Indiana Interim Head Coach Dan Dakich Part 2

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By Paul M. Banks

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Before the ousting of former coach Kelvin Sampson, Indiana interim head coach Dan Dakich was an assistant. Previously, he was a head coach at Bowling Green University for ten years. He certainly is a Hoosier through and through serving as team Captain his junior and senior seasons under Bob Knight and as an assistant coach under Knight for 12 seasons. What Dakich is most famous for however, is his stellar defensive effort on Michael Jordan in MJ’s last collegiate game. He did a fine job limiting the greatest player in history. Now I’ll be the first to admit that most press conferences can be far from exciting, but Dakich’s first post game presser as the head man was fascinating, exciting, and emotional. It accurately articulates the fallout and aftershocks of THE major national story in college basketball. Here Dakich opens up his heart and soul about a nationally powerful program in extreme turmoil and rough transition; a program he has devoted most of this professional life to.

On how comfortable he feels calling the shots and the national media coverage of how he came to power………..

“I’ve done it. I’m not here as a guy that’s been an assistant and never done it. On terms of on the court, during the game and  practice, in terms of – no, one thing I wasn’t comfortable with was the entire week’s articles and speculation that I talked to Coach about that earlier in the week. I wasn’t comfortable with that. I didn’t talk to anybody,   but in terms of the coaching part, ….these kids, the time I have been here, they’ve made me very comfortable as a coach. I have been working with the kids most of the year; the whole team has made me very comfortable.”

On how the scandal/coaching change has affected his team…..

“This is the first time with this team that I’ve ever seen, this is a loud team, a team that has real personality. This is the first time we’re on the plane today and everybody is sleeping. And I looked at Jeff, what is this? Truly I think that when the plane took off, the strain…..it’s been a tough week on these kids.”

On the emotional toll on his team……

“I knew how it was going to carry over quite frankly, anybody that’s been around knows. What Ray said at halftime, ‘We knew this wasn’t going to be easy.’ That was exactly right.”

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On how the program is dealing with it….

“ I don’t think it’s something you put behind truly in 24-48 hours….we’re talking about noon yesterday; this takes time. This is a resilient group. They played Kentucky without D.J., D.J. was out the other night against Michigan State.”

On the bittersweet chain of events that led to him getting his ultimate dream job…..

“It’s not the way you want to get a job. There is a responsibility with it that I accept on a multitude of levels, mostly the players, the fans. If they want me, I am going to do it with everything I have. I haven’t even given it thought simply because it’s a difficult situation.”

 Below is what some Purdue Boliermakers think of the Indiana situation….

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Comments

  1. I’m not an Indiana fan but sympathize with the team and the coach.
    Glad you published his feelings.

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