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Blog Entry

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:23 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 8:27 pm
 
By Jeff Goodman

Western Kentucky is considered an elite mid-major gig, one that would attract nearly every up-and-coming assistant coach and no shortage of current and former head guys.

After athletic director Ross Bjork fired Ken McDonald on Jan. 6, there were plenty of viable candidates tossed around, from John Pelphrey and Jeff Capel to assistants Dan Muller (Vandy), John Brannen (Alabama) and Kurtis Townsend (Kansas).

But Bjork and WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell didn't even go through the entire process, earlier today announcing that WKU assistant Ray Harper will have the interim tag removed and become the permanent guy.

It was surprising.

I'm not saying it's a terrible hire. The 50-year-old Harper can coach. He has four national titles in 12 seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City University. He's considered a quality recruiter (although he'll go heavy on the junior college route) and the money people in Bowling Green seem to take to him.

But he's also got a past. He left Kentucky Wesleyan following an NCAA investigation that had the program cited for a "lack of institutional control."  To me, there was no rush on this one. At least see what other names come forward, wait until the coaching carousel takes shape and maybe someone you didn't expect to be available will be on the free agent market.

But instead, Bjork went with Harper -- a guy who is 4-7 at the helm since taking over for McDonald -- on Feb. 19

Maybe he wants to make certain that the young players -- including freshman Derrick Gordon -- in the program stick around and don't transfer elsewhere -- or maybe he was sold on Harper.

All I know is that there was a lengthy line of those itching to get a sniff at this one.
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:09 am
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

WKU has been a temporary stop for any up and coming coach. a stepping stone as it were.  clem haskins, gene keady, ralph willard, dennis felton, and darrin horn. it has also been a resting place where fools are put out to pasture...matt kilcullen and the mcdonal turd they recently hired. harper is a great answer for the hilltoppers, he is getting a second chacne and a first chance at D1. also can recruit kentucky and surrounding area.  the other coaches mentioned as possible replacements in the article would have left WKU after their first successful season. whoever wrote the article clearly has no understanding of WKU hoops.



Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2012 3:59 pm
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

i'm sure his ties to the area helped.  i'm a little leary because of what happed at KWC, although i admit i don't know all the details.  As long as he can hold this year's freshman class together, i think the team will make a dramatic jump by next season (dramatic by Sun Belt standards).





Since: Feb 20, 2012
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:42 am
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

Great hire.  A coach that WANTS to be here, is FROM here, and will most likely STAY here.  You liberal, elite media members are all smarter than the rest of us.  Hastily written article that you failed to do your homework on.




Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:49 am
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

You must not know WKU basketball at all.  Horn was far from a bust and was the one man that got WKU back on the basketball map.  We would have kept him had it not been for the pitful job the previous AD Selig Wood did and the riff between them.  They should have fired the Wood and kept Horn.  Horn leaves and the team falls apart.  Now we have the guy that was a part of the McDonald debacle.


Plenty of coaches coming open.  Weber at Illinios and several other top assistance that would have made a better impact.  They weren't done with the assistant experiment,  they went all in with it on this hire.  Terrible. &nb
sp;



Since: Feb 19, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 10:39 pm
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

Jeff- I challenge you to research Harper's KWC days and see where it is his fault. The lack of university control came from a one man compliance department that committed violations in many sports, not just men's basketball. Harper is at his dream job and will do a good job!



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:33 pm
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

Just hired a flat out criminal,,,,good luck with that...probation for the sun belt soon...



Since: Oct 3, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:24 pm
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

"All I know is that there was a lengthy line of those itching to get a sniff at this one."

And we didn't want any of them. You have no idea what you are writing about.  Spend some time at the school before you write crap like this.



Since: Feb 19, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:55 pm
 

WKU hires interim Ray Harper as head coach

WKU was done with the assistant experiments for a while. Horn and McDonald were busts. Pelphrey had ONE good season which got him the job at Arkansas. Capel, possibly.


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