A Case For Becky Hammon To Be The Next Colorado State Basketball Coach
Hammon seems like a very logical choice.
Will something never been done in NCAA history happen at Colorado State?
Colorado State will need a new head coach after Larry Eustachy is fired, and all signs point to his firing according to the Denver Post. There are nine early candidates that our lead basketball writer, Eli Boettger, put together, but lets focus on one specifically: Becky Hammon.
The history of women coaching a men’s NCAA games are very slim. Only one time ever has there been a female in the head coaches chair and that was Teresa Phillips at Tennessee State. She was the athletics director for the university.
This was for just one game, which she lost, as she had fired head coach Nolan Richardson III earlier in the season and then suspended interim coach Hosea Lewis. The reason was because she had to be the coach as there was non one else there.
The only other three cases of a woman being a full-time assistant coach at the Division I level were Stephanie Ready at Coppin State, Jennifer Johnston at Oakland University and Bernadette Mattox at Kentucky; this is according to research done by USA Today.
Back to Hammon.
Lets just remove the fact that this is a female coach we are gauging credentials for a moment.
This is a Colorado State graduate who was an All-American and in their senior year led the Rams to a 33-3 record and a Sweet 16 berth. WAC player of the year and at the time in 1999 had the most points ever in the WAC and surpassed Utah’s Keith Van Horn for that honor.
She holds multiple records as well with total points, points per game, free throws made, three-pointers made and assists. Also, the No. 25 is retired at Moby Arena and she is a member of the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame.
That is just her playing career in college.
Hammon played 14 years as a pro basketball player with half of that in the WNBA and the rest in high profile leagues in Europe all while earning all-WNBA honors four times and a six-time all-star.
She also was on both Team USA and Team Russia where she competed in the 2008 Olympics the latter and won a bronze medal.
As for her coaching career, that is a bit slim as she is in her fourth year as an assitant coach, but that is for the San Antonio Spurs. Hammon was the first full-time NBA female assistant coach and spending almost half a decade under Gregg Poppovich is probably like 10 with anyone else.
She also was given the responsibility to be the head coach for the Spurs summer league team back in 2015, another first for a female.
However, a move to be the Colorado State men’s basketball coach may not necessarily be in the cards. Just this past summer she was getting interest to be the general manager position with the Milwaukee Bucks, but ultimately did not get the job.
She clearly has aspirations that are bigger thant the Rams basketball program. Those might be a general manager in the NBA or a head coach. However, the Rams definetely should make a pust to hire her as the men’s head coach.
Coaching is coaching but there are differences like recruiting which she has not done but that same thing could have been sad to Eric Musselman very little college coaching experience before landing the Nevada job. He was primarily a pro coach and spent three seasons as an assistant before heading to Reno.
Most would want her around, or at least consider her, but then there will be people out there who do not want a woman coaching the men’s basketball program. The only legitmate knock against her is that she has not coached college, and with the NBA epxerience and interviewing for a GM job have a little bit of a flight risk placed on her.
However, getting a head coaching job in a league that is closer to a power league than not, and it would be a resume builder if she were to go somewhere else to take a bigger job.
Also, going back to a familiar place makes it an easier sell to fans as she is a local legend to Fort Collins.
Colorado State would also get a lot out of this in addition to a good coach, but the university would have a ton of media buzz about hiring the first female to lead a men’s Divison I program. There would be new eyeballs to the school from thsoe who never had a thought about Colorado State. Coverage would be brought to the program that otherwise they may not have had by hiring a different coach.