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Holder's hiring of Travis Ford is not a big splash
But it is similar to another recent in-state hire

by Jenni Carlson Published: April 17, 2008
A week ago, Oklahoma State went fishing for Bill Self.

Now, it has hooked Travis Ford.

A splash, this isn't.

The search for OSU's next men's basketball coach started with the biggest of fish. Self is fresh off a national championship at Kansas, where he decided to stay after a hefty pay increase and a generous contract extension.

Which leads us to Ford.

The man who will be announced today as the Cowboys new coach is an up-and-comer, a guy who honed his skills at an NAIA school, who turned bottom-feeder Eastern Kentucky into an NCAA Tournament team and who's resurrected UMass after a decade of decline.

Ford might be a darn good choice for OSU.

But admit it, my orange-clad friends, you didn't exactly go crazy Wednesday when you heard the news that OSU athletic director Mike Holder had extended an offer and you realized Ford probably wouldn't refuse.

Maybe you were sitting at your computer. Maybe you were driving in your car. Did you throw your hands up in celebration? Did you pound the steering wheel in excitement?


Hold on a minute. Haven't we experienced a hire like this before before?

Two years ago, Oklahoma needed to find itself a basketball coach after Kelvin Sampson's departure. A bunch of top-tier names were thrown around. Gonzaga's Mark Few. Boston College's Al Skinner. Marquette's Tom Crean. Wake Forest's Skip Prosser. Miami's Frank Haith. Even NBA assistant P.J. Carlesimo, who might find his way to our fair state in the near future anyway.

On the evening of April 10, 2006, our sports department prepared a story about the progress of the coaching search.

"Prosser thought to be OU's primary target,” the headline read.

That story and headline never made the late editions. As the night wore on, new information came available.

Jeff Capel was the guy.

"Virginia Commonwealth's Capel OU choice?” the new headline read.

Capel's name had been absent from discussions in the days leading up to his hire, much like Ford's has been these past couple weeks.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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