We won't know whether the coaching change last March was successful or not for at least a few seasons. However, that shouldn't stop us from at least speculating, with all we've seen the last few months, whether the move, right now at least, was the right one.
Every time you make a coaching change, even if it's replacing a proven winner, there is risk involved. Sometimes that risk far outweighs the reward of such a change and could set a program back for at least a few seasons.
In the winter of 2004, I think a great deal of Ute fans were ready for a new basketball coach. Rick Majerus, as great as he was, didn't appear to have the fire in his belly anymore and it was holding the program back. In hindsight, though, it's hard to argue the program would have been worse off had Majerus stayed around a few more seasons.
His replacement, Ray Giacoletti, was a risky hire at the time because of how unknown and little accomplished he was prior to his arrival in Salt Lake City and that risk proved true - the program struggled greatly in two of his three seasons here.
Yet, a few years later, the coaching change from Giacoletti to Boylen was different than the coaching change from Boylen to Krystkowiak. Fans were more universally on board with that earlier change and this time, it seems they only begrudgingly accepted it and didn't entirely like the idea for a whole host of reasons.
The hiring of Krystkowiak was less than stellar in many fans' eyes because he had been out of the college game the last few years and the thought process here was that if the Utes were going to make a coaching change, they were going to at least bring in a can't-miss guy - someone like Lon Kruger or even Randy Bennett.
That didn't happen. The list was shorter than I think most fans realized and certainly Krystkowiak was toward the top of Chris Hill's list - but that didn't change the fact most Utah fans were skeptical of the hiring.
Has that mood changed over the last few months? I think so - but there have also been some difficult moments since his hiring. Much of Jim Boylen's team last season defected. Josh Sharp ditched us for our rival and the talent brought in over the last few months is untested and, more importantly, unknown.
It's hard to imagine a worse stretch for a new coach in college basketball. Yet here we are, four or so months after his hiring and I think, at least from my point of view, there are just as many questions today as the day he was hired.
Of course, that isn't entirely his fault.
So this isn't really a post about Krystkowiak and more a post about the process. Knowing what you know today, do you still feel the coaching change was the right move?
I guess it comes down to whether or not you think it would have been riskier to bring back Boylen than the hire of Krystkowiak itself.
Right now, I still think it was the right move. Even with all the player defections, I felt uncomfortable with the state of the program the last two seasons and really didn't envision it getting better. With Krystkowiak, there is a hope that, at least down the road, we'll be a better program. That feeling wasn't there with Boylen.
What do you think, though?