Dakich says “there’s no question” he should remain head coach

At the end of Indiana’s post-game press conference after its NCAA Tournament loss to Arkansas, Dan Dakich was asked if he wanted to make his case on why he should remain Indiana’s head coach. Here is his lengthy reply:

“There’s no question I should be. I understand there’s a culture at Indiana, given the timing of all this. There’s a lot of things transpiring behind the scenes with where the program has to go, and it has to be somebody that understands it. Or else you’re going to get yourself in a situation, just like we are.

“You know, the basketball part of this, this was a difficult situation to be in in the basketball part of it. But then you know what, that’s life. People are in far more difficult situations that I am.

“And just because you understand the culture doesn’t mean that you should be the head coach at Indiana University, but the passion, the desire to do things right, academically, socially, on the court, style of play, all are things that are absolutely what would happen if I become the head basketball coach at Indiana over the course of time. It’s just the way it is. When I was at Bowling Green, we won more in my first four years than since the guy they named the gym after was playing triple-headers in the same day I think against two women’s teams and a CYO team; and then injury and a variety of things kind of curtailed things.

But that’s what needs to happen here. This needs to be built. This needs to be built with a foundation of discipline and accountability. This needs to be built back to where there is a real pride among the people that know everything that’s going on in the basketball program; where there are former players that come and have pride in what is happening here in the program. And that can certainly happen with a lot of people, but I’m just telling you, given the climate, the culture, what’s happening right now, it has to be somebody that understands it, or else you’re going to face — I’m just telling you.

This is something I don’t wonder about. This something I know, period. At this particular time, there’s a lot of things that need to be done to make Indiana an elite program in all areas.

And that has begun. I mean a lot of that has begun right now over the last three weeks, and it’s going to continue as long as I’m the basketball coach. And I’m sure people can write a thousands reasons given record here over the last month why there’s somebody else, biggest name, whatever.

But what I’m telling you is a fact. I mean, it’s not conjecture. It’s not something drawn up by somebody that doesn’t know. I’m just telling you the culture right now lends itself to exactly what is going on here to get this right for the way Indiana people, Indiana fans, the Indiana nation wants it done right; where there’s no embarrassment; there nothing but pride in all areas. And that’s something that has to happen at IU. It doesn’t have to happen everywhere, but it has to happen at Indiana University. That’s how Indiana University conducts its business, especially in the basketball program.

Criticize it, say it’s wrong, criticize individuals, say it’s wrong all you want, but that’s certainly part of being an Indiana coach and an Indiana basketball player. But I’m just telling you, there is a pride and a way that’s bigger than whether you win or lose games, and that takes care of itself at IU but you have to do things in a certain way, you have to do them right and you have to do them with people that care and you have to bring in former players — the whole environment of what made it great, whether it was the ’40 National Championship, the ’53 National Championship, the ’76 National Championship, but this is one of the programs where it absolutely has to be. It’s not a program where maybe yes, maybe no; it has to be here at Indiana, and that’s what makes it great.

(Smile) I don’t know if that answers your question.

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  • Hoosier Fan says:

    Dakich might be a great guy — I have no idea, but he can’t coach worth a freakin’ lick. I feel sorry for him, because this was his dream job, and he’s just not qualified to coach Indiana basketball.

    Had Sampson not been in trouble with phone calls, this team would be strolling into the Sweet 16. Sampson had most of the IU nation behind him before his run in with the phone calls. It’s unfortunate what went down, but Sampson clearly showed an outsider could succeed at IU.

    IU just needs to go hire a good basketball coach, and they’ll be fine. Dakich is clearly not the guy. Just look at the team’s performance under him — he had no idea how to motivate them. And his teams played some of the worst defense I’ve ever seen.

  • Ryan says:

    That’s some answer. Dan should run for Director of Basketball Operations. I feel he’d serve the university well in that capacity.

  • steve says:

    Maybe in that aspect, but that is it. His old talk about what he is trying to get it does not work anymore.The old days are over.We need a big time guy who can coach. Sorry Dan.

  • Insideman says:

    Sampson took a potential final four team and sold them down the river. His lack of ethics is what sunk this team. He should be ashamed of what he did to these fine young men. IU was foolish to have brought him on with his existing trend of behavior. With that said, he did show us that a “big time” coach makes a difference. IU’s timing to announce they were starting a search for a new coach was irresponsible and just shows how out of touch the administration is. They are also responsible for subverting the team’s desire and motivation for the tournament. Anyway IU basketball is screwed for at least 2 more years. Let’s find a repretable coach who will return the integrity of the school, fight hard for Indiana born players and other top national HS players, institute today’s type game, put the players first, exhibit exceptional behavior and will be around for awhile. Dakich is not that man, he showed he did not have the ability to connect with these young men and lift them out of a terrible circumstance that was not their fault. A coach needs to be an exceptional motivator and connect with the players. Dan’s old school BK approach just won’t cut it. Sorry Dan, you’re a nice guy and red to the core. You need to be in administration and on the committee to hire tne next coach but not the next coach.

