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Mister Consistency Offline
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Post: #1
State of ETSU Team Sports
I've had a lot of free time on my hands at work the last few days (the joys of working ahead), and, with basketball season over, I decided to go through ETSU's team sports programs and assess the job security of their various coaches. My findings are below. The sample period is the last six athletic seasons (2009-10 to the present). All win-loss records are for Division I competition only (none of that Milligan and Tusculum nonsense) and are current as of today. Championships are tournament titles unless otherwise noted; regular season titles are only listed in years when the team didn't win the tournament.

FALL SPORTS

Football
Coach: Carl Torbush
Record under Torbush: N/A
Record in Sample Period: N/A
Championships in Sample Period: N/A
Championships under Torbush: N/A
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: N/A
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: N/A

Mainly just here because it's awesome to think about ETSU playing football again. There likely won't be significant pressure to win Division I games while the team gets off the ground.

Men's Soccer
Coach: Bo Oshoniyi (1st Season)
Record under Oshoniyi: 7-10-1 (.417), 3-6-1 (.350) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 58-44-16 (.559), 27-20-5 (.567) in Conference Play (includes five seasons under Scott Calabrese, 51-34-15)
Championships in Sample Period: 2 (2010, 2013)
Championships under Oshoniyi: 0
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 2
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 0

Believe it or not, men's soccer is the most successful of the sports surveyed in terms of championships in the sample period. The team's two tournament titles and three championship game appearances are both tops in the six-year sample. Oshoniyi took over a program that lost seven starters from a conference-winning team in 2013, so it's not terribly shocking that he had setbacks at the start. He's a veteran of MLS, though, and he has a strong résumé as an assistant coach, all of which means he should have the connections to recruit and rebuild the team into a title contender in a fairly short amount of time.

The Verdict: Jury's still out. With such a raw team last year, the expectation of significant progress is not an unfair one. We'll get a real feel for what kind of coach he'll be in 2015. Job Security: B

Women's Soccer
Coach: Adam Sayers (4th Season)
Record under Sayers: 45-26-3 (.628), 22-12-2 (.639) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 56-45-6 (.551), 30-23-3 (.563) in Conference Play (includes two seasons under Heather Henson, 11-19-3)
Championships in Sample Period: 1 (2011 Regular Season)
Championships under Sayers: 1 (2011 Regular Season)
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 0
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 0

Poor results got the better of Heather Henson after 12 years and a 75-116-20 record against DI competition, leading to the hiring of Sayers, a successful assistant at USF and MTSU who has strong European connections (and a PhD). His contacts paid immediate dividends by signing a pair of Welsh internationals, but he made a fast mark as a coach, too. Gone are the days of frequent hockey line change-style substitutions, and Sayers turned Genna Petersen - a regular but unproductive player under Henson - into the A-Sun Player of the Year in 2011 as his team won the regular season title. He then recruited the best player ever to put on the program's uniform, Sarah Zadrazil, to replace Petersen and coached some of the highest-scoring teams in the nation (granted, those numbers are skewed because of a pair of games against Alabama A&M, which has a reputation as something of a punching bag). Sayers has three winning seasons against DI competition in his first four years, whereas Henson had two in her entire tenure.

There is one hang-up with Sayers, though: his teams haven't been able to get the job done in the tournament to this point. In 2014, they won their first conference tourney game since 2007, but they've found just about every sour way to end the season:

2011 - Upset in the semifinals.
2012 - Upset at home in the quarterfinals.
2013 - Lost on the last day of the season to miss the tournament.
2014 - Scored 6:00 into the semifinal, only to concede the winning goal with 6:00 to play on a neutral field.

