Clemson went to the NIT this past season, which is nice for Clemson basketball. So in celebration, the Tigers apparently decided to give their not-in-demand head coach Brad Brownell a new deal.
Okay, that's excusable. Brownell's done a decent job and Clemson needs all the stability it can get in basketball. A couple of years can't hurt.
Wait, what's that? It was for more than a couple of years?
That's right, after hiring season is over, Clemson gave its not-in-demand head coach, who has performed slightly above average, a SIX-YEAR contract. Let's see what the Tigers' reasoning was:
"Brad has done a tremendous job building a solid foundation for our basketball program," director of athletics Dan Radakovich said. "I have the utmost confidence in Brad to continue to build as we compete in the nation's best basketball conference. We're excited to have him lead our program into the future for a long time to come."
Radakovich is not wrong in that Brownell has done some nice things, but his best season was his first one, when he was still riding the success of Oliver Purnell to make his first (and only, so far) NCAA Tournament at Clemson. This year, he made the NIT semifinals, but will lose star player K.J. McDaniels.
After Brownell's initial season at Clemson in 2011, when the Tigers finished ranked 22nd in the KenPom.com ratings, his teams have finished 76th, 124th and 50th in the ensuing seasons.
This is the basketball equivalent of Iowa State football forming a coach-of-the-year campaign for coach Paul Rhoads after a 6-6 season. It's saying, "Guys, we weren't terrible! We want this forever!"
Brownell shouldn't be fired, nor should he be on the hot seat. But a six-year deal? This is how, a few years down the line, you end up paying your fired coach more than your current coach.