I never thought this day would come for the Washington Huskies Men's basketball program. I was doubtful there would be a time where someone not named Lorenzo Romar would be the Head Coach of the basketball program.
The team hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2011 and the problems that the team endured were evident by around 2010 that Lorenzo Romar was not the coach to take this team to new heights.
By 2011, Romar was getting praised for his coaching ability and none of the media was holding him accountable for never getting past the Sweet 16. In fact, they only had one Sweet 16 appearance since 2006 and that appearance came because of a Conference Tournament win that would have seen them bound for the NIT otherwise.
I called for Romar to be fired in 2011 and all I got was Huskies fans making fun of me and saying I had a mental illness among other things. I ended up being the Mayor of Rightville as the win against Georgia in the Round of 64 has gone on to be Washington's last win in the Tourney. The coach that I always had my eyes on was Ben Jacobson at Northern Iowa who
The next year, they went on to win the Conference Regular Season Title but didn't get into the Tournament because of their weak conference. Romar's seat was a long ways from getting hot. Players wwere leaving the program as freshman and that was leaving a major hole in Washington's depth from 2013-2016. Players transferring or getting dismissed from the team was also leaving a huge leadership problem.
Top recruited players were coming in, but that was only doing so much. Every year since 2012, Washington has dropped a game to a team at home in non conference that they were superior too.
Last year, they hit rock bottom despite having the best freshman in America in Markelle Fultz. Washington only managed to go 9-22 last year.
At this point, there were still people that thought Romar should keep his job. New AD Jen Cohen thought differently however and in a brisk decision fired Lorenzo Romar shortly after Selection Sunday.
Now, on a gloomy fall day in Seattle, Washington is not only fighting for wins on the court but they are also fighting for relevancy off the court. The Washington Football team is surging right now trying to grasp second straight Pac 12 Title. The Seahawks are in the middle of trying to claim another NFC West Title and NBA Expansion talk is on the brink of starting again with an arena being built hopefully just around the corner.
Washington basketball talk is rare these days. UW's new coach is Mike Hopkins who was the "coach in waiting" at Syracuse. He wasn't who I would have hired but I'm not the AD there so I guess I had no say. The dilemma of firing Romar was losing top recruits such as Michael Porter Jr and his brother who recommitted to Missouri. I'll be curious to see how Missouri does this year as well as Mike Hopkins at Washington.
The reasoning that Romar was fired is believed to be because the cycle of one and dones wasn't going to end as long as Romar was the head coach. The coach that I always had my eyes on was Ben Jacobson at Northern Iowa who produces quality results in the Missouri Valley Conference. He only has a 4-4 record in the Tournament but his losses are to Purdue, Michigan State, Louisville and West Virginia.
Nevertheless, the Washington basketball saga will be fun one to follow. Mike Hopkins has his hands full this year but it will be interesting to see if he can steer this ship clear of the mess that Lorenzo Romar dug himself into.