Reckless Speculation

MasterAxe
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Here is a message board specialty...totally reckless speculation.

I have some close friends that live in Missouri and they've told me that Keller's name has come up as a "hey that guy at SFA," in regards to the new coach at Missouri State.

I even went on thier message boards and his name has come up more than a few times.

Total reckless speculation, but apparently they are gearing up for a potential of $600K-$700k for a new coach.

Money isn't everything, but that's a lot of money.
nacluth
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The Missouri Valley definitely has more cache then the Southland, but essentially they are still a one bid league. They have more potential for an at large bid, but it's been a tough competitive league for years now.

If I was a betting man, Keller wants to move to a power 5 school. He needs NCAA success to really do that. In the Southland, he's got a lot higher chance of making it to the tourney every year. I believe, in the MVC he would get stuck there with all the other coaches. Here he can be the big dog everyone's looking at. Yeah it may mean no extra 200-300k/year, but if he can get a P5/6 school then he can make up those lost wages quick. My random guess is that he stays here until he makes two tournaments and gets a win.
Ryan
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TallTexan
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MasterAxe said:

Here is a message board specialty...totally reckless speculation.

I have some close friends that live in Missouri and they've told me that Keller's name has come up as a "hey that guy at SFA," in regards to the new coach at Missouri State.

I even went on thier message boards and his name has come up more than a few times.

Total reckless speculation, but apparently they are gearing up for a potential of $600K-$700k for a new coach.

Money isn't everything, but that's a lot of money.
Definitely a lot of money, but I have to agree with Nacluth, the potential to slingshot up the ladder seems a bit easier at a league you have a chance to dominate than at Missouri State.

The best thing that happened to SFA was Underwood tourning down the Southern Miss job. I'm hoping he set the standard for aiming high for coaching positions for SFA coaches.

I don't want to lose Keller, but if a P5 team comes calling, I wouldn't blame him for taking the call. The ones that worry me most are the Ags at the moment.

MasterAxe
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nacluth said:

The Missouri Valley definitely has more cache then the Southland, but essentially they are still a one bid league. They have more potential for an at large bid, but it's been a tough competitive league for years now.

If I was a betting man, Keller wants to move to a power 5 school. He needs NCAA success to really do that. In the Southland, he's got a lot higher chance of making it to the tourney every year. I believe, in the MVC he would get stuck there with all the other coaches. Here he can be the big dog everyone's looking at. Yeah it may mean no extra 200-300k/year, but if he can get a P5/6 school then he can make up those lost wages quick. My random guess is that he stays here until he makes two tournaments and gets a win.
I agree with you 100%.

But, you know it's a fight that a school like us will always have to take on, especially if he gets to multiple NCAA and wins a game or two or three.

I don't anticipate this happening anytime soon, unless we just go bonkers in the NCAA this year, but, we're always going to have to keep our head on a swivel anytime we have a coach with post-season success.
nacluth
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Yep. If we say made the Sweet 16 this year, serious offers come pouring in. But even if we make 3 of the next 5 NCAA's with a win, then he gets serious consideration.

The problem with being a coaching carousel is that it's so hard to hit on coaches hire after hire. You want your good coaches to stay around, but you want them to be good enough to get you to higher heights. It's an unsustainable model for SFA. But, Keller might have it in him (I think he does) to follow Underwood to a big league in the next 2-5 years.

Like I've said before, these are the good days. We should enjoy them now. They may not be here for long.
Ryan
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TallTexan
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nacluth said:

Yep. If we say made the Sweet 16 this year, serious offers come pouring in. But even if we make 3 of the next 5 NCAA's with a win, then he gets serious consideration.

The problem with being a coaching carousel is that it's so hard to hit on coaches hire after hire. You want your good coaches to stay around, but you want them to be good enough to get you to higher heights. It's an unsustainable model for SFA. But, Keller might have it in him (I think he does) to follow Underwood to a big league in the next 2-5 years.

Like I've said before, these are the good days. We should enjoy them now. They may not be here for long.


