PantherU

Dick Bennett considering return to sidelines

Sources have confirmed to PantherU.com that former head coach of the Green Bay Phoenix and Wisconsin Badgers, Dick Bennett, is considering a return to his old stomping grounds at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Those sources each said that Bennett is thoroughly unimpressed with the list of candidates bandied about, so he may drop his own hat into the ring.

“He just thinks these guys are a bunch of yokels that couldn’t navigate the treacherous waters of the Horizon League if they had a map,” said one source close to the coach.

Reports have suggested that associate head coach Brian Barone, St. Norbert’s coach Gary Grzesk and Washington assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger all could be the leaders in the clubhouse. Pat Miller, Bob Semling, Shaka Smart, Buzz Williams, Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian have all had their names in the mix as possible replacements for the outgoing Brian Wardle, who took the Bradley job last week.

Should Dick Bennett enter the fray, Green Bay athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie could be in a tough position. Bennett engineered the glory years of the Green Bay basketball program, leading the Phoenix to three NCAA Tournaments, including their only victory in the Big Dance over Jason Kidd and Cal.

Speaking of Kidd, one of the sources connected to Bennett said the old ball coach suggested Jason Kidd would join his staff as associate head coach, effectively becoming his heir apparent. There is no word whether or not Kidd would leave the Bucks mid-season or after they get swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs by whatever team was not built with castoffs from the Island of Misfit Toys.

“I mean, if you can’t beat ’em, why not join them 21 years later?” the rhetorical question came from a different anonymous source.

Of the other contenders, Gary Grzesk has built a big time winner out of St. Norbert’s in Division III, which definitely is difficult in the Midwest Conference. Brian Barone has recruited most of Green Bay’s roster, which would allow him to retain a group of players who attained the highest level of success in 20 years at Green Bay – two straight first-round losses in the NIT. TJ Otzelberger has been an assistant Iowa State and is now at Washington, where he’s likely to have a job for one more year before Lorenzo Romar gets fired.

This much is obvious – Green Bay has a plethora of candidates to look at. If Bennett guns for the job, however, it might just be too hard to say no to the coach of the golden years in his golden years.

This article was assisted with research from the undersecretaries of Whimsy and Caprice. If you think this is legit, I think you need to take a long look at the situation and perhaps the calendar.

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