The Hiring Of UTPA's New Coach: Will It Be Worth the Wait?

Calvin W BoazCorrespondent IIMay 1, 2009

Usually during this time of year, college basketball coaches are putting their finishing touches on recruiting.  At one school in particular, recruiting is not going too well.  Texas-Pan American doesn't have a head coach yet.

Almost two months have passed since Tom Schuberth was fired and the program is still conducting its search.

On Wednesday, interim Athletic Director Ricky Vaughn confirmed four finalists have been selected.  He didn't reveal any names but said two of the candidates have been contacted.

The entire situation was mishandled right from the beginning. Tom Schuberth should have never been fired in the first place.  The truth is Schuberth worked wonders at Texas-Pan American. 

In three years, Schuberth's record was 42-45.  At first glance, his record is not that impressive, but in the year before Schuberth became the coach, the Broncs were 7-24.  In 2006-07, the team went 14-15.

Following an 18-13 record, Schuberth was named the 2007-08 NCAA Division I Independent Coach of the Year and six of his players were named to the All-Independent first or second team.

Unfortunately, only two of those players returned and due to youth and a tough road schedule, the Broncs slipped to 10-17 this pass season.

Based on Schuberth's first two years, one would have thought he would have been given an opportunity to build the team up again.  However, on March 6, Schuberth was let go.

An apparently bad decision was compounded by more bad decisions.  The job opening was not officially posted until 18 days after Schuberth was fired.   It may take up to two weeks before the four finalists that were chosen have the opportunity to tour the school.

May 20 is the final day UTPA can accept a national letter of intent. 

Whoever the new coach is can continue to make offers until late August.  However, any player accepting an offer after May 20 is not contractually committed to the school and can leave for another offer.

Ricky Vaughn defended the time constraints by revealing that the last couple of coaches didn't have their rosters filled until right before school started back up. 

Based on the recent struggles the Broncs have had, one would think Vaughn would want the next coach to recruit differently instead of following the same blueprint that obviously isn't working.

With 25 head coaching positions being filled before UTPA will fill their vacancy, the odds are that the coach hired will be less qualified than the one the school fired. 

The reality is that the men's basketball team was in better hands three months ago than it is now.  Unfortunately, reality is not something Ricky Vaughn seems willing to face right now.