CBS Sports recently took the time to rank all FBS football coaches and with basketball season over, reviewed the best and worst hires of the offseason.
Seeing TCU score an A- with former Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was hardly a surprise. If anything, considering TCU's track record in basketball, to get a coach of Dixon's caliber could easily be considered an A+, to be honest. If he were at a place with more prestige, sure, that would be too lofty. But for TCU to pluck a guy with so much regular season success has to be considered nothing short of a major win.
On the flipside, Pitt's hire of Kevin Stallings graded out at only a C+, among the worst of the offseason. That's in line with the early media thoughts, which also weren't all that favorable. Pitt fans have come around on Stallings a little (maybe even a lot considering the amount of criticism in the immediate aftermath of the news) and as I said at the time, he of course deserves a chance.
For the record, CBS Sports didn't completely trash the hire, but makes a similar point to the one I've made about wondering how he could match Dixon's success:
Stallings to Pitt is the most intriguing hire. From an offensive perspective, Stallings is on the short list of sharpest coaches in college hoops. And he's getting a team that will have six of its eight best players back. But will it be a good fit? This hire has a number of college coaches interested -- and speculative. I'm pretty certain it won't be a flop of a hire, but it's also safe to assume Stallings won't duplicate what Dixon did. If anything, it will be very hard to come close to that. Stallings' NCAA Tournament resume isn't as good as Dixon's -- and Pitt fans didn't like Dixon's record come March.
Overall, it's hard for me to argue with the assessment too much. Stallings could turn out to be a very good coach and that matters far more than any premature grades. But considering the program Dixon had built, it's easy to see how the hire could be called only an average one at this point when you look at Stallings' relative lack of postseason success.
As with anything, time will tell.
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