clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tim Miles Future at Nebraska: The CN Roundtable has a thought, but Shawn Eichorst Begs to Differ.

New, comments

Does Miles get walking papers? Or does he get a sixth year?

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, it’s a simple question that we all will answer & give our reason.

Does Tim Miles get another year at Nebraska? Or is he out of a job?

Cobcast Ryan: He’s out. 3 losing seasons, a heartless, cutthroat A.D. and a fanbase that wants W’s to come from somewhere other than the bowling team. Eichorst will get his man. That’s two hiring busts for T.O.

Adam Furley: He’s fired. I think this is mostly because of a the new athletic director. If Osborne was still the athletic director, he’d probably be getting another year. But since Miles is not Eichorst’s guy, I see Nebraska going a different direction. I appreciate what Tim Miles has done at Nebraska, but I feel as though Nebraska should have won more under Miles. A new coach will see the talent this team has coming back next season and should be able to turn this program around.

David: The athletic director piece is the big variable here. It’s been a fractious relationship for a while and I think tips it towards a change being made. And that hurts me. For a number of reasons, I wanted Miles to be the guy. I’m still in the camp that says he should get another year, perhaps two. But there’s too much smoke right now to see that happening. And that makes me sad. I hope they make a run in DC.

Paul: To follow up on Ryan...Shawn Eichorst is a soulless ginger who cares not for the wailing of widows and orphans...or Nebrasketball coaches who lose their team at the end of the season. I like Miles, but stick a fork in him. He’s done. I wish him well.

Patrick G: He stays another year. (drops mike...the mike makes a loud feedback sound as it hits the floor...he then trips over a shoelace as he walks away and knocks himself unconscious until next season).

Jon J: I hate it when we fire coaches. Doesn’t matter if I like them or not, it’s about failure. I like Tim Miles. I was sure that he was finally the guy who would get things done, “things” being a win in the NCAA tournament. This is being written before the Big Ten tournament starts, so maybe the team will go on the most fantastic run of all time and render the whole thing moot. I don’t think he’ll be here next year.

Jill: I adore Miles. I will be very sad if he goes. However, I don’t see how he survives this meltdown. He stocked the cupboard with talent but shown he can’t push the buttons consistently enough to get the most out of that talent. He hasn’t built a winning culture; it feels like an accident when the team puts together a string of wins. My real question is about the approach if he is let go. Nebraska has invested in all the accessories...PBA, academic and athletic support programs, fancy practice facilities. Are they finally going to step up to the trough and send a message that they mean business? My guess (sigh) is no. They’ll go searching for an up and coming mid-major coach who could turn out to be the next coming of Tom Osborne for Nebrasketball but will probably just be Doc Sadler reincarnated.

Mike: (rubbing head as he slowly gets off the floor after getting dropped by Patrick) For some reason, I think he’s back. No question this year is frustrating, but Shawn Eichorst is a firm believer in the need to have players, and Miles has found them in recent years. Miami transfer James Palmer is eligible at the start of the season and Georgetown transfer Issac Copeland is eligible at the start of the second semester. Add in Anton Gill, who missed most of this season with an ACL tear, and you’ve got a fairly solid Big Ten roster. I know the stink of the end-of-season collapse is hard to overcome, but Miles was counting on Andrew White (third team all-ACC) and a healthy Gill and Ed Morrow this season. This roster just plain ran out of gas. That shouldn’t be a problem in 2017-18, as only Tai Webster needs to be replaced.

Andy: He’s gonzo. And this isn’t some knee-jerk reaction to a few games for a guy that hasn’t been given a fair shake. Outside of a hot streak for several weeks in year 2, this has been more of the same of what’s been going on since the Danny Nee era ended and if you check the season results, the Huskers have actually taken a pretty big step backwards from Doc Sadler, the NCAA appearance notwithstanding.

It’s been five seasons, the last 3 of which have produced 12th, 11th and 12th place finishes in the B1G. I get it - he’s very personable and the media loves him. I also believe that if this wasn’t the case, then we’re not even arguing about this.

That being said, I’ve gotten the impression more than once that behind the scenes when things go bad, he resorts to negative reinforcement & meltdowns and loses the team. Calling out the players in the media and throwing them under the bus can be effective in moderation. With Miles, it seems to be his go-to play whenever the train starts wiggling on the tracks.

