Would TCU hire Billy Gillispie?
Gillispie, a basketball junkie if there ever was one, is known to frequent TCU games just to watch. His presence at games usually prompts people to wonder if he wants the job.
TCU is 11-20 and 2-16 in Big 12 play in the fourth season under coach Trent Johnson. Since TCU hired Johnson in 2011, the team is 49-77. He has two years remaining on his original contract.
2Schools of thought: Give Trent Johnson a full year with the new arena, or fire him now for lack of results
It was not until this season, however, that Johnson was equipped with facilities and support from the school necessary to have even a prayer in the Big 12.
The new $80 million Schollmaier Arena, plus everything that comes with it, can compete. Attendance remains an issue — TCU says it averages 5,243 fans a home game, but that’s a stretch.
Talent remains an issue, too. The team simply needs better players.
TCU has poured money into the program, so the question is, how much longer will it give Johnson to prove he can win?
There are two schools of thought: One is to at least give him one full year with all of his new toys to see if the team can improve; the other is to fire him now.
If Billy Gillispie does take another job, he needs the right fit more than he needs the money.
The availability of a coach such as BCG could change how administrators at TCU feel. It would be a splashy hire and could potentially galvanize a fan base that has not cared about TCU basketball since Billy Tubbs in the mid-1990s.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte hired Johnson and he wants to see this through. But if he was willing to fire a volleyball coach — which he did in 2014 over the program’s lack of results — he will be willing to fire a basketball coach, too.
Gillispie will not talk about any particular job, especially one that has a coach in place with a guy he likes.
Hiring Gillispie will be a risk both for himself and his next employer. He’s not going to just go anywhere; if he does leave he needs the right fit more than he needs the money.