Raising Arizona: The Cats Need to Hire With Long Term Success in Mind

JJ AskvigContributor IApril 4, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 27:  Jamelle Horne #42 of the Arizona Wildcats looks to pass the ball against Andre McGee #33 of the Louisville Cardinals  during the third round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Louisville won 103-64.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Wildcats are down....but as this season shows...not out...yet. 

The silver lining in all of this is that I believe this would have been Lute's last season in Tucson anyway. As much as the Wildcats faithful loved him, father time was catching up faster than most hoped!

Now the 'Zona Zoo, and Wildcat nation, will embark on a new era. 

A lot has been said about who will be the next coach, who should be the next coach and what direction the Arizona program will head in the next couple of years. It has to be done right, and it should be for the long term.

Lets face it, regardless of who they hire, it's going to be a bumpy ride the next two years.

In that vein, a note of caution is that a lesson should be learned from previous quick fixes.

Arizona should find the right guy, not the guy that they think they need. Some people are saying that they should bring in a guy like Steve Lavin, who could give them a quick pick-me up. 

Well, I too would like to see the Cats break the 27 tourney streak, but not at the cost of the long term success of the program. The Cats need to find someone to build for the future.

Arizona is a young program. When Budinger (definitely gone) and Hill (I think he may think twice, he loves college) leave, next years Cats will have Wise, (senior) if he doesn't transfer, and Horne (junior) as the only two players who provided significant impact this year. 

Besides that, the Cats will be playing Freshmen and Sophomores.

My point here is that the Cats need to find a coach to build and improve what they have, and someone who will recruit for the next two years. 

This is a program with a great foundation, but needs some serious remodeling. As a life-long fan, let's hope they do it right!