Media (who love him) and some opposing coaches (always a death knell) are preaching patience for Miles. Year 5 is not when we should be preaching patience because he’s finally got his young guys - this is the year that we should be seeing a payoff from the base laid down in the 1st three years while he showed off all of Nebrasketball’s pretty new toys.

Assuming he’s gone, I do have a favor to ask: now that we’ve done 17 years of trying to find the next mid-major coach to make the leap, can we please go after a top Division 1 assistant who has already learned what it takes to win at this level? Please?

Pat Janssen: Not the answer I want to type, but I think he will be fired. Even when he was at the peak of his tenure, Eichorst seemed to be in “wait-and-see” mode. He fought against giving Miles a bonus when it was unclear, based on the language in his contract, that he should receive one after the 2013-14 season. He’s avoided the standard contract extension heading into this season. These are some pretty telltale signs that he was just waiting for the right moment to confirm his lack of belief in Miles. It’s sort of like the way Steve Pederson felt about Frank Solich, but instead of firing him when he damn well pleased, Eichorst waited for the politically prudent moment to do so.

I hate, hate, hate to say it, but it’s probably the necessary move. I’ve been saying all along that I think Miles should get one more year with all the talent he brought in, some of which won’t be able to suit up until next season, and then if he doesn’t succeed, cut him loose and let a new guy try to win with that talent. But with the way the season has ended, you risk losing the excitement that has built up around the program, and he clearly lost the pulse of the squad by the end.

And the reason I hate saying those words goes beyond the fact that Miles is a lovable nerd who you can’t help but love. Even if he’s fired, his tenure cannot be considered a failure in my opinion. Even when Nebraska was winning under Danny Nee, I don’t remember there being as much excitement around Nebrasketball as there has been in the last four years (he’s been here five; the excitement didn’t come right away). A fair chunk of credit belongs to Pinnacle Bank Arena, but even more credit goes to Miles. He was an ambassador for the program. He taught Nebraska fans how hoops crowds should behave. He gave the state someone with personality who they could root for. Plus, he recruited top flight talent that’s been fun to watch AND took the Huskers to an NCAA Tournament for the first time in 16 years.

When Miles was hired, I already loved the guy. Others were immediately skeptical. I hoped for immediate success because I think he’s a great coach and a fascinating person. He got the early success. Unfortunately, nothing else has gone right since then. Regardless of what happens with Miles, I have two wishes. 1.) The talent on this roster returns and isn’t wasted next year and 2.) Nebraska fans can eventually recognize what Coach Miles has done for this program. If I have room for a third wish, I’d ask for a chance to have a beer with Coach Miles.

Brian: It’s really hard for me to say that, after seeing the past three years of limping to a finish, that Tim is going to magically turn things around with this roster and get better. It seems like he’s been throwing cliches out there and doing silly things just to show folks that he’s “doing something”.

Let’s face it, this team went downhill ever since a “prominent” Omaha sports writer gave up his nomination of worst local story of 2017, at the very least in timing? Ever since the “Leave Tim Miles Alone” piece came out, Nebraska hasn’t won a damn thing & looked terrible doing so. If it was just as simple as Shawn Eichorst giving Tim 2 more years for another 19 loss season, it would have been done already.

I don’t think Tim returns, and quite honestly, I don’t think I could get mad if that happens. I can see the reasons he stays, but what has he proved outside of one late winter? Yes, the roster is young. So is Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, and a few places in the Big Ten. He’s worn down at the end of the season in multiple years now. The talent is there & he’s brought it in, but I don’t really think he gets to see that through.

Greg: So I have read every contribution listed above mine. Man, everyone is a lot smarter than me. But I’m going to say that he stays. This is a one-year, everything-on-the-line option that he has to know means a continued career in Lincoln or the door. I love the guy. It has been really fun watching him these last five years. As Pat said, he’s been a terrific ambassador for the program and the university.

I think it’s about retention. Tim Miles put these pieces in place, and while there have been setbacks (injuries, player leaving), there are new elements to be used next year. New toys in the toy box that Miles gets to play with. If Miles isn’t there, what keeps some of his players in Lincoln? If you are the AD and you think the players are capable of winning, I think you have to keep the coach.

UPDATE

So what does the athletic director think? Just minutes after we posted our thoughts, Shawn Eichorst responded with his vote of confidence.

Well, there you have it. Tim Miles stays.