Wyoming wasn't wrong in firing Schroyer mid season

LAS VEGAS NV - FEBRUARY 12: Head coach Steve Fisher of the San Diego State Aztecs yells at his bench during the team's game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center February 12 2011 in Las Vegas Nevada. San Diego State won 63-57. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Last Monday the University of Wyoming announced that they had fired Head basketball coach Heath Schroyer with six weeks remaining in the season.  It seemed like a surprising move at the time but as we go along I'm convinced that it was the right move for the school and the team. 

Firing someone is never an easy thing and you do have to feel for the person that is let go and their family.  I wish Schroyer the best of luck in the future and hope he finds success down the road.

Steve Fisher the coach at San Diego State used his opening portion of the MWC teleconference to rip Wyoming for making this move with time left in the schedule. 

"For a coach to be fired with six weeks to go in the season is inexcusable," Fisher said his opening statement in a conference call with reporters. "We talk to our players about commitment, not cutting and running, and yet when things go south a little bit, often our administrators say, 'What do we do to please our biggest donor or the perception standpoint?'"


"It’s wrong. It should not have been that way. It should have been done in a professional manner. A six-week jump on the market is not worth it."

I don't blame Fisher for sticking up for Schroyer since they are both members of a tightknit group.  Yes, it would have been cleaner to dismiss Schroyer at the end of the year but there really are a number of benefits with the move that Wyoming made.

 

  • Fred Langley.  The smoothest transition would be from Schroyer to his long term assistant Fred Langley who is serving as the interim coach.  By giving Langley the reins we can see what he is capable when leading a team.  Maybe he is the diamond that was hidden by a turd all these years.  Langley is 1-1 as the interim and the Pokes look like a much different (in a good way) team. 
  • What is it the coach or team?  When you look at the results under Schroyer and Langley we can see how the players respond.  Was the issue with the coaching style or the players themselves?  These Wyoming players have only played for Schroyer up until this point and the results speak for themselves. 
  • Going down with the ship.  In order to try and grab a win anyway possible it seemed like Schroyer was intent on using his bench as little as possible and riding his starters.  Under Langley we've seen youngsters Joe Hudson and Daylen Harrison see a lot more minutes.  The experience these players get in these final weeks under Langley will be a huge boost in their development compared to riding the bench under Schroyer.      
  • Early start does help.  With six weeks left in the year Wyoming can create a large group of candidates from head coaches and top assistants.  There is no doubt that there a group of coaches that will be fired in March after the regular season ends.  Some of these well respected candidates may get interest from bigger schools.  If Wyoming can lock up their coach of choice before the big dogs come calling it could allow them to get a bigger name coach.
  • Recruiting.  With a lame duck coach it would pretty hard for Schroyer to convince any recruit to join the Cowboys next year.  The Pokes have one scholarship available right now and at least someone didn't commit to Schroyer and then see him fired afterwards.  Basketball signing period lasts from April 13 to May 18th.  Wyoming could name a new coach and give them more time to try and fill that scholarship.     
  • A bizarre reaction to Fisher's comments came from Dick Harmon of the Deseret News.  

    Dick Harmon
    Until they get a major shopping mall in Laramie, a coach would be crazy to take his wife there for a job. Hell on earth.

    This what we've come to expect from the Utah media who love to diss Laramie cause it's a small town (oh the horror) and has some rough weather at times.  This comment from Harmon is incredibly superficial and sexist.  There is no way that someone could possibly survive without a mega mall and plenty of chain stores to to fulfill all of your materialistic needs.  

    Schroyer kept his home in Fresno and only stayed in an apartment in Laramie.  So is Harmon saying the only thing the wife of coach should do is to spend her days shopping?  It's not the 1950's anymore Dick.  D1 Coaches are paid well so their spouse typically wouldn't need to work to keep the household running.  That doesn't mean that they wouldn't  want to work in a job they love or become involved with the community.  Sorry that the shopping options in Laramie aren't up to your standards Dick.  Women can do a heck of a lot more than just fill up those charge cards.

    Won't miss comments like these from Harmon or other BYU faithful next year when they leave the Mountain West on July 31st.

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