McGuffin showing what he said
By Thomas Huitt-Johnson
March 6, 2012
Kurt McGuffin wants winners.
The Director of Athletics has showed this already in his short term as a Griffon by laying the hammer down on Women’s Basketball coach Lynn Plett.
The former basketball coach had a losing record, and despite the hand he was dealt, it has been five years. In athletics, where winning is all that matters, Missouri Western is trying to prove that. After all, it has to compete against Northwest Missouri State, who is atop the likes of football, tennis and now basketball.
Western’s basketball program was among the top since 1990. The ladies were competing for not only the conference title, but in attendance total.
Plenty of times, the Griffon’s fans saw their team win at home, knocking 3s down and cheering on the Black and Gold. That hasn’t happened the past few years.
Placed in a bad situation, the Griffons thought if anybody could pull them out of a mess, it would be Mr. Plett. He was named the conference coach of the year while at Lewis University, and had the team competitive and in the top-10 while there. He almost won a national title.
Plett is a good man – a great man. And it seems many around the athletics respected him a lot, including McGuffin. Still, that does not mean the man’s job was safe, secured and should have been. The only way he could have stayed on the sidelines was if he won. Less than 10 wins a year was not going to cut it.
Western’s new coach inherits a squad of less talent than Plett inherited years ago. Nobody knows who the coach is going to be, despite who follows McGuffin on Twitter. Ask him and he’ll tell you the same. All that matters is this – pretend you don’t know the new coach – if that coach has a record of 46-89 over the next five seasons, has a national top-10 3-point shooter, a potential conference player of the year candidate and no conference tournament wins – do you keep him or her?
Probably not. So why would Plett have stayed? It’s an ugly situation. Plett is a good coach and could have produced wins here. It wasn’t the worst idea to give the guy five years. But your team reflects the coach, and it wasn’t looking too high for the team heading in the direction they were heading.
Could Plett have produced a 20-win season and a top-3 MIAA team next season? Yeah, anything is possible. They did almost beat No. 1 Washburn back in January. But can another coach do that as well? Yeah. That’s why McGuffin made his decision.