Men's Basketball Update: Walt Corbean fired, Randolph Childress hired as assistant coach

Walt Corbean (WFU Director of Basketball Operations 2007-2011 and Assistant Coach 2011-2013, watch him in action here [link embedded]) was fired to name Childress an assistant coach. Corbean had been considered for Army's head coaching position in 2009 (link embedded), and is currently being considered for Georgia Southern's head coaching position.

I was lucky enough to have watched basketball at a young enough age that I got to see Randolph Childress do this for Wake Forest on TV in the mid-1990s (link embedded). I love Randolph Childress - anytime I get to see more Randolph Childress, a sentimental part of me smiles. This is something I expect other Wake Forest alumni and fans in their late 20s and older probably experience too.

However, replacing an assistant with coaching experience for one with no coaching experience at all seems like an odd move, and a pretty transparent one.

The kind of human-shield PR move meant to distract the 95% of Wake Forest alumni and fans calling for Ron Wellman to be fired for incompetence, dishonesty, and arrogance + calling for Jeff Bzdelik to be fired for being a historical catastrophe of a men's basketball coach such that Wellman and Bzdelik can purchase some cheap basketball credibility and assuage said 95% of us (alumni and fans) along the lines of "I hated Ron Wellman and Jeff Bzdelik because of what they've done to the Wake Forest basketball progra---wait! Omg look it's Randolph Childress on the floor! When I see him I think of successful Wake Forest basketball (in 1995)!"

The foundation for this suspicion is that Ron Wellman has in fact, lied multiple times over the last 3+ years to Wake Forest alumni and fans + unconfirmed reports that Wellman hired a public relations firm to stem the tidal wave of dissatisfaction with what he and Bzdelik have done to the Wake Forest men's basketball program.

Almost always, coaches hired into ACC staffs have a modicum of prior experience as a floor coach somewhere else before being named an assistant or associate coach. Jeff Battle had been an assistant or associate coach for almost two decades (link to official biosketch embedded). LaRue had been a head basketball coach at Greensboro College in 2004-2005, and had been an Athletic Director and head basketball coach at Forsyth County Day School before he re-joined Wake Forest in 2009 as an assistant coach under Dino Gaudio (link to official biosketch embedded).

As noted, both (and not Walt Corbean - Jeff Bzdelik hired Corbean down from a front-office position at Wake Forest to be a floor coach) were Dino Gaudio's assistant coaches, and both were retained as assistants by Ron Wellman and Jeff Bzdelik. Culture!

However, Childress has never seen time as a floor coach before, and his only executive experience is less than one year as a Wake Forest basketball director of player development (hired April 2012, link to official biosketch embedded). He's an unknown quantity as a recruiter, and it's been so long (circa 1995) since he was a publicly visible Wake Forest hoops star that we can't count on high school phenoms, most whom were born around the time Childress was starring for Wake Forest, instantly knowing him, which puts more of an onus on Childress to project his credentials himself. Of course it'll be cool to see more Randolph Childress just because ... but honestly, this smells like a desperation public relations move designed to enhance Ron Wellman's and Jeff Bzdelik's horrible reputations (cite embedded, separate cite embedded here).

I love Randolph Childress and think he could one day make a fine coach, but this seems like pure PR. At best if we were going to fire an assistant coach, based on the street reputations of the assistant coaches, Rusty LaRue should have been the first to go because of his poor reputation as a recruiter (which, sadly, doesn't even approach Bzdelik's - see here Air Force's Athletic Director's comments on Jeff Bzdelik's recruiting ability ["Air Force Athletic Director Hans Mueh said Air Force's weak recruiting classes should be blamed on Bzdelik. "Jeff Bzdelik didn't do a lot of personal recruiting," Mueh said. "He just didn't. I don't know what to make of that. It just is." Bzdelik has plenty of shortcomings as a college coach. You don't need a microscope to find his faults. His Colorado Buffaloes finished 1-15 this season in the Big 12.]) (link embedded here).

I prefer that we have staff that are actually qualified for their position - starting with the head coach.

Link to the official report from the Winston-Salem Journal here (link embedded).

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