Like son, like father. And, like, how did this happen?
Roger Reid, fired as BYU basketball coach just 10 months ago, apparently will join his son Robbie, a two-year BYU guard, at the University of Michigan for the upcoming season. The elder Reid is expected to be named coach at Michigan today.Chicago's WGN Radio and Detroit's WJR Radio reported Thursday that the 50-year-old Reid would succeed Steve Fisher, who was fired Oct. 10. It's uncertain, however, if Reid's hiring will be on an interim or a permanent basis.
Reid said Friday morning, however, that the position hasn't been offered to him.
"Nothing definitive has happened at this point," he said. "Reports suggesting I've already been offered this position are false.
"I do have a very important meeting (with university administrators) scheduled for 11 a.m.," Reid said, adding that he met informally with university officials past midnight Thursday evening.
Reid said he's been in serious discussions with the University of Michigan for nearly two weeks, following Fisher's firing.
In an interview with the Deseret News following Fisher's dismissal, Reid had been critical of Michigan's handling of the situtation.
"What are we teaching, what kind of signal are we sending young men by firing coaches like this? Is it a pro team? Does truth, integrity and honesty stand for anything anymore? "I know that several players, including All-American Tractor Traylor, returned for their senior seasons to play for the guy," Reid said.
Robbie Reid, who starred at BYU as a freshman and sophomore, was serving a two-year LDS mission in Greece when he learned of his father's firing. He opted not to finish his career at BYU - Y. administrators granted him an immediate release - and earlier this fall settled on Michigan over finalists Utah, Virginia and Illinois.
The 6-foot-2 junior point guard will likely be the starter at point guard this season. Brandun Hughes, last year's starter, has been dismissed from the team.
Ironically, one of several complaints against Roger Reid from vocal dissidents among Cougar basketball fans was the issue of nepotism and favoritism toward his sons, Randy and Robbie. Randy Reid was a four-year player for his father at BYU.
The Michigan job was not the first time Reid and Fisher had been mentioned in the same breath. Reid was among several finalists for a coaching vacancy at the University of South Alabama, which Bill Musselman unexpectedly left Oct. 7 for an NBA assistant's position.
Reid had interviewed with USA president Frederick P. Whiddon and athletic director Joe Gottfried last week. However, earlier this week, Reid announced he was withdrawing his name from consideration - about the same time Fisher applied for the post.
At the time, Reid gave several reasons for not pursuing the job, including South Alabama asking him to maintain Musselman's assistant coaches through the season. Also, Reid said he wanted to pursue other interests, including the opening at Michigan following Fisher's departure.
Not long after Reid withdrew, Fisher did the same - despite having all but received a formal USA offer. South Alabama then scurried to court Reid again as their front-runner.
Contacted Wednesday by the Mobile (Ala.) Register, Reid said he was still interested but had some unanswered questions, regarding assistants, salary and budget. He also mentioned being contacted by Michigan.
As late as Thursday, Reid was doing his best "Where's Waldo" impression: Was he headed north or south?
South Alabama sports information director Mike Nicholson said Reid was expected to arrive in Mobile late Thursday night and possibly interview a second time with university officials today.
But instead, Reid was en route to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he is scheduled for an official interview with University of Michigan administrators.
Reid averaged 22 victories a season during his first five years as head coach at BYU and took the Cougars to the NCAA tournament in five of his first six seasons. Two years ago, BYU fell to an overall record of 15-13, and Reid was fired after a 1-6 start to the 1996-97 season. Among the reasons - declining attendance and loss of top-level LDS recruits to other schools.
His overall record at BYU was 152-77 overall (.664 winning percentage) and 83-37 (.692) in Western Athletic Conference competition. During his tenure, his teams had a 97-percent graduation rate.
The Wolverine cupboard has been left far from bare for Reid, whose coaching strengths include game preparation, fundamentals and a fiery intensity. Michigan returns four starters from last year's team, which won the postseason National Invitational Tournament title and is scheduled to make at least five appearances on CBS and 11 on ESPN.
However, Michigan media know that Reid doesn't arrive in Ann Arbor without some baggage. They have already been calling their Utah peers, asking about reports of Reid's slower, deliberate offensive style and his curt, sometimes abrasive manner of dealing with the media.
Fisher was fired by new UM athletic director Tom Goss following a seven-month in-house investigation that revealed only minor violations in the men's basketball program. The violations revolved around a Wolverine booster's distribution of cash and gifts to current and former players; Fisher had left tickets for the booster several times after the latter had been banned in March from associating with the Michigan program.
Fisher took over the Wolverine team just prior to the 1989 NCAA tournament, with Michigan going on to win its only national championship. It was one of three Final Four appearances in his first five years as coach, with Fisher guiding his "Fab Five" team to the title games in 1992 and 1993. Fisher ended with an overall record of 185-82 at Michigan.
Brian Ellerbie, hired as an assistant only in April, had been named interim coach, but only until a replacement could be found.
Still remaining on South Alabama's list of coaching candidates are Oklahoma State assistant Paul Graham, former Memphis coach Larry Finch and former Wisconsin coach Steve Yoder.