The Van Buren Boys

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Johnson to Princeton; Burke Turns Down Air Force?

The Daily Princetonian is reporting that Princeton has offered its men's basketball head coaching job to Hoyas Assistant Coach Syndey Johnson. He will be the second head coach produced by JTIII this year, as Coach Broadus has taken the reins at SUNY-Binghampton. Congrats to both coaches. Although coaching turnover it tough, it is an amazing testament to what JTIII is building at Georgetown that other schools are seeking out his assistants for head coaching positions. In a short time he is going to have an impressive coaching tree.

In other news, it appears that Assistant Coach Rob Burke may have been offered but turned down the head coaching position at Air Force.

Fellow Air Force assistants Larry Mangino and A.J. Kuhle were interested in the job. The potential non-academy candidates included former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker, who took the Harvard job; former Wyoming coach Steve McClain; Brown coach Craig Robinson and Georgetown assistant Robert Burke. Two sources in the coaching community indicated Air Force negotiated with an outside candidate. One source indicated it was Burke, who could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear why Burke would have turned down a head coaching gig at a program like Air Force. One possibility is that JTIII asked him to stick around at GU because he thought that Broadus and Johnson would soon depart. If this is the case, Burke showed incredible loyalty to pass up a big payday (the new head coach at Air Force will make as much as JTIII) and a relatively high-profile gig for a first head coaching job. Of course, the doomsday hypothesis has Burke sticking around at GU to fill JTIII's shoes when he bolts for the NBA in a year or two, but I doubt that is likely. Being a head coach at another institution would give him head coaching bone fides that he can't get as JTIII's assistance. Naturally, a third possibility is something about the job made him uncomfortable and he decided to hold out for better offers. Maybe Jeff and Roy are coming back, and after a national title, the lead assistant at GU will clearly be a hot item.

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