Schaus Moves Quickly To Find Best Fit For Ohio< < Back to
Ohio Athletic Director Jim Schaus has a tough task ahead of him in replacing former basketball coach Jim Christian, and there have been many names thrown out as potential hires.However, Schaus is no stranger to coaching searches, having been responsible for two basketball hires at Wichita State and two more in Athens, all four of which resulted in the growth of the programs as well as the careers of the coaches chosen.
Schaus has also been responsible for hiring numerous other head coaches in all sports, the most recent of which was tabbing Deane Webb to lead the Ohio volleyball team. During Webb’s introductory press conference, Schaus gave insight to his decision making process in regards to looking for a new coach.
"I really wanted to focus a little bit on a head coach–a head coach is important to us because we have a mature program," Schaus said. "A head coach is somebody who has been successful and that's what we really need here–somebody who understands what it means to win and juggle all the balls that a head coach has to be able to do, there's an advantage to that sometimes over an assistant coach who has never done it before."
When Schaus hired Christian, Schaus said that he wanted to look at people who have had postseason experience and success. He also added that Christian’s experience in the Mid-American Conference particularly interested him.
"We're about every year being in contention to win a MAC Championship," Schaus said in 2012, "Every year to be in the NCAA tournament and every year competing to win games in the NCAA tournament."
In addition to what a coach brings to Ohio in terms of results, Schaus looks at people who have a personality that fits with the players and the school as well as having a respect for the academics in Athens.
"Academically, obviously, it's extremely important at Ohio University with our academic standards,” Schaus said.Schaus also placed a premium on "having a coach that understands the balance between motivating and having discipline in their program and at the same time, building a quality relationship with the student athletes who really care and like that coach."
In 2012, Schaus wasted no time in finding his man in Christian, hiring him less than a week after Groce left. Webb’s hiring was also announced in less than a week. Schaus said that time is definitely a factor in hiring a head coach because of the possibility of other schools swooping in.
“When you’re at a coaching search during the coaching change period of the year, if you have the right coach you need to move forward fairly quickly,” Schaus said. “If you take too much time, they might be gone so I think time is very, very important.”
The future success of the program is also something Schaus placed high on his wish list when looking at Christian, saying that he wasn’t only interested in the next year but for many years to come.
“We have to build it for the long haul and build a coach that can recruit the next set of athletes," Shaus said.
When Chirstian was hired, Schaus said that he looked at several candidates during the 2012 Final Four in New Orleans before choosing Christian, so the Final Four in North Texas on Saturday and the National Championship on Monday could prove to be the optimal time for Ohio to fill its head coaching vacancy.