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Around the Horn on Bill Martin Firing Amaker

In case you have been in a cave the previous day (I was kind of in a green beer induced cave) Amaker has been fired. While the response from some Michigan bloggers can only be described as euphoria, some people feel differently.

Tom Izzo spits some righteously indignant fire in Bill Martin's general direction.

I feel bad for our profession that guys with 20 wins are getting fired in programs that I don’t think they stressed basketball there.
It is true that Amaker had 20 wins going into the Big Ten Tourny, but look at the schedule. I think a good IM team at Michigan could have beaten Wofford. Numbers mean nothing without context, and Izzo's point isn't salient when you put it in the context of playing a schedule that would make Kansas State's AD blush.

An interesting article from the recruiting angle. Some highlights are Legion with:

“I’m surprised, shocked and disappointed,” said Legion, a third-team Parade All-American who this past season averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Wilson, Va.-based Oak Hill finished 40-1. “Coach Amaker is the coach I wanted to play for.

“He and I were real close. And he was real close with my mom (Annette Williams), too. He was a father-figure to me. It hurts that they fired him.”

And the President of the Detroit Public School League Coaches Association had some an opinion on the firing:

“It’s terrible,” said Washington, who plans to write a letter expressing his disappointment. “They didn’t give him enough time. You need more time to rebuild a program than they gave him.”
So... watch out for a strongly worded letter Bill...

Michael Rosenberg chimes in with his article actually supporting the decision and giving some (predictable) thought on the future.

Finally there is a great interview with Bill Martin by Jim Carty and Nathan Fenno (via Maize 'n Brew). Definitely worth the read. You can really tell Bill Martin really didn't want to fire Tommy Amaker, but really had no choice, which was kind of surprising for me. I figured that Amaker had enough support from the administration, especially Mary Sue Coleman, to get through the offseason, especially with the recruits he has (or had?) coming in.

While unequivocally mediocre as a coach, Amaker was the right guy for the Michigan job six years ago. He restored the credibility of the program, but now Michigan needs someone to restore the luster, the excitement, the pride of the basketball program that was around in the Fab Five days, but with the added challenge of a lower salary cap. I hope Bill Martin can find the right fit and make Michigan basketball relevant again.


“Around the Horn on Bill Martin Firing Amaker”