The search is over! Former Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari is the newest member of Nebraska basketball’s coaching staff. Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I kid. For those of you not familiar with Molinari, he has all the makings of a “Miles Guy.”
Starting with the basics, he has 35 years of coaching under his belt. He coached Bradley and Western Illinois to Missouri Valley Conference and Summit League regular season championships, respectively.
Let’s dig deeper.
He spent two years as an assistant head coach at Minnesota from 2004-2006 and was named interim head coach for part of the 2007 season. He also spent time at DePaul, Northern Illinois, and Ball State.
Every one of his coaching stops were in Illinois recruiting grounds except for Minnesota and Ball State, and the Cardinals call Muncie, IN home. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the guy has some connections in B1G country.
This should also be music to a Nebrasketball fan’s ears (from Molinari’s profile on Goleathernecks.com; emphasis added):
Molinari’s coaching success was built on defense. While averaging better than 17 wins per season, Molinari’s first 12 teams finished among the nation’s top-24 defensive squads 10 times.
Nebraska’s 2013-2014 season was magical, Miles worked wonders, but let’s be honest. He squeezed as much juice out of the orange as he could and the Huskers still struggled keeping points off the scoreboard on a consistent basis. This seems like a extraordinary hire to me based on all of the above.
There’s something else I take away from the addition. It’s something that many have worried about, but I firmly believe is not the case. I do not see Tim Miles leaving Nebraska any time soon.
Why would he go to such lengths to maintain a high quality staff, be tirelessly recruiting elite players and be practically foaming at the mouth to take Nebraska further into the national spotlight than ever before? If he’s leaving, I ain’t seeing it.
Welcome to the club, coach Molinari. Hope you like Runzas.
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