The Verdict: This team will have to get over the hump eventually, but Sayers is very safe. He's a smart coach who recruits well and fields competitive teams, and that will keep him here for a long time. Job Security: A

Volleyball
Coach: Lindsey Devine (12th Season)
Record under Devine: 198-179 (.525), 102-77 (.570) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 114-81 (.585), 61-34 (.642) in Conference Play
Championships in Sample Period: 1 (2012)
Championships under Devine: 2 (2006 Regular Season, 2012 Tournament)
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 1 (2012 NCAAs)
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 0

Devine inherited a mess from Dean Webb in 2003, and it played out as one might predict: she went 16-44 in her first two seasons. Since then, however, the program has seen a general trend upward, appearing in the conference championship game twice and going to the first NCAA Tournament in program history in 2012. While Megan Devine was a focal point of that success, her mother also lured in a number of her friends and teammates from high school - namely, Jamie Rutledge, Meredith Hardy, and Ivey Rice, all of whom were key pieces of the team's championship run (and Hardy, like Devine, is in the club's record books). The last of those players used up their eligibility this season, so she has a challenge ahead of her to keep the program moving forward in the wake of a very talented class of players.

The Verdict: Before Megan Devine joined the program, I would have said her mother was squarely on the hot seat. Now, though, she appears to be in okay shape, but that will change if the team stops winning games. Job Security: B


WINTER SPORTS

Men's Basketball
Coach: Murry Bartow (12th Season)*
Record under Bartow: 215-165 (.566), 137-81 (.626) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 99-93 (.516), 67-48 (.583) in Conference Play
Championships in Sample Period: 1 (2010)
Championships under Bartow: 3 (2007 Regular Season, 2004, 2009, 2010 Tournaments)
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 3 (2010 NCAAs, 2011 CIT, 2014 CIT)
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 3 (all CIT)

I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said about Bartow; I mainly list him here as a control for the other sports, showing the standards to which coaches should be held.

Forbes should get a long leash, and I'd say he has four or five years to turn the program around before he starts to feel any sort of pressure to win a championship.

Women's Basketball
Coach: Brittney Ezell (2nd Season)
Record Under Ezell: 30-33 (.476), 16-16 (.500) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 87-94 (.481), 62-46 (.574) in Conference Play (includes four seasons under Karen Kemp, 57-61)
Championships in Sample Period: 1 (2010, under Kemp)
Championships under Ezell: 0
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 2 (2010 NCAAs under Kemp, 2015 WNIT)
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 0

Back-to-back 8-win campaigns and a bench mutiny saw the end of Karen Kemp, who had just 8 winning seasons in 19 years. Enter Ezell, who, after seeing more of the same her first year (9-21, 5-13), seems to have done the job of righting the ship. She loses her third, fourth, and fifth leading scorers - all post players, all Kemp recruits - to graduation this off-season. She clearly has an aptitude for coaching guards, having made Tiana Tarter and Shamauria Bridges into impact players right away, and turning a former Kemp walk-on in Chandler Christopher into a serviceable scholarship player. If her success with Haley Nelson at Belmont is any indicator, she should do okay with the pair of 6' post players she brings in this fall, too.

The Verdict: Way too early to talk about anyone other than Ezell being the head coach. The team made major progress this year; rather than over-think it (like talking about her jumping ship after a freaking WNIT appearance), the best course of action is to sit back and see where it goes. Job Security: A


SPRING SPORTS

Baseball
Coach: Tony Skole (16th Season)
Record under Skole: 405-463 (.467), 192-246 (.438) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 166-154 (.519); 70-71 (.496) in Conference Play
Championships in Sample Period: 1 (2013)
Championships under Skole: 1 (2013)
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: 1 (2013)
Postseason Wins in Sample Period: 0

I know a lot of fans are iffy on Skole, and when his team produces such uneven results and high attrition, it's not hard to see why. Skole's teams have had 15+ new players in two of the last three seasons. It worked in 2013, and a solid batting order rode Kerry Doane to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 32 years. This year, it hasn't worked at all; the team has lost 12 of its last 13 to date (17 of its last 22) and just got swept by Saint Louis. The pitching staff is a disaster (same as last year), and they've gone backwards in a hurry since taking home hardware two seasons ago.

