College Basketball

Coaches say Buzz Williams, Bruce Pearl best hires this offseason

Buzz Williams was chosen the best coaching hire of the offseason by his peers Photo:

Buzz Williams was chosen the best coaching hire of the offseason by his peers

As part of a poll of over 80 Division I college basketball coaches by CBS Sports, Buzz Williams and Bruce Pearl were chosen as the best offseason hires of 2014.

Williams, who was hired by Virginia Tech from Marquette, received 29 percent of the vote. He edged out Bruce Pearl, who was hired by Auburn and earned 28 percent of the vote. 

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The coaches who were polled were allowed to anonymously share their thoughts on their selections, with one calling Williams "the Rodney Dangerfield of college basketball. He gets no respect." Another said Virginia Tech "hit a home run" with the hire of Williams.

"Bruce (Pearl) is probably the third most successful coach in the SEC right now ... and Auburn hired him before anybody else had a chance to make a run at him," said another coach.

In six seasons as Marquette's head coach, Williams went 139–69 and made five straight NCAA tournaments, including one Elite Eight. In 19 seasons as a head coach, including stops at Tennessee, Milwaukee and Division II Southern Indiana, Pearl is 462–145. 

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Pearl has not coached since 2011 after violating NCAA rules and receiving a three-year show-cause penalty for lying to the NCAA.

The other top vote receipients in the poll were Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski (7 percent), Rice's Mike Rhoades (7 percent), California's Cuonzo Martin (6 percent) and Loyola Marymount's Mike Dunlap (5 percent).

- Molly Geary


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