I'd like to see us be able to pay a coach enough to get 5 years out of every coach. We could also work on getting great assistants to make sure we have a coach in waiting per say.

I'd also structure contracts with a home and home requirement as part of any buyout. That way our next coach is getting the schedule they need to be successful.
SFA_03
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I don't think Kyle goes to a different mid-major unless we just don't make it to a NCAA tournament in several tries.

Now when he finally does have his run and gets SFA at the very least to a round of 32 appearance, the big boys will be calling, and we can't really compete with a Big 12 or SEC school.

Then again we also could have possibly found that one coach that just loves Nac and SFA so much that he won't stop here until SFA wins a national title.

All of these are equally possible things.
Sully
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Unfortunately for us he will have better offers than Missouri State this off-season. Fortunately for us, as has been mentioned, Underwood being patient paid off big for him.

I don't think Keller has enough of a body of work that a big-time program would take a chance on him just yet, at least I hope not. He's just another good season or two away from being the next coach at Texas A&M or an even better program.

I believe he's making 300K here plus over 100 in bonuses he can earn, which he will make many of this season. That's a nice salary they are supposedly going to offer at Missouri State but it would be a silly move to take a tiny step up and start all over when he can stay in a great situation and hit the jackpot in a year or two.

Summary: I'm not worried at all about Missouri state but I am worried that the coaching pool will be thin and turnover will be high and P5 or strong high-mid school like UConn will pay big money and take a chance on an up-and-comer. I'm not worried that UConn specifically is going to come all the way down here for a coach but I just mean an attractive job like that where the pay is pretty big and you can win big.
TallTexan
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Sully said:


Summary: I'm not worried at all about Missouri state but I am worried that the coaching pool will be thin and turnover will be high and P5 or strong high-mid school like UConn will pay big money and take a chance on an up-and-comer. I'm not worried that UConn specifically is going to come all the way down here for a coach but I just mean an attractive job like that where the pay is pretty big and you can win big.


The thin coaching pool worries me a bit this year, with the FBI investigation tainting a lot of candidates, but I also worry whether or not we have a home and home clause in his contract for whenever a suitor comes calling in the future.
PurpleOut
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Staff
I've seen Richie Riley mentioned for this job too.
Sully
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Robert is pretty savvy in this area and this is obviously not his first dance. Underwood had a 400k salary and a $250k buyout. I imagine KK has something in the same range.

As far as the home and home it really depends on who the school is. Most ADs at schools that get a lot of coaches poached have both a buyout and an option for a home and home or more buyout. I can see a Missouri State type of school taking the home and home both because they don't want to spend a 6 figures more and because SFA is not a terrible road game for them. Ole Miss or UGA I can't see any way they come to Nac & I think they just pony up the extra 200k or whatever it is and both sides are happy.
TallTexan
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I mean, I'd like the extra pay too, but we have such a hard time getting premier opponents at home I don't think I'd take it if it meant giving up a home & home.

I know we don't always have the power in that position though.
sfa17
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I think this is a good problem to have. I rather have a good coach leave than a bad one stay for 5 to 10 years for example Sam Houston. Keller will probably have some offers but unless he does something unbelievable in tourney. I think we can keep him. I think underwood only received low mid major offers after his first year. Southern miss and Marshall. Correct me if I'm wrong.
edstile
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With the players we have coming back and the infusion of new top talent we'll have coming in next Fall, I'd think that Keller will be ripe for the plucking by a Power 5 school after our 33-4 overall and 18-0 conference records and our trip to the Sweet 16 next year. Sadly.....
edstile
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FYI... Coach K qualified for a $6,000 bonus when the Jacks won the SLC tourney (2% of his $300,000 base salary). He has $11,000 in bonuses so far (he got $5,000 for 20+ wins). This is according to a USAToday sports reporter.
SfaFan15
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sfa17 said:

