Roos may not have been the focal point of the dynasty, but when you look close she was there every step of the way. (Photo credit: Jason Miller-US PRESSWIRE)
It's not only a testament to Curt Miller's job at Bowling Green that the women's basketball coach search really had me nervous for a minute. His teams made me care. So when he left, there was a moment of panic, almost as if I had feared withdrawal. The announcement that Jennifer Roos was named the head coach was one of celebration.
I didn't want to accept the end of a sports dynasty, although they always happen and BG's dominance had been quite prevalent — contenders came and went, but now it seems that teams like Toledo, CMU and Miami are on the cusp of getting to the top and staying there.
Roos was on Miller's coaching staff at BG for his entire 11 years. For eight of those years she was his right-hand person. For the last eight seasons, BG won the regular season title, advancing to the NCAA tournament five of those years. And not only is it the popular pick to promote the top assistant — the Kent State Basketball Model, for lack of a better phrase — but it does seem to help to continue success. Curt Miller said as much on the radio, days before the announcement, that Roos deserved the head coaching job and should she not have been offered the job, he'd have done everything possible to bring her to Indiana with him.
She may not have been the center of attention — and even as a cursory BG women's basketball fan you may not have known the name — but she's been there every step of the way. Although there's a better chance you know the name because she assumed the role of head coach when Miller missed two games after a mild stroke. And yes, they won both games.
Not to belittle what OHIO did with their men's basketball coaching staff (this can also be a method for success) but it makes entirely too much sense, especially for a sport like women's basketball, not to transplant an entirely new valid and perhaps successful philosophy into an already successful program. The Bobcats, after losing John Groce to Illinois, chose not to hire top assistant Dustin Ford, going instead with a new name: Jim Christian, a proven MAC winner. Hey, everybody loves winners and I am very sure that OHIO is going to win under him. I was also dead sure that OHIO would've won under Ford and that would've caused fewer waves among the fans/players, and perhaps even fewer column inches.
Hiring Jennifer Roos calms the waters in Bowling Green but also keeps a familiar name, and one of the cornerstones of the BG women's basketball dynasty, there on the sidelines in the Stroh Center. And rather than propping her up as the new head honcho days after Miller resigned (no slight to what Toledo did with Matt Campbell, cough cough) they went through the process and did the "national search" formality.
I really do feel sorry for other applicants — I'm not sure if they had a chance.
Where we stand in the stands, in a position of naïveté and absolutes, Roos seemed like the only sensible hire (although friend of the site Ryan Real pointed out that Roos probably belongs coaching Akron). Save for Jess Slagle, an entire group of players are returning in what thought to be a rebuliding year, but now have considerable balance to resume their spot as the MAC favorites and perhaps crack the top 25 or win an NCAA first round game.
They haven't done this in a while: 2007 was their last NCAA victory. It'd be a hell of a way to start the Jennifer Roos portion of the dynasty.