Yabba Dabba Doo…Posted by rtmsf on August 7th, 2007
As we predicted earlier today, if any decision came from Wake this week, we figured that would mean that Ron Wellman decided that the next steward of the Demon Deacons would be one of the two assistant coaches, Dino Gaudio or Jeff Battle. Sure enough, the buzz this evening around the campus and later confirmed by Andy Katz is that Dino Gaudio has been offered a three-year contract to coach the Deacs. Exhibiting the confidence that Wellman has in him, he will not be an interim coach. A press conference has been scheduled for 11am EDT tomorrow.
The fifty-year old coach was a head coach for seven seasons prior to his latest stint at Wake, first at Army and later at Loyola (Maryland). His record at those schools was uninspiring (68-124) for an imminent ACC coach, but this is still probably a decent hire for several reasons. First, his presence alone ensures continuity with the current players and the recruiting haul due on campus a year from now. Second, the contract is only three years, which probably mirrors the length of time that Prosser would have been given to turn the program around – if Gaudio turns out to not be the right hire, Wellman won’t have to make a large buyout in order to move forward. Finally, by keeping things “within the family,” you get the sense that Skip would have wanted this, and the WFU community should respond quite favorably in kind.
Good Luck, Dino.
Update: Today’s press conference revealed that Gaudio has a five-year deal in place (not three years, as previously reported) to coach the Deacons. His excitement during his introduction was apparent, and he said all the right things – commitment to defense and halfcourt execution, stress on academics, etc. – to sate the assembled media and WFU partisans. While we ultimately feel this is a good hire, we also recognize that Gaudio has considerable work ahead of him. He seems capable and aware, but the stress of the rigors of the ACC can wear down any coach, especially one who was content to be a high-profile assistant just two weeks ago and has had to endure a very emotional ordeal. The 2007-08 season will be his honeymoon, but when the AT&T class arrives on campus next summer, expectations will shoot through the roof. How he handles that class will likely act as the bellwether for his duration as head coach at the school.