Friday, April 22, 2011

Farewell to Jim Larranaga

I don't think I've ever used this space to discuss anything but baseball, but today, I make an exception. George Mason University Head Basketball Coach Jim Larranaga has taken his talents to South Beach, as he'll be the next head coach of the University of Miami.

It would be easy for me to be bitter, as I was a student at George Mason University when the team made its magical run to the Final Four in 2006. I followed the team before and after that time, and the one enduring face was always Jim Larranaga. You'd hear his piercing whistle during a game, and you'd always see his jovial post-game interviews. He always just seemed happy to be there, and I believe he truly was.

I'm not bitter about him leaving, but I can't even begin to describe the loss of an iconic coach like Larranaga to a mid-major program that has been on the national sports radar for the last 5 seasons. I am happy for Jim, though. Best case scenario, Larranaga would have commanded just over half a million dollars next season with Mason, and reports have him making over $1 million at Miami. It's about time this underrated, overachieving coach got his true payday.

From the run to the Final Four, the unofficial re-naming of the Patriot Center to the Larranaga Center in 2006, and the 3 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 5 years (2 at-large), Mason fans and graduates will always have the unbelievable memories of the GMU Cinderella Story that was their run to the Final Four, and no one can take that away from us. Good luck, Coach.


  1. this is neither here nor there, but the U is in coral gables, not south beach

  2. Sorry for using an inaccurate pop-culture reference. Wanted to capitalize on the south beach reference.

  3. Oh Joe, you should know better than to use pop-culture references...