After the 2007-08 college basketball season there were 43 teams that acquired a new head coach. This season that number has dropped by more than 40 percent to 25. What has caused this change of heart in athletic directors? Could it be the economy?
Is the recession saving jobs?
Back in March on Basketball State, Jon Gasaway stated his claim that the economy might save some coaches jobs. Gasaway, quite logically, assumed that, because of the recession, Athletic Directors would be more cautious when trying to deal with the buyouts of current coaches.
Coaches that might've been fired in the past are getting a second - or third, or fourth - shot to make things work at their current school before their contracts run out.
Nowhere has this scenario played out more clearly than at DePaul. Jerry Wainwright joined the Blue Demons with a career record of 186-145 while the head coach at UNC-Wilmington and Richmond. Since becoming the head man at DePaul, Wainwright is 20 games under .500 and has just one postseason appearance - the NIT after the 2006-07 season. Last season, the Blue Demons went winless during Big East regular season play.
Still, Wainwright has managed to keep his job. Of course, it hasn't been without changes. Billy Garrett, Tracy Webster and David Booth have been brought in to replace Gary DeCesare, Ramon Williams and Scott Wainwright.
One has to wonder. If the economy wasn't in its current state, would Wainwright be the one looking for a job right now? It seems possible that the recession saved at least one person's job.