I think this is a good problem to have. I rather have a good coach leave than a bad one stay for 5 to 10 years for example Sam Houston. Keller will probably have some offers but unless he does something unbelievable in tourney. I think we can keep him. I think underwood only received low mid major offers after his first year. Southern miss and Marshall. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Couldn't agree more with this. Not that Sam Houston is bad at basketball, but that is sort of what makes it a problem. They're always 18-13 or 19-12 or something it seems like. Not bad enough to fire a coach but not good enough to build a program and gain notoriety. I'd much rather be in a place where good coaches come and make the tournament 2 or 3 times and won't take anything less than a Big 12/SEC/AAC (or equivalent) offer because that is the precedent and really the only vertical move... Not gonna lie, I wasn't sure if Keller was that guy at times, but it looks like he has proven me wrong and hopefully continues to do so. Never been so happy to be wrong about something.
nsubroski
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PurpleOut said:

I've seen Richie Riley mentioned for this job too.
I could see it built the team to GTFO. Not really gonna blame him if he goes
Sully
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edstile said:

FYI... Coach K qualified for a $6,000 bonus when the Jacks won the SLC tourney (2% of his $300,000 base salary). He has $11,000 in bonuses so far (he got $5,000 for 20+ wins). This is according to a USAToday sports reporter.

Can you please post the link? I couldn't find it and I'm curious to see. I have seen a lot of these contracts and there is usually a pretty big bonus for making the tournament and for each round won. Also usually a pretty good one for decent grades and APR but SFA smartly pays those out late in the summer so that you can't cash out if you jump ship.
edstile
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Sully said:

edstile said:

FYI... Coach K qualified for a $6,000 bonus when the Jacks won the SLC tourney (2% of his $300,000 base salary). He has $11,000 in bonuses so far (he got $5,000 for 20+ wins). This is according to a USAToday sports reporter.

Can you please post the link? I couldn't find it and I'm curious to see. I have seen a lot of these contracts and there is usually a pretty big bonus for making the tournament and for each round won. Also usually a pretty good one for decent grades and APR but SFA smartly pays those out late in the summer so that you can't cash out if you jump ship.
I saw it on Twitter. I don't recall the guy's name. I'll see if I can dig it up again.
edstile
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edstile said:

Sully said:

edstile said:

FYI... Coach K qualified for a $6,000 bonus when the Jacks won the SLC tourney (2% of his $300,000 base salary). He has $11,000 in bonuses so far (he got $5,000 for 20+ wins). This is according to a USAToday sports reporter.

Can you please post the link? I couldn't find it and I'm curious to see. I have seen a lot of these contracts and there is usually a pretty big bonus for making the tournament and for each round won. Also usually a pretty good one for decent grades and APR but SFA smartly pays those out late in the summer so that you can't cash out if you jump ship.
I saw it on Twitter. I don't recall the guy's name. I'll see if I can dig it up again.
Sully, the USAToday's reporter's name is Steve Berkowitz. He doesn't say where he got his information. Hope this helps.
edstile
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Shaking my head...

Houston Coach Kelvin Sampson so far has qualified for $50,000 in total bonuses (plus a $200,000 annual pay increase), Tech Coach Chris Beard so far has $160,000 in bonuses, Virginia Coach Tony Bennett will get $350,000 in bonuses (I'm sure he's singing a happy tune...), Auburn's Coach Bruce Pearl has qualified for $200,000 in bonuses, and (Get this, guys....) Florida State WOMEN'S Coach Sue Semrau so far will get $100,000 in bonuses. And those are just some of the numbers.

How can SFA ever hope to compete with those kinds of numbers if they want to keep a good coach???
nacluth
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You can't. You sell them on that the community is better than money. It's a hard sell, but it's what we got. Nacogdoches county is in the lowest 10 wages per capita in the nation. Our average earner is almost right at $30k/year (which is not much lower than SFA pays for beginning adjunct professors). As important as basketball coaches are to the marketing of our university, we're never going to pay a guy 50 or 100x the average person in Nac. It would become obscene.

By the way, my wife met Keller tonight with friends and said that she sees now how extremely likable he is.
TallTexan
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nacluth said:


By the way, my wife met Keller tonight with friends and said that she sees now how extremely likable he is.

