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Why newly hired Tennessee Lady Vol coach Kim Caldwell doesn’t have to win immediately

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Tennessee athletic director Danny White isn’t a perfect administrator, but he’s proving to be close.

White addressed and remedied what he saw as a shortcoming in the Vols’ athletic department when he replaced Kellie Harper with Kim Caldwell in less than a week. Actually, it took six days. Perhaps that’s why White and the Lady Vols aren’t afraid to compete immediately – and that should be the mindset. Caldwell and White shared that sentiment at Caldwell’s introductory press conference this week.

The Lady Vols made the NCAA Tournament last season so there’s no reason to think they can’t do so again this season. The depth of talented teams in women’s basketball just isn’t enough to keep out a team like Tennessee out of the tournament as long as its in shooting distance of a tournament spot. However, Caldwell certainly shouldn’t be judged on how she performs this season. It’s okay if the Lady Vols take sometime to return to championship form.

Caldwell wants to run a completely different offensive style. That will take a roster turnover and some extensive workshop-like coaching. She’s also bound to make some mistakes, as all coaches do. That could further limit her early success.

Caldwell will be judged on how many games she can win. White should already receive strong reviews on who he hired, an up-and-coming coach that has a tremendously high ceiling, and how quickly he moved to fill the position. In six days, White went from firing a Lady Vol legend to replacing her with an essential no name. That’s pretty smooth.

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White can get into Twitter spats with fans, be a little sensitive and come across as quirky, but he knows how to hold a coaching search. Harper barely had her boxes packed before Caldwell was ready to move in. White made the best decision possible. The best coaches in women’s basketball were beholden by other jobs. Then, there was a drop off. White looked at that drop off as something he could take advantage of.

White saved money and got an exciting coach. Considering the elite coaches in women’s college basketball are mostly spoken for, that’s about all Tennessee’s fan base could ask for.

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One Response

  1. She will do great she can get the talent from high school and the portal need the high school recurits

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