Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcome to the crew, Brian Blaney

Thought I'd change it up a little bit and blog about men's basketball for a change... given that it is the preeminent sport on North Benson Rd. anyway.

Referring back to that Sunday Q&A Chris Elsberry did with head coach Ed Cooley, it was officially revealed that the Stags have hired former Loyola associate head coach Brian Blaney to take over for Aki Collins as an assistant coach.

Locally, Blaney is renown for being the son of UConn associate head coach George Blaney, who has been Jim Calhoun's right hand man for going on eight years. Ironically, Fairfield is scheduled to head up to Storrs to play the Huskies on December 27.

What I found fascinating was the manner in which this hiring went down. According to Cooley's words, Blaney called him "out of the blue", and cited his new marriage and family as a reason to settle down home in the Connecticut area. Cooley said that Blaney wasn't even "on (his) radar".

So Jimmy Patsos' main assistant gives a call to Ed Cooley to come join his staff, even though its a lesser position? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I do find this to an interesting way to add fuel to the Fairfield/Loyola fire. Maybe Cooley and Blaney are indeed good friends who go way back, or maybe Blaney felt that a change of scenery (a.k.a. somewhere away from Jimmy) was needed for more than just family reasons. But it's worth noting that Cooley is known around coaching circles as a well-respected voice. Patsos, on the other hand, is sometimes not viewed in the same manner (just ask Joe Mihalich).

My favorite Cooleyism in this article: "Brian's about to get married and Jimmy (Patsos) wants some younger, single guys that will run around and go crazy and Brian's trying to settle his life down."


samueltildengothosed said...

You couldn't have made this script any juicier. I can see it now: Patsos starts laces into one of his infamous tirades, and who walks toward half court to contront him? The guy who used to be sitting on the Hounds bench with fellow assistants paraphrasing Samual L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, yelling "Somebody chill that coach out!"

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