It is a given that Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball coach Travis Ford’s tenure with the Cowboys is running on short time. Rumors have surfaced that former Marquette and current Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams could be a strong possibility for coming to Stillwater to fill the post after Ford’s departure. That would be just fine with. Williams coming to the Big 12 school would be an upgrade in that position for the Pokes. One thing is for sure, nobody in the Big 12 would outwork Williams. Familiar with the man since his days in Oklahoma City as Win Case’s graduate assistant at Oklahoma City University in the 1990’s. Buzz Williams has been an aggressive and successful young coach in the profession. He is a great recruiter and a players coach. He is, in all aspects, high energy with everyone he crosses path with. Meet the man just once and you will know how dynamic this coach is. This man is a first class individual in all aspects.
Williams has been at Virginia Tech for two years and has a nice long term contract in Blacksburg, but has always hinted he would like to get back to the Big 12 region and lead a team in that league. Oklahoma State is a better job than the one at Virginia Tech and if O-State’s athletic director Mike Holder wants a winning program Williams could be just the man to bring back the wins and the fans to Gallagher-Iba Arena. Would Holder buy out Williams contract after paying Ford after he is fired? Maybe, especially if Ford takes another job which would lessen the payout to him.
As he has made his progression up the coaching ladder from a grad assistant at OCU to head jobs at New Orleans, Marquette and Virginia Tech, Williams would bring basketball back, and quickly, to the Cowboy program. Williams is high energy and could be what is needed. Williams is also on the radar of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. One way or another, Williams is looking at other schools.
From the DAILY PRESS (Newport News, VA):
During Tech’s leap from a 2-16 ACC record to 10-8, speculation percolated that Williams, aTexas native, would be a natural fit for potential openings at Texas Christian andOklahoma State. Sure enough, the Horned Frogs excused Trent Johnson, and the Cowboys will do the same with Travis Ford, according to ESPN.
ESPN analyst and former St. John’s coach Fran Fraschilla tweeted: “Hate to disappoint Va Tech fans, but logical move for TCU & Oklahoma State is to get Buzz Williams — quickly. TCU job fits like a glove.”
Moreover, money is no object to Oklahoma State booster and graduate T. Boone Pickens, for whom the school’s football stadium is named. So bumping Williams’ salary – he’s guaranteed to make $2.5 million next season with the Hokies – and paying his buyout, which dips from $3 million to $1.5 million March 24, wouldn’t make anyone in Stillwater flinch.
OSU needs to act if they want Buzz Williams. They could do worse than hiring him. TCU knows that too.
Feature photo: Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams celebrates in the final moments of Virginia Tech’s victory over Georgia Tech on Feb. 9. (Matt Gentry/AP)