Is Dana Altman Safe From Poachers?

Ryan Robertson Editorials

Dana Altman has been a phenomenon as head coach of the Oregon men’s basketball team. He is the winningest coach in program history by a large margin, he has the most conference titles and the most NCAA Tournament appearances in school history, and he has far and away the best winning percentage of any coach the school has ever seen. Altman is already statistically the best men’s basketball coach in school history, with a chance to end his career with no doubt about him being the best in school history.

That is, unless someone steals him.

Altman is a hot commodity. Sitting at 690 career wins as a head coach, he has the 61st most wins in NCAAM history. With so many wins, and seemingly so many more years of coaching ahead of him, Altman is seasoned enough to attract the biggest schools, but young enough to leave some doubt that he might leave Oregon. Phil Knight won’t let one of the Oregon sports programs lose such an important figure without a fight, but the Ducks are struggling to get over the hump and win an NCAA Tournament title under Altman. Could he be persuaded to leave Oregon for a blue blood with a head coaching vacancy?

Mike Krzyzewski retired from Duke recently, but the Blue Devils quickly scooped up a replacement. Roy Williams retired from North Carolina, Krzyzewski left Duke, and by my estimation: Juwan Howard is going to be able to leave Michigan for the NBA if he so desires. There are several NBA head coaching jobs open that may pry top NCAA coaches from the ranks. Altman doesn’t fit the mold of an NBA coach, but several other coaches could be brought up to the NBA.

Will any of the open jobs be good enough to get Altman out of Eugene, or will he see the departures as his opportunity to get Oregon a championship?

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
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