The Verdict: Thanks to the taste of conference gold and a new stadium, the bar has been raised for ETSU baseball. Skole has produced several noteworthy players in his time here but has struggled to keep a team together to push for titles year in and year out. Reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated in the past, but if he can't pull the team out of this nose dive, this could be the year the hammer falls. Job Security: C-

Softball
Coach: Brad Irwin (5th Season)
Record under Irwin: 70-158 (.307), 13-84 (.134) in Conference Play
Record in Sample Period: 105-225 (.319), 21-116 (.153) in Conference Play (includes 2010 season under Andrea Mangrum, 21-35)
Championships in Sample Period: 0
Championships under Irwin: 0
Postseason Appearances in Sample Period: Take a Wild Guess

Ah, softball, the black sheep of the athletics department. I remember some early interviews with Irwin saying the team needed to "learn how to win," something they certainly didn't learn under Mangrum (126-161). However, they have learned even less about winning, and may have forgotten a few things, under Irwin himself; the team won five conference games total in Irwin's first three seasons at the helm, including a mind-boggling 1-24 conference campaign in 2013. While they showed progress last year, they still missed the conference tournament. The team hasn't had a winning season since 2003, the only one in the program's 15 year history. They haven't qualified for a conference tournament since 2009, a drought that will end this year only because all SoCon teams qualify.

The Verdict: ETSU should be embarrassed by the state of this program. I have virtually no interest in softball, and I'm embarrassed by it. Irwin has had a full recruiting cycle to make his mark, and he has done nothing. It's not fair to the athletes to let this go on the way it has. Unless ETSU miraculously wins the conference tournament in May, it's time to cut Irwin loose, look for a new coach, and either take this program seriously or get rid of it. Job Security: F



For those in the TL;DR crowd, the fall sports are in good shape, the basketball teams are improving, and the spring sports are a mess. Discuss.
04-09-2015 11:54 AM
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Buc66 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
Please tell you're not a government employee. I've said from day one, it goes in this order:
1. Football & men's and women's basketball -- put the bulk of the money here.
2. Baseball
3. All the others ranked by the amount of revenue each generates vs the cost of maintaining
each.

