Local News

Success Still Ahead For UNC Basketball?

Posted April 3, 2003

— After three seasons at the University of North Carolina, Matt Doherty is no longer the men's basketball coach.

UNC radio announcer Mick Mixon says the UNC coaching job remains a great one.

The question now is: Has the coaching controversy hurt the Tar Heels' chances of finding a top-notch coach?

At least two local sports experts say the program's future still can be bright.

For decades, Dean Smith was the king of Carolina basketball. Filling Smith's shoes has proven to be difficult.

In fact, last season, Doherty and the Tar Heels had a tough time filling seats at the games.

So, now that Doherty's out the door, there's debate about how hard it will be to find a coach to carry the team forward.

"I think some coaches are looking at this as a great opportunity," said Mick Mixon of the Tar Heel Sports Network, who has provided color commentary at UNC radio broadcasts for 14 years.

David Glenn of the

ACC Area Sports Journal

agreed:

"No matter what happens, the school will be able to choose from a lot of outstanding candidates," Glenn said.

Glenn said the Carolina coaching job is still one of the most coveted spots in college sports. He added, however, that the school needs to be a bit more selective in its hiring.

"Something they'll have to find that they didn't find in Matt Doherty is experience," he said.

Dave Glenn of the ACC Area Sports Journal says Carolina needs a coach with experience.

Mixon said that, despite all the recent controversy, UNC's next coach will walk into a good situation.

"They'll have an energetic team, " he said, "a talented team. And they'll have a fan base that's ready to be unified."

Like most in the sports world, Glenn and Mixon consider Kansas' Roy Williams the No. 1 target. But they're quick to point out nothing in basketball is a slam dunk.

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