 
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As to this age thing and how some say CMW is too old I have this thought. Nick Saban is 69 years old. I doubt many would say he is too old to coach a major college football power. Just a thought.
 

Birnk403

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As to this age thing and how some say CMW is too old I have this thought. Nick Saban is 69 years old. I doubt many would say he is too old to coach a major college football power. Just a thought.
I think the age issue relates more to relative experience (NS has been a college coach for decades, while MW is at his first college gig at 63) rather than simply when one was born. Not sure why we care since it’s now his job.