If she were a football or men's basketball coach, there is no doubt she would have left a long time ago. But this is women's basketball; the hegemony of Big Conference sports does not necessarily usurp the coaches of lesser schools right away. It took Curt Miller 10 seasons to leave Bowling Green for Indiana. It took Suzy Merchant eight to get from EMU to Michigan State. Tricia Cullop has spent five righteous years building the Toledo program into a powerhouse, and if she were a football coach she'd be the second longest-tenured one behind Frank Solich.
And while there were whispers after the WNIT championship in 2011 that she may entertain other offers, Cullop told the Blade that this Ohio State job was the first time as the Rockets coach that she interviewed for another job. This is astonishing.
This is not a lamentation for how slow it is to move up the coaching ladder in women's basketball. Rather, this is about right. The way football coaches shoot up the chain is an absurd rate of continuity that basically leaves programs in a state of perpetual vapor trails. So this can only be seen as a positive for non-revenue sports, which is why I'm glad (and hope) the MAC continues to invest in these sports and retain these coaches. If everything continues to be about football and men's basketball, we will all lose to the richest teams. It's a victory for the conference, even if this decreases the chance for every other team to win the MAC.
I think we can all agree that Cullop deserved a job like Ohio State, but she will still be coaching Toledo women's basketball for a quarter million dollars per year, and that ain't bad.