The NCAA needs to lighten up on the number of sports required for Division I, thus freeing the schools (conferences) up, especially the mid-major programs, to spend their money where they please.
04-09-2015 03:39 PM
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Buccaneerlover Offline
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Post: #3
RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
Fall Sports:
Torbush - Will get five years, probably won't be here that long. He's old and ETSU needs results on the field and in the stands.
Men's soccer - He'll get time, and is definitely safe, but they need to at least continue the level of success they had under Calabrese.
Women's soccer - Adam Sayers is awesome, but it's time for the ETSU women's soccer team to take the next step forward in the postseason. As poor of a fit as Henson was here, he's a great fit.
Volleyball - This is where we disagree. You take away the blips on the radar screen with Megan Devine and the juco's from California, and she's done nothing at ETSU. Volleyball was funded at a really high level in football's absence, and the results over 12 years simply are not there. Two championships and one very brief postseason appearance. They were pedestrian this past season, one more of these and Dr. Hitman Sander can take out another one of the dark ages coaches.
Men's basketball - Finally happened with Murry, obviously Forbes gets 4-5 years to change the culture. I believe it took DeChellis six years.
Women's basketball - Ezell has exceeded expectations winning with talented ball players that were disorganized and needed some coaching up. Gotta find a way to beat Chattanooga, but in the A-Sun it was gotta find a way to beat Gulf Coast.
Spring Sports -
Softball - Barbie's dumbarse fired Andrea Mangrum after she only got one season to build with having a facility, but there were whispers about Mangrum being selective about her recruits which went against Barbie's belief system. So they bring in Brad Irwin, who has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. The program is the worst its' ever been. He's had enough time, as the young folk say, #byefelicia
Baseball - He's got to go. Losing record as a head coach overall, one championship in 16 years and they are awful. 18 freshmen on the roster, well what's happened to the other players he's recruited in recent years? This situation is on Skole and his assistants. It's time to go, and I'm not at all a fan of replacing him with one of his former players. Bring in someone from the outside, fresh blood. There's a great gameday facility in place, there's a solid indoor hitting facility that could be better. There's enough there to be in the top four in the conference and win more than one title this millennium. His time is up. #byefelicia
Men's Golf - Fred Warren keeps keeping on. He's safe
Women's golf - Stephanie Shelton has done a fantastic job with the women's program. No reason to make a change, even though they've struggled at times this year.
Track - Is a disorganized mess. Watts and DJ are a joke. It's such disrespect on the legacy of Coach Walker. The men's indoor program is on probation and outdoor is close. No excuse for that in track, ever. None.
Tennis - Yaser is the man, he should be in the ETSU HOF as both a player and a coach.
04-09-2015 04:11 PM
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Mister Jennings2 Offline
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RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
Good stuff Buccaneer lover. I appreciate the update. I sure hope Forbes gets us to the pinnacle we visited during Robinson/LeForce. Your analysis on football hits the mark.
(This post was last modified: 04-11-2015 02:58 PM by Mister Jennings2.)
04-11-2015 02:56 PM
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CaptainJackAubrey Offline
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Post: #5
State of ETSU Team Sports
Respectfully, I disagree. I don't want to look backwards and hope and pray that our new coach gets us to where we were 25 years ago. I'm hoping that we go to a whole new place that ETSU has never been before.
04-11-2015 08:00 PM
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brock20 Online
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RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
So who wants to give an update on team sports for this past season?
05-31-2016 09:19 AM
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posterformerlyknownasthedoctor Offline
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Post: #7
RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
Buccaneerlover: "Tennis - Yaser is the man, he should be in the ETSU HOF as both a player and a coach."

True that, and tennis is indeed a team sport, altho there is an individual component. Same for golf and track.
I did not know the indoor track program was on probation. Is that still the case? I can't see anything so stating on the NCAA list(s). I personally like Watts (altho I don't claim to know as much detail as I did when Walker was still around); and we must remember that we currently HAVE NO TRACK! *That's* the embarrassment.
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2016 10:09 AM by posterformerlyknownasthedoctor.)
05-31-2016 10:07 AM
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brock20 Online
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RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
(05-31-2016 10:07 AM)posterformerlyknownasthedoctor Wrote:  Buccaneerlover: "Tennis - Yaser is the man, he should be in the ETSU HOF as both a player and a coach."

True that, and tennis is indeed a team sport, altho there is an individual component. Same for golf and track.
I did not know the indoor track program was on probation. Is that still the case? I can't see anything so stating on the NCAA list(s). I personally like Watts (altho I don't claim to know as much detail as I did when Walker was still around); and we must remember that we currently HAVE NO TRACK! *That's* the embarrassment.

How that soccer stadium got built without a track around it is beyond me. Sure every sport wants their own facility but sometimes you have to deal in reality.
05-31-2016 11:29 AM
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Buc66 Offline
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RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
(05-31-2016 11:29 AM)brock20 Wrote:  
(05-31-2016 10:07 AM)posterformerlyknownasthedoctor Wrote:  Buccaneerlover: "Tennis - Yaser is the man, he should be in the ETSU HOF as both a player and a coach."

True that, and tennis is indeed a team sport, altho there is an individual component. Same for golf and track.
I did not know the indoor track program was on probation. Is that still the case? I can't see anything so stating on the NCAA list(s). I personally like Watts (altho I don't claim to know as much detail as I did when Walker was still around); and we must remember that we currently HAVE NO TRACK! *That's* the embarrassment.