I take it this means that no more double dates will be scheduled in the middle of basketball games?
TallTexan
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To be fair, I have often wondered what a comparable salary to the cost of living would be. Sure, we don't pay as much but that dollar goes a lot further in Nac.

I could see a future where an SFA basketball coach makes a million per year after bonuses, but I think that'd be the very top.

And that's if a coach like Keller has a 7 or 8 year run of success with regular sweet 16 appearances. But I think you'd see that pay off for the town/school with increased donations, higher enrollment, etc.

But we'll never be able to or willing to compete with Power 6 conference coaches. For 500k a year though, Keller could afford to live as well as almost any of them though with Nac housing prices.


Sully
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Thanks for the info guys.

People overestimate the affordability of Nacogdoches. $500K in Nac is only 535 in Houston. To be clear, by "only" I mean there's not that much of a % difference, not that it's a small amount of cash!

The main thing that is supposed to be more affordable in Nacogdoches is housing and while that is true for your median 3 BR 2 bath house as well as for rent (as it would be most college towns), but when you get into higher end homes like a basketball coach would probably live in, there is not much difference between Nacogdoches and any TX metro area or any other college town in the country. You're going to pay just as much per sq ft. for a nicely remodeled home off Raguet or one of the newer ones north of the loop off Appleby Sand as you would for something comparable in a Houston/DFW suburb or a college town.

Bottom line is that the only way to ever keep a good basketball coach long-term would be to cut football and focus $ on basketball like Wichita State has. That's probably a lot easier to do in Wichita Kansas with its limited football culture and probably will not happen here, but that's the reality people need to get used to.
MasterAxe
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There is also an element, for a head coach, of "Can I ever win anything more than a conference title here?"

I think one of the reasons BU left (and maybe not the main reason) was because the best EVER team he had at SFA would maybe be a Sweet 16 team. Maybe.

At some level, all coaches want to win a national title, or a least be at a school that you can realistically believe you have a chance.

We are not even close to that level. So, when we have a 2 or 3 year stretch of SLC dominance, the coaches are going to get the opportunity to move up...to a place with better title odds.

If Kyle Keller wants to rack up a ton of SLC titles, then lets do it. We'll even have the years where we win a game, maybe two in the NCAA.

But, realistically, we are lighyears away from any type of continuous 2nd weekend NCAA play, let alone title worthy.

TallTexan
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Sully said:

Thanks for the info guys.

People overestimate the affordability of Nacogdoches. $500K in Nac is only 535 in Houston. To be clear, by "only" I mean there's not that much of a % difference, not that it's a small amount of cash!

The main thing that is supposed to be more affordable in Nacogdoches is housing and while that is true for your median 3 BR 2 bath house as well as for rent (as it would be most college towns), but when you get into higher end homes like a basketball coach would probably live in, there is not much difference between Nacogdoches and any TX metro area or any other college town in the country. You're going to pay just as much per sq ft. for a nicely remodeled home off Raguet or one of the newer ones north of the loop off Appleby Sand as you would for something comparable in a Houston/DFW suburb or a college town.

Bottom line is that the only way to ever keep a good basketball coach long-term would be to cut football and focus $ on basketball like Wichita State has. That's probably a lot easier to do in Wichita Kansas with its limited football culture and probably will not happen here, but that's the reality people need to get used to.
When I say affordable, I'm talking more about comparitively to the huge range that those places like Houston or Dallas have. A 500k a year basketball coach can afford one of the nicest homes in Nac, in the best neighborhood. Or a frugal one can live like a relative king compared to some of our other city dwelling coaches in the state & still live in a great house in a great neighborhood near campus.

500k a year in Houston doesn't go nearly as far to getting into the nicest neighborhood, you just live in an upper middle class neighborhood. Not that it's anything to scoff at because those are similar neighborhoods, but there's a pretty large difference between being one of the highest earners in town vs one of tens of thousands in Houston or Dallas.

