Mike Bobinski ‘zeroing in’ on Georgia Tech basketball hire

September 18, 2012 -Atlanta: This is a view of the basketball court inside Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. The arena has a seating capacity of 8,600 and cost $50million dollars. JOHNNY CRAWFORD /JCRAWFORD@AJC.COM

AJC file photo by Johnny Crawford

After two weeks, Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski may be getting close to a hire. In an update given to the school athletic association board on Thursday, Bobinski noted the length of the search, but said a couple interesting things about the process.

“It’s been a crisscrossing of the country and lots of things have gone on,” he said. “We are now in really the last stages of all that. Folks have emerged as those that are most interested and most likely to fit our circumstances and we will bring that to a conclusion just as rapidly as we can.”

He went on to tell the board the final steps of the hiring process – bringing the candidate to Atlanta to meet school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson and then getting together with the board, either in person or by teleconference, to get approval. Friday will mark two weeks since Brian Gregory was dismissed.

“That was probably, in my mind, the outside that I would like to have had this happen, but I would say this – I would much rather land in the right place than land in the quick place on this thing,” he said. “It’s important that we have the right person to move this thing forward and I think we’re zeroing in on that as we speak. I’m hoping that it’s not in the distant future as it is in the relatively near future that we’ll be able to do that.”

Perhaps I’m parsing, but his statement that the process is in the “last stages” and that “we’re zeroing in on that as we speak” caught my attention. I should note that Bobinski is confident in his speech. Further, I think that both those statements could be accurately made whether or not there was a hire in the works. And he’s not going to say, “I have no idea when this is going to end.”

Also, perhaps my own desire for this search to reach a conclusion is causing me to feverishly look for affirming clues.

And as far as who that might be? That’s a tough one to answer. It seems he’s mostly keeping his own counsel, so it’s hard to find out much. I have a sneaking suspicion, just given the way searches go sometimes, that it’ll be someone a little off the radar.

Interesting to note

I counted 21 coaching searches by “Big 5” schools in the past three hiring cycles (2013-2015). I didn’t count USC’s 2013 search, which began when Kevin O’Neill was fired in January. The average length was 10.4 days, starting on the day the coach either left or was fired and ending the day the news broke. Thursday is the 13th day of the search. Eight of the searches lasted 15 days or more, the longest being Alabama’s 21-day that ended with the hire of Avery Johnson.

Also, Thursday marks the start of a four-day recruiting period in which coaches can visit with prospects and their parents off the college campus. It’s obviously important for the recruitment of rising seniors and upperclassmen. In an ideal world for Tech, the search would have been completed and the new coach and his staff would be out this weekend meeting prospects. The second recruiting period, April 18-20, is the last until September.

Further, players who are transferring are beginning their recruitment, a process that Tech will have to start late on. With their three signees, the Jackets have one scholarship available and would do well to use it.

That said, this isn’t a decision to hasten in order to have a coach in place before a recruiting period.

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