How that soccer stadium got built without a track around it is beyond me. Sure every sport wants their own facility but sometimes you have to deal in reality.

Seems I read once that the major donor family place conditions on their money. Maybe no track was one of them. Others on here know more about this.
05-31-2016 12:25 PM
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Mister Consistency Offline
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RE: State of ETSU Team Sports
(05-31-2016 09:19 AM)brock20 Wrote:  So who wants to give an update on team sports for this past season?

I lucked out and found the spreadsheet I used to throw everything together, so I just rolled the sample period over to include this year.


Same as last year, all records reflect competition against Division I opponents only.


Fall Sports


Football
Carl Torbush (1st season)
Record Under Torbush: 0-7
Record During Sample: 0-7
Championships During Sample: 0
Championships Under Torbush: 0
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 0
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

While there were arguably a couple of non-Division I wins that ETSU left on the table this year against Maryville and Emory & Henry, I don't think anyone was terribly surprised by the lack of wins over D1 competition. The lopsided scores don't necessarily reflect the way the team played each week but offer a lot of learning experiences for a team comprised almost entirely of freshmen and redshirt freshmen.

The Verdict: Next year likely won't be a whole lot better as they pick up a SoCon schedule, but I would expect a more competitive team in 2017. Job Security: A

Men's Soccer
Bo Oshoniyi (2nd Season)
Record Under Oshoniyi: 15-17-5 (.473)/7-10-3 (.425)
Record During Sample: 60-52-18 (.531)/30-26-7 (.532) (Includes 4 seasons under Scott Calabrese, 45-35-13/23-16-4)
Championships During Sample: 2 (2010, 2013)
Championships Under Oshoniyi: 0
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 2 (2010 NCAAs, 2013 NCAAs)
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

Oshoniyi's team took a firm step forward after a rebuilding year last year, making the program's fourth appearance in the conference title game in the sample period (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015) and scoring a win over #15 Kentucky at Summers-Taylor. A lot of this year's team is back for 2016, including the bulk of a promising defense and leading scorer Fletcher Ekern out of Farragut.

The Verdict: Oshoniyi has given reason to expect another step forward in the fall and has the program on the right track. Job Security: B+

Women's Soccer
Adam Sayers (5th Season)
Record Under Sayers: 54-35-4 (.602)/26-16-3 (.611)
Record During Sample: 60-41-7 (.588)/30-21-4 (.582) (Includes 1 season under Heather Henson, 6-6-3/4-5-1)
Championships During Sample: 1 (2011 Regular Season)
Championships Under Sayers: 1 (2011 Regular Season)
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 0
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

Sayers made a splash his first year with a share of the A-Sun regular season title and has produced competitive teams on a consistent basis. He recruits well, pulling players from lots of European youth systems and turning them into national team regulars; Sarah Zadrazil, who wrapped up her ETSU career last fall as the best player in the program's history by far, has been in the rotation for her native Austria since she was a sophomore. Still, Sayers' teams haven't gotten over the hump, flaming out early in the conference tournament every year, this time in the quarterfinals.

The Verdict: Pressure will begin to mount if his teams continue to falter in the home stretch, but I don't see that pressure coming this year or even next year. Job Security: A-

Volleyball
Lindsey Devine (13th Season)
Record Under Devine: 204-179 (.533)
Record During Sample: 122-75 (.619)/61-30 (.670)
Championships During Sample: 1 (2012)
Championships Under Devine: 2 (2006 Regular Season, 2012 Tournament)
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 1 (2012 NCAAs)
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

After starting the year 14-5, it looked like this could be another big year for volleyball, but the team took a nosedive in mid-October, including a stretch where they lost 3 of 4 at home in SoCon play and eventually bowed out to Chattanooga in the semifinals. Khadijah Wiley, the last core player from ETSU's run to the A-Sun title in 2012, was the team's best overall player and anchored a very stout defense, but the team lacked a stand-out player to lead the offense the way Megan Devine did.

