April 12, 2011
There are two remarkable aspects to Harvard's Tommy Amaker turning down an offer to become Miami's next coach.
First, an Ivy League coach at a school that hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1946 passed up the opportunity to bolt for the ACC. Second, it was clearly the correct decision.
Instead of leaving for a major-conference program lacking fan support, financial backing and basketball pedigree, Amaker has decided to remain at a school primed for success the next couple years.
Harvard is expected to return every significant player from the team that shared the Ivy League title with Princeton last season. The Crimson will begin next season as heavy favorites to win the Ivy League and should contend for the foreseeable future thanks to an abundance of young talent and relaxed academic standards that help them enroll prospects they couldn't before.
"I am appreciative of and flattered by the interest shown in me by other fine universities, but I am proud and honored to represent Harvard," Amaker said in a statement released by Harvard on Tuesday. "I look forward to continuing my efforts to teach, lead and serve at this great institution."
If Amaker wants to bolt for a bigger job, he can wait a year or two and see what the job landscape looks like after Harvard makes an NCAA tournament. And if none of those gigs are any more attractive than Miami, there are certainly worse options than remaining at Harvard a few years longer.
Perhaps one of those coaches would consider Miami a step up. Amaker apparently didn't — and it's easy to see why.