LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 08: Head coach Cuonzo Martin of the California Golden Bears gestures during a first-round game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament against the Oregon State Beavers at T-Mobile Arena on March 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. California won 67-62. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The college basketball offseason is officially underway and with it comes inevitable change. Seniors graduate. Star underclassmen go pro or transfer. Freshmen prepare to step into the limelight. And the couching carousel completes yet another spin.

In December, we told you about “the eternal sense of optimism that comes whenever a football program starts a new chapter of its existence” when it came to college football coach hires. The same rules apply for college basketball, where every new coach is a program-builder or local-god-in-training. Sometimes it’s the grizzled vet looking to bring back the glory days, either his or the program’s. Other times it’s the fresh prince, ready to make their mark and remake the program in their image. Either way, the prevailing opinion of many is that each and every new hire is a “home run hire.”

We know that not every new coach isn’t going to work out. Hell, we know from history that most new coaches aren’t going to work out. The average length of a coaching tenure in college basketball falls somewhere in the 3-4 year range, which presumes there were some pretty good reasons they didn’t want you around any longer. But of course, that’s not going to stop fans of their program from thinking their guy is The Guy who will make it happen.

While we’re all about freezing cold takes over here, you can consider this recent crop of new hire “home runs” to be freezing cold takes in the making.

Duquesne: Keith Dambrot

VCU: Mike Rhoades

Dayton: Anthony Grant

Akron: John Groce

Lest you think Home Run Hires are limited to the mid majors, fear not. There are home runs being hit by athletic departments in all the major conference as well. And as you’ll see, sometimes the big boys don’t just hit home runs, they hit grand slams!

LSU: Will Wade

Illinois: Brad Underwood

Indiana: Archie Miller

Washington: Mike Hopkins

Here’s former Syracuse AD Daryl Gross tossing the ol’ grand slam into the mix for Hopkins. He also says UW won the lottery, though not in the way that’s usually thought of in the world sports.

“I think the University of Washington just hit a grand slam home run.”

“The first thing that comes to mind is the University of Washington just won the lottery. This guy is one of the rare, special coaches that you’re ever going to come across. They’re going to fall in love with Mike Hopkins. And he will win there.”

NC State: Kevin Keatts

Missouri: Cuonzo Martin

Georgetown: Patrick Ewing

Congrats to everyone on your Home Run Hires. We’re sure it’s going to work out for all of you…

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to