The Verdict: So long as ETSU remains competitive, Devine is in no danger, but more consistent conference results wouldn't hurt. Job Security: B

Winter Sports

Men's Basketball
Steve Forbes (1st Season)
Record Under Forbes: 22-12 (.647)/14-4 (.778)
Record During Sample: 102-90 (.531)/68-45 (.602) (Includes 5 seasons under Murry Bartow, 80-78/54-41)
Championships During Sample: 0
Championships Under Forbes: 0
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 3 (2011 CIT, 2014 CIT, 2016 Vegas 16)
Postseason Wins During Sample: 4 (2011 x2, 2014 x1, 2016 x1)

The results in Forbes' first year are as good as anyone could have hoped for. He is bringing his JuCo connections to bear to bring in veteran players and make ETSU immediately competitive again. His charisma and enthusiasm are a breath of fresh air and, I think, are helping sell the program to the community.

The Verdict: If he keeps ETSU in the championship mix every year, he's here as long as he wants to be. Job Security: A

Women's Basketball
Brittney Ezell (3rd Season)
Record Under Ezell: 43-47 (.478)/24-22 (.522)
Record During Sample: 78-99 (.441)/52-50 (.510) (Includes 3 seasons under Karen Kemp, 35-52/28-28)
Championships During Sample: 0
Championships Under Ezell: 0
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 0
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

I'm not surprised women's hoops took a step back this year after turning over the entire front court last year. Tarter and Bridges were virtually the only offense the team had this year, combining for 53% of ETSU's offense. Considering they're both lousy shooters, it's easy to see why ETSU didn't live up to last year's team.

The Verdict: Ezell's teams have been so Jekyll-and-Hyde from year to year that it's difficult to get a feel on where she is, but I'm inclined to hold out hope that the 2015 team is what she will produce in the coming years. We'll probably have a better idea this year. Job Security: A-


Spring Sports (everybody buckle up)

Baseball
Coach: Tony Skole (17th season)
Record Under Skole: 441-509 (.464)/212-268 (.442)
Record During Sample: 170-172 (.497)/75-81 (.481)
Championships During Sample: 1 (2013)
Championships Under Skole: 1 (2013)
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 1 (2013)
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

This team drives me nuts. They manage to finish 27-30 despite having one of the best offensive seasons, as a unit, that ETSU has ever had. Don't believe me? This year, the Bucs ranked:

23rd in batting average
17th in runs per game
7th in home runs per game
8th in slugging percentage
49th in on-base percentage

Those are all pretty good, but they're mitigated by a pitching staff that ranks 285th out of 300 teams in ERA, which was also DFL in the SoCon. The loss to Samford in the loser's bracket in Greenville last week - where ETSU squandered an 11-4 lead at the 7th inning stretch and lost in extra innings - was the last straw for me.

The Verdict: It's time. If Skole can't put a winner together consistently - and he has demonstrated that he cannot - he needs to be shown the door. Job Security: D

Softball
Coach: Brad Irwin (6th season)
Record Under Irwin: 93-191 (.327)/24-100 (.194)
Record During Sample: 93-191 (.327)/24-100 (.194)
Championships During Sample: 0
Championships Under Irwin: 0
Postseason Appearances During Sample: 0
Postseason Wins During Sample: 0

ETSU isn't all that concerned with competing in softball, considering Irwin survived a 3-year stretch where he won just 5 conference games total. After a run that would get many, dare I say most coaches fired, he managed to hand in ETSU's best season since 2009 this year; hell, were it not for six games lost to weather in the middle of April, it could've been the first winning season for the program since '03. 20-22 isn't great, but it's better than what he has done in the past and what ETSU has generally done in softball.

The Verdict: This year was a step forward. If they take another one next year, maybe Irwin sticks around. I'm still not sold on him, though. Job Security: D+
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2016 11:54 PM by Mister Consistency.)
05-31-2016 03:07 PM
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