Buzz Williams Would Be Insane To Take Oklahoma Job

March 21, 2011 – 1:17 pm by Ryan Phillips

Marquette has carved out a nice little tournament run. As the East’s No. 11 seed the Golden Eagles knocked off No. 6 seed Xavier 66-55, then upset No. 3 seed Syracuse 66-62. Without much expected from them this year, the Golden Eagles’ march to the Sweet 16 has been a surprise to many. As such, head coach Buzz Williams’ name has come up in connection to a few “bigger” jobs.

Williams was thought of as a distant candidate for the Arkansas opening, but soon after Jeff Capel was sent packing at Oklahoma, “Coach Buzz” shot to the top of the Sooners’ list. Over the weekend several sources admitted that the 38-year-old Williams is Oklahoma’s top target. That’s really nice for him, but frankly the guy would have to be insane to take that job.

From the sources we’ve talked to we know this: Williams loves his Marquette squad. More importantly, he loves the team he has coming back next season. The Golden Eagles lose four seniors, of those only Jimmy Butler and Dwight Buycks are starters. While Butler is a really nice player and has had a good senior season (15.8 points, 6.1 rebounds per game) he is replaceable.

In addition to that, the Golden Eagles have a very good recruiting class coming in next year. Four-star small forward Juan Anderson will likely contribute early and point guard Derrick Wilson will probably earn solid minutes by midseason. Translation: If Williams could get this Marquette team to the Sweet 16, he could do damage next year with a bunch of returnees and a good recruiting class.

Meanwhile, things at Oklahoma aren’t exactly rosy. After back-to-back losing seasons, Capel was sent packing, and his roster is a mess. Oklahoma missed out on signing any big-time recruits over the past two seasons. While Capel did get highly-touted JUCO forward Robert Goff to commit for next season, Goff is now rumored to beĀ  headed elsewhere, considering the main reason he signed with the Sooners was his close relationship with the now deposed coach.

In addition to that, Oklahoma could be facing major sanctions because former assistant Oronde Taliaferro may have been involved in securing a loan for now-departed forward Tiny Gallon from a financial advisor. Even if the NCAA spares the Sooners, the reputation of the program has been severely damaged (once again) and the cupboard is basically bare for recruits and on the current roster. It is a serious rebuilding project to say the least.

Williams (reportedly) makes about $1.5 million per year right now, and Oklahoma would probably have to offer around $2 million to even get his attention. The school just shelled out around $2.2 million just to get Capel to go away, so clearly it has the money. And yes, Williams is a Texas native, so the pull to be closer to home will certainly be present.

Knowing Williams’ personality, I honestly don’t think he goes to Oklahoma. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and I don’t think money alone would sway him to leave what he’s got at Marquette. Especially considering that he’s definitely in line for a raise from his current school.

He’s built a very solid roster and with the talent he has coming in and the experience gained in the postseason this year, the Golden Eagles could be a force next season.

Frankly, Williams would have to be crazy to leave what he has in Milwaukee.

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  1. 7 Responses to “Buzz Williams Would Be Insane To Take Oklahoma Job”

  2. When I heard that he was the top man for Oklahoma’s position, I kind of had the same thoughts. I’m sure he might listen to Oklahoma and parlay that into a raise. Or maybe he’ll just say no thank at the outset. But, I’m with you: I don’t think Williams is going anywhere.

    By MJenks on Mar 21, 2011

  3. Marquette is a low-pressure job where he’s already set thing up for success. He’s paid well and will probably get a raise and at Oklahoma he’d play second-fiddle to football and inherit an absolute mess.

    This really isn’t much of a decision at all.

    By Phillips on Mar 21, 2011

  4. Oh lord. I just looked at that picture of Williams. Now I can’t stop laughing.

    Yeah, Marquette is a good gig like that. Not a lot of pressure, decent exposure through the Big East, and no pesky football to contend with.

    Plus–and this is pure speculation–Buzz looks like he enjoys a tipple or two. Wisconsin has a much better beer scene than Oklahoma.

    By MJenks on Mar 22, 2011

  5. Coaches don’t think as short term as this author. Yes – Marquette had a better season than Oklahoma, but Oklahoma has a much better basketball tradition than Marquette. that doesn’t mean Williams should take the job, but he can rebuild that roster at a proven winner and stay there for a long time. Don’t forget, before the last two years, Capel was in the elite 8, Kelvin Sampson and Billy Tubbs had sustained success for the last 30 years. I dont know if you can call a team that was in the elite 8 two years ago a sleeping giant, but Oklahoma certainly has a history and a very proud tradition in Basketball. Williams would be lucky to coach there, it is a definite step up – and not just because of the money.

    By Derek on Mar 23, 2011

  6. OU more tradition than Marquette? Hardly. Ever heard of Al Maguire? Rick Majerus? Doc Rivers? Dwyane Wade? MU has it all over the Sooners in basketball tradition.

    By Mark Dittami on Mar 24, 2011

  7. Yep, those four guys make a historical program. Or – it could take forty plus years of consistent, winning basketball. Multiple final fours, number one seeds, all-Americans, players of the year, coaches of the year, longest post-season streak in the country which ended late last decade. Just to play along, how about Wyman Tisdale, Mookie Blaylock, Stacy King, Alvin Adams, Ryan Minor, Eduardo Najera, Hollis Price, Blake Griffin, John McLeod. Billy Tubbs, Kelvin Sampson…..the list could be longer.

    By Derek on Mar 24, 2011

  8. Ha. OU does not have the better program historically compared to Marquette. Al Maguire alone blows away anything that OU has. I would take Marquette’s last forty years over OU’s last forty years any day. It includes multiple final fours and tourney runs. MU also has an NCAA title in there for good measure.

    We could give a long list of players equal to Stacy King (though I don’t think there is a better announcer). I am sure you are a proud Sooner fan, but OU just does not compare to MU.

    Being in the Big East is a huge game changer recently. It was harder 10 years ago to recruit to MU. Now, MU has top of the line facilities and is in the best conference. Buzz knows you can finish 11th in the conference and still get to the Sweet 16.

    By Justin Brown on Mar 25, 2011

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