A Cincinnati born and Bearcat educated coach may leave his roots. Mick Cronin has been named as a top candidate for the UCLA and Virginia Tech head coach position. Would Coach Cronin truly depart from his Alma Mater for money, leaving behind the success he has had?
Cronin is a phenomenal coach. It should be no surprise that big brand programs want him. But would it be a big surprise to see him leave?
UCLA’s shortlist consists of just two guys after John Calapari signed a lifetime deal with Kentucky. Those two coaches? Mick Cronin and Jamie Dixon from TCU. UCLA has had great success since the turn of the century. 13 tournament appearances, 3 which turned to Final Four appearances. They are a storied program, once lead by John Wooden. Are the 11 national titles appealing enough to draw Cronin to sunny Los Angeles?
As reported by Dave Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cronin met with UCLA officials recently. However, there have been no reports of an offer thus far. UC Athletic Director Mike Bohn denied previous reports of a pay-cut for Cronin. In fact, there have been talks of a contract extension, likely to counter any moves made by the Bruins.
Virginia Tech’s head coach Buzz Williams departed for Texas A&M just a few days ago. Cronin’s name has been brought up less with VT, and this option seems less viable than UCLA. However, there has been some side conversation about Cronin heading to Blacksburg, Virginia.
What Does the Future Hold?
If Cronin goes anywhere, it would likely be UCLA. The Bruins seem to have high interest. With that being said, I don’t not expect Mick Cronin to leave his Alma mater. Coach Cronin has been with the Bearcats since 2006, and I don’t expect that to change.
This situation has similar vibes to Luke Fickell in January. There was a lot of discussion on his departure to West Virginia. Fickell stayed put with the Bearcats, and will hopefully replicate the success of last season.
There is the possibility of Cronin departing, but it seesms unlikely. I would have different emotions if Cronin didn’t have the history with UC that is there. The program is at a high level, and I expect a contract extension to be offered to keep Cronin in Cincy.