But mostly it comes down to lifestyle, do you want your kids to live in a big city, small town, etc. Either way, an SFA head basketball coach isn't going to be hurting, but that's just personal preference.
Sully
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I agree with everything you wrote except that we are light years away.

I don't think cutting football is even a possibility so it actually might be more than light years but the cold hard truth is if we cut football and put those resources into basketball we would have a realistic shot at being like Gonzaga, Wichita State etc. I'm not saying it would be right around the corner but no reason why not, eventually.

We could also sooner than later field a nationally competitive baseball team as well if anyone is interested in that.
SfaFan15
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I think for the time being, most SFA Fans view a sweet 16 appearance as a championship of sorts. I believe that over time the standard will become higher and higher until one day, hopefully, we become a household name as far as mid-majors/low-majors go.

I would also think that for the time being consistency would be the key input to taking our program to the next level. I'm definitely in agreeance that cutting other sports and allocating more resources to basketball would be very helpful, but I'd hate to see the other sports go even if they're a few steps below our basketball program.

Over time, we should be able to pay a coach 500k a year. I could be wrong, but I thought Underwood was in the high 300s when he left, so another 100k a year doesn't seem too out of reach. We also need to increase the bonuses for successful coaches. $11,000 in bonuses seems so low. I would've expected bonuses of 3x that much.
TheRevSFA
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edstile said:

Shaking my head...

Houston Coach Kelvin Sampson so far has qualified for $50,000 in total bonuses (plus a $200,000 annual pay increase), Tech Coach Chris Beard so far has $160,000 in bonuses, Virginia Coach Tony Bennett will get $350,000 in bonuses (I'm sure he's singing a happy tune...), Auburn's Coach Bruce Pearl has qualified for $200,000 in bonuses, and (Get this, guys....) Florida State WOMEN'S Coach Sue Semrau so far will get $100,000 in bonuses. And those are just some of the numbers.

How can SFA ever hope to compete with those kinds of numbers if they want to keep a good coach???
Scrap Football.

I'm not saying to do so, but that's the only way we'd get the funding to match that.
Sully
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I see what you are saying & that makes sense.
aquavelvis
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TheRevSFA said:


Scrap Football.

I'm not saying to do so, but that's the only way we'd get the funding to match that.
OK with me.

We get more attention, nationally and in-state, even losing in Round 1 of March Madness than we would by actually winning the FCS championship.

Villanova won the FCS in 2009 and who remembers it (I had to look it up)? Even the national sports media think of Nova as a basketball power and don't give a rip about the FCS.

Does Davidson even have a football team? What I do know is their basketball coach has been there 29 years...he's good and they can afford him...and he's in the Big Dance almost every year and, oh, by the way, recruited Steph Curry and kept him there four years.

Congrats to SHSU for being great and kicking our rear end in football and being perennial SLC champs but where's it gotten them in terms of national attention? Nowhere with a capital N.

Brad lost to Notre Dame on Saturday and was off to Okie State on Sunday. Danny was gone 2 or 3 days after an impressive but losing effort to Stanford in the NIT. I hope that if Coach Keller is still around in a week that he'll be staying around a while.
Scott Taylor
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sfa17
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I don't think they will ever scrap football. Bc of whole East Texas High School football connection. Which obviously has had no help making us successful in football. we might as well be located in Rhode Island.

Keller will get offers but i don't think any of the offers will be better than coming back. A middle of the pack Sun Belt team is not better than coach at SFA. Coaching at SFA has the potential of leading to a P5 job. Look at Underwood and Boyton

... but i could be wrong.
Warning: This message will self destruct if Keller takes a job at a P5 school next week. The money plus competition is too hard to turn down
nacluth
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Please don't leave us Coach Keller. We have to see Bogues, Harris, and Holyfield hit top form.
edstile
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Exactly, Ryan, along with those two studs from Houston Yates, and that JUCO big you're going to grab (you are going to grab one, right?). Oh, and to watch Gru finally get his first triple double in front of his adoring fans.
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