With Mick Cronin landing the head coaching gig of the UCLA basketball team, he now has to start assembling his staff, but who will he go after?
Since Mick Cronin was hired to take over the UCLA basketball team, he has already started to rebuild the most storied program in college basketball history. Whether it is recruiting prospects, recruiting fans back to Pauley Pavilion or reaching out to former players, Cronin has hit the ground running.
Another important aspect of the job will be putting together his staff, which could take a few weeks to assemble. Not only does Cronin need to bring in the right coaches to help manifest his vision for the Bruins, but he has to bring in coaches that know how to develop and recruit.
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That second part is very important, especially to a coach that has been working on the other side of the country and does not have strong west coast recruiting ties.
But first, things might be starting off a bit stronger than expected as Cronin might be linking back up with one of his former assistants. Darren Savino, who was an assistant to Cronin back with the Bearcats, was recently up for the vacant head coaching position, but Cincinnati had decided to hire John Brannen.
This likely sets Savino on a path out west and could likely be Cronin’s top assistant at UCLA. This is a good thing as Savino keeps some consistency with Cronin, but he is also known as a great recruiter. The only thing that is concerning is that Savino does not know this region. Though that will be remedied in time, in the interim, Cronin has to try and bring someone in that knows the west coast.
There has been talk that UCLA should go after former Ben Howland assistant Kerry Keating. Keating was the head coach at Santa Clara but has not coached since 2016. If it is possible to bring him in, Cronin should jump at the opportunity as he not only knows UCLA basketball culture but was one of Howland’s top recruiters and knows the region.
Cronin has several possibilities he can venture through with assistants and if he makes the right decisions, it could speed up his rebuild. Let us just hope that is the case.