  • DD says:

    Dan Dakich for Athletic Director!!

  • #2fan says:

    You’re right DD…Athletic Director might be a good fit. The only problem is that he has rubbed me the wrong way by going 3-4 with this team that was 17-1 at one point. I know we played a weak schedule most of the year, but you can’t deny that this team had the talent to at the very least, make the sweet 16. Another lackluster performance tonight…no offense and DEFINITELY no D. Loved how Dakich was too proud to play anything but man to man and then brought out a whole new zone in the 1st round of the tourney. Just a bad coaching job…these guys were unmotivated and I don’t think cared. EG needs to get out of here so we can have a team again. I think that Bracey Wright was just a good of a player as EG…in fact Bracey might have had a better freshman year…definitely know that their shot selection is identical!

  • ww says:

    uh………what Dan? A bit of a ramble and not exactly the best podium to talk about this issue. Why give an answer like that after a miserable (but predictable) loss? I read it three times and I still cannot follow what he is saying.

  • #2fan says:

    Been doing some digging…for all of those people that are in love with Eric Gordon, I submit you a comparison of Bracey Wright and Eric Gordon during their freshman seasons……..

    Gordon….FG%-43.3%(184-425), 3pt%-33.7%(70-208), FT%-83.4%(231-277), 20.9 pts/game, 78assists-115to’s(1.5 turnover to assist ratio)

    Wright….FG%-43.3%(157-363), 3pt%-37.5%(66-176), FT%-75.2%(106-141), 16.2 pts/game, 64 assists-63to’s (basically 1 to 1 turnover to assist ratio)

    So, Gordon has him on points and free throw percentage but that is it. In fact, when it counted in tournament play, Gordon is 10-18 from the foul line for an amazing 55%. Sure Gordon has more “potential” than Bracey, but stats don’t lie and there they are to smack anyone in the face that doesn’t believe it!

  • Dan G. says:

    #2fan, you are precisely on-target. I, too, wish Eric Gordon good luck in the NBA—he’ll need it! If–by some quirk of fate–he should stick around at IU another year, the new coach will need to have a long, detailed sitdown with him about team play and fundamentals of ball handling and shooting, so that his physical abilities can benefit the team.

  • Bill Gregory says:

    DD is living in the past again talking about his first four years at BG. What about his last four years. I read that four of five years were losing seasons. The IU basket ball team will be better off w/o EG. He has not learned to be a team player. He has the talent but I don’t be lieve he has the inner drive to become a great player. Didn’t John Wooden say that a great player makes the other players better.
    I like to be upbeat but I see nothing but gloom and dispair for IU basket ball the next few years.
    Somewhere someone is trying to ruin the tradition
    at Indiana and they are doing a pretty good job of
    getting it done.

  • PETE says:


  • Valley Forge says:

    You need to give EJ a break. This talk is so predictable. When collegiate athletes are doing well you worship them….when they falter you crucify them. He is just a freshman. Hyped or not he needs time to adjust. He is not ready for the NBA. Your venom needs to be redirected toward the administration where the root of this disastrous end to a promising season resides. If you count Sampson’s hiring as a mistake, not dealing seriously with the second round of infractions, not having a serious compliance program in place to nip potential future infractions in the bud before they became an issue (give me a break, an intern caught the discrepancy), poor handling of the NCAA report such that the media had to do a FOIA request to get a copy, firing Sampson after a “seven day investigation”, when the NCAA gave them 60 days to resolve it, and announcing a head coach search committee right before the tournament, that makes six major mistakes. Guess what, Rick Greenspan, and the vast majority of the Athletic department are still at the helm. How unfortunate is that. IU only gave Sampson second chance. The administration has been given six chances to get it right. Why haven’t they been able to right a sinking athletic program, because they haven’t exercised good leadership. The problem is that leadership sometimes requires making thoughtful and carefully weighed unpopular decisions so that the best interest of the University are protected. Knee jerk reactions to defend against a hail storm of public criticism never results in anything good. That is what this administration has done on more than one occasion. That is not good leadership. IU gives people a second chance all the time, and I applaud my alma mater for that. It is wise not to write someone off because of a single act or a couple acts of poor judgment. Everyone makes mistakes. It is when an individual demonstrates a habitual tendency toward error that is when one becomes a liability (i.e. an obstinate refusal to change). I am not convinced that is what Coach Sampson did, but I am giving myself a chance to carefully review the evidence before I pass judgment on him. That isn’t the problem. It is a problem when we set them up to fail because we take fore granted the circumstances under which we brought them in under. That is our fault not theirs. Contrast Sampson’s mistakes (being overzealous in seeking recruits, he is not alone in this behavior, his program was just under the microscope. I cannot speak to the “inconsistent comments” he allegedly made) against the administrations actions in addressing this issue which has been for the most part transparent, accepting the appearance of trying to hide the NCAA report from the media for as long as they could. On more than one occasion the administration played the public relations game and lost. PR is important but it is usually an end result of good internal policies and actions and not a means and end, in and of itself. I am not naïve so much as to be ignorant of the fact that money is what drives most of what any public or private institution does. Donors are important and we are all aware of the fact that we are in the midst of a major capital improvement fund drive (equivalent to tens of millions of dollars). Donors typically don’t give money without some strings attached. That is understandable and we are grateful for their donation. However as much as the donations are appreciated the administration is ultimately responsible for defending the interest of the University. It pains me to say this becuase I want to believe that the administration can change and get it right but I feel the administration has recently failed IU numerous times in what has become a public relations disaster. Something needs to change. Good luck IU the alum are behind you.

    Valley Forge

    I appreciate what Dan Dakich has tried to do, but I agree with the others, Dan is not the right fit for IU’s head coaching position.

  • Jason says:


  • Jon says:

    I wish Dan the best of luck, but his response does not identify with what we’ve seen the program become since he has been head coach. This is the most talented team Dan will ever has the chance to coach; and his performance was forgettable.

    I wish Eric Gordon the best of luck as well, but his performance of late has been nothing less than selfish. Perhaps is was DD he insisted he continue to try and be the team’s savior. It wasn’t necessary with the other talent on the floor.

    We have one of the most storied men’s BB programs in the NCAA. I don’t think the best for the program necessarily means hiring someone who has a history with that program. North Carolina tried this with Brad Daugherty and the result was miserable. Then they went out and hired the best college basketball coach available. Within 2 years they had a national title. IU should do the same and make sure Sean Miller with Xavier is our next head coach.

  • #2fan says:

    Valley Forge….first of all it is EG..not EJ…not eric james..his last name is GORDON! Second of all you make no valid point whatsoever but managed to take up more room than anyone. You basically just summarized everything that everyone already knew for the past few months. Maybe you should join the HT…haha

  • #2fan says:

    Also, I wish I lived in the same fantasy world that Dakich lives in. Must be nice to not have to face reality everyday! Peter Pan is probably his closest friend!

  • Ryan K says:

    actually #2fan, it is EJ – for Eric Jr. i guess you missed that bit of trivia this entire season.

  • #2fan says:

    so you are making up nicknames now? Do we call DJ for d jr? I mean how ignorant can you be? I guess Jeff Jordan would be JJJ? Come on! Sorry I am more concerned with basketball than making up nicknames that don’t make sense

  • #2fan says:

    I just thought of a good one for Gordon…BJ..for Bracey Wright Jr….applies your logic Ryan K

  • Eric says:

    #2Fan, nobody is “making up” nicknames. “EJ” is simply what Eric Gordon’s family and friends call him. It actually is a little shocking to discover somebody who follows Hoosier basketball to any degree just learning this at the end of March.

  • Ryan K says:

    way to prove yourself an idiot #2fan. did you just start following this team this morning?

  • Jason says:

    #2, what a f’n retard. I guess EJ’s dad is stupid for calling his own kid EJ, not EG. Idiot.

  • Bill Gregory says:

    I have no coaching experience; however I would love to be named head coach then I would be set.
    Just think how much I would get to not coach. Isn’t this the norm anymore at IU?

  • Brian says:

    #2 fan. His nickname has always been EJ. If you followed any of our players careers you would know that. Pathetic fan.

  • Chet says:

    Jon, It was Matt Doherty that UNC hired not Brad Daugherty. Doherty was hired away from Notre Dame. Brad, coincidently, is my neighbor in Fairview, NC. Although I don’t know him I see him a lot (it’s a small town and he’s a big guy). He became an analyst for ESPN when he retired from the Cavs.

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