Bill Carmody will not return as Northwestern’s coach
The decision has been made. Bill Carmody will not return as Northwestern’s men’s basketball coach for the 2013-14 season, Northwestern announced on Twitter earlier Saturday.
It was a stark and simple way to announce the team’s head coach for 13 years would not be returning.
Bill Carmody will not return as the head coach of @numensbball.
— Northwestern Sports (@NU_Sports) March 16, 2013
Carmody never quite broke through for the NCAA Tournament but Carmody helped turn around a program that could not even sniff the postseason. The Wildcats had made the NIT in the past four season prior to this one. It may have taken nearly a decade for the Wildcats to get to that point, but considering the depths of despair the program was in, getting to mediocrity was an accomplishment.
The problem of more crept in and fans wanted and expected more — particularly with the football program proving you can win at Northwestern in major athletics.
The Princeton Offense, once the tool to keep an under-talented team competitive against the big, bad Big Ten, had grown stale, seemingly holding back a much more talented team from realizing its full potential. The feeling of being so close yet so far appeared to be too much.
Give Carmody credit for getting Northwestern to the door of its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Now it has become about breaking through and Carmody’s teams of late were simply not able to do that. Ultimately all the depth issues that plagued the team throughout his tenure and the unfulfilled promise of several recruits falls on the head coach.
Things might have been trending upward with those NIT appearances and better-than-ever recruiting. But it is all relative. Mediocrity is becoming not acceptable anymore for Northwestern. The Wildcats have bigger dreams ahead of them.
The next coach will be charged with a simple directive that maybe Carmody was not expected to do until late. The new coach will be charged with winning.
He could only do that because of the work Carmody did to resurrect a program from nothing. Carmody ended up not being the coach to lead the Wildcats to the promised land. The next coach will be charged with that task while maintaining all the work Carmody put in already and keeping NU at least at the level it is now.
There will be a transition for sure. And lots of work to be done.
Carmody though leaves Northwestern as the program’s all-time winningest coach. He accomplished a lot. The failure may not have been entirely his fault — Northwestern’s facilities are abysmal compared to even strong mid-major programs — but as the head coach the buck stops with him. The buck stopped for him Saturday as Northwestern faced another disappointing end to a disappointing season.