Rick Barnes Hiring Represents a Lost Opportunity for Georgia Tech

Following yet another disappointing showing in the NCAA Tournament, now former Texas Longhorns’ head basketball coach Rick Barnes was dismissed by the school at which he spent the last 17 years. Just a few short days later, the well-respected 60 year old was quickly snatched up by the University of Tennessee to take over at the helm of their basketball program.

Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets’ fan base, the Volunteers’ gain represents a possible lost opportunity for Georgia Tech, which decided to retain head coach Brian Gregory just a couple of weeks ago. Not to throw Coach Gregory under the bus, but he has been unable to deliver the same level of consistent success that Barnes has put fourth.

During his 28-year career as a head coach, Barnes has an outstanding .658 overall winning percentage while making 22 trips to “The Big Dance.” However, it was perceived underachievements during March Madness that ultimately cost him his job at Texas.

At this point, the Georgia Tech basketball faithful would certainly welcome the type of headaches caused by 16 trips to the NCAA Tourney and five Sweet 16 appearances over the last 17 seasons, but we will now just have to admire what Rick Barnes is able to accomplish in a presently soft SEC.

In summation, we as Yellow Jackets fans should all be rooting for the success of Coach Gregory and Georgia Tech basketball, but feelings of “what if” regarding a coach with the court-side acumen and steady handedness of Rick Barnes are certainly fair.

Gregory has yet to prove himself as a legitimate ACC general. With Barnes, it is almost a given that he can succeed anywhere in any environment.