Monday, July 2, 2007

I Heart Dan Monson

To many in a BCS conference, it would seem to be a step-down going from the Big 10 to the Big West. Dan Monson, ever the optimist, sees only positives in the move. The outquotes, which I plan to mock, are from an ESPN article by Andy Glockner.

"I think a lot of people at the mid-major level aspire to get to the next level," Monson said. "I've been there and tried that. The competition and money at the highest level -- all those things you dream about -- don't make you happy. What makes you happy is winning. Whatever the level is. That's what I want to get back to."
We're looking forward to winning too.
Since Monson is not from the area, it will take some time to get up to speed on the local recruiting scene.
Um, that didn't work so good in Minnesota. Then again, sometimes Dan did well enough to land some big-time talent (Kris Humprhies, Rick Rickert, etc) but he wasn't able to keep them around or keep everyone happy.

Beyond the advantages of being in a region ripe with talent and having enviable weather and proximity to the beach, Brown believes having a coach with major-conference credentials like Monson will help the 49ers quickly reload a roster that lost its top seven scorers from last season and has no returning player who averaged even 10 minutes a game.

"Coach Monson is a national name," Brown said. "He has done so much with Gonzaga, Minnesota, USA Basketball. That's what we're pushing. We're selling coach."

Who knew ESPN did satire?

What could be a larger hindrance than Monson's lack of familiarity with the area is that Long Beach State is the third straight program Monson has taken over while it was on probation (the 49ers had recruiting issues under former coach Larry Reynolds' staff). Did any of this -- the step down in exposure, the new location, the sanctions -- make Monson reconsider jumping right back in?

"I didn't want to take a bottom job in a mid-major league just to be a head coach," he said. "I would have sat out if I didn't land at a job where I could have success. I had been talking to friends at high-major programs and, if winning was my No. 1 priority, then I could go to a program that is a top-10 or -20 program and be on the bench [as an assistant] and take a step back from the media and be out of the spotlight, and dealing with the parents, and all the decisions that come with being a head coach. That did kind of cross my mind, but this is a good situation and I'm excited about it.
Long Beach 49er fans, get ready for years of excuses that begin and end with a finger pointed at the previous regime.

And that ends my potshots at Dan Monson. I think I just needed to get that out at some point. I grew tired of many things about his program. I'll try not to dive back into Danny-bashing at any point.

I'd like to add that Minnesota fans have a coach in a somewhat similar position. Monson downgraded to Long Beach State after being fired. Tubby Smith downgraded to our maroon and gold after essentially being pushed out of legendary Kentucky. Both coaches have something to prove. And I hope they both prove the critics left behind at their former teams wrong. I'll just be rooting a little harder for Tubby.


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