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Larranaga brings Final Four experience to UM

It's not often you get the chance to hire a coach who has been to the Final Four and did it recently. But that's exactly what the University of Miami and new athletic director Shawn Eichorst pulled off in getting George Mason's Jim Larranaga to come to Coral Gables.

Jim Larranaga Larranaga, 61, flew to South Florida Friday morning to meet with UM officials and is expected to have a press conference later this afternoon. Larranaga, who spent the past 14 seasons at George Mason, left in part for more money.

George Mason athletic director Tom O'Connor said as much when he spoke to the AP this morning. "In all honesty, the university can only go so far with finances," O'Connor said. "We think we put together a very, very attractive financial compensation package. We couldn't compete with an ACC school, a big football school with its budget."

You don't hear those words very often when it comes to Miami. But it's nice to see UM was willing to put up big cash for a quality coach -- even if his name wasn't Frank Martin.

Larranaga is no pushover. He led the Patriots to five NCAA tournament appearances in 14 seasons, including a suprising run to the Final Four in 2006.

Last season, he led George Mason to the CAA regular-season title and an at-large berth in the Big Dance. After beating Villanova, the Patriots lost to overall No. 1 seed Ohio State.

Before coaching at George Mason, Larranaga spent 11 seasons as the coach at Bowling Green.

At 61, he may not be at UM for a very, very long time. But he can lay a solid foundation and give this UM basketball team an identity moving forward -- the man loves pressure defense. In the end, this hire is going to turn out to be a lot better than what else UM could have ended up with. Tommy Amaker? Rob Jeter? None of those guys have Larranaga's resume.

What are your thoughts on the hiring?


ESPN's Dick Vitale on Twitter: "Miami hit a grand slam in getting Jim Larranaga from George Mason- He is a fierce competitor & has loads of contacts. Great hire!"

CBS and Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis: "Larranaga to Miami is a win win. He gets a better job for more money. UM gets a great coach. Let's not overthink this. Jim is nearing end of his career. Why not take a shot? What does he have to lose? He'll need top assts to get players but he can win there."


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This guy is the real deal.

CHAMPIONSHIP. Book it now!

Dare I say we are the best basketball school in the state?! The BUC will be rocking and the line starts now.

Great hire! If you can lead a mid major to the final four then U CAN COACH. Great start for a new AD.

Well put Manny. Jim Larranaga is definitely a better coach than Amaker and Jeter and a clear upgrade over Frank Haith! Frank Martin would have been my first choice but this is still a great hire. Well done Mr. Eichorst!!! Both the football and basketball programs got rid of the garbage and are now moving forward with two great coaches. Better days are ahead Canes Fans!!!

Great hire with what UM has to work with. Finally have a real basketball coach. Would have liked them to have interviewed Martin if only to get media off their backs. Frank was never going to be hired at UM with his behavior on the sidelines, language, hitting kids etc. In reality think they did better anyway. Welcome Coach L.

Who cares. Any football news?

Why do i have visions of Larry Coker?

Dman, that's because you have Coker's Sindrome... JK.

He might look like Coker, but at least he has Head Coaching experience and it looks like is a good one.

I think Martin was going to help fill out the BUC, but maybe this guy might do the same by doing something Haith couldn't do before, by winning the big games.

He will get his players to play hard and THE RIGHT WAY.... I am pleased with the hire.

The is a great hire.

Congratulations Coach! UM is very lucky! I had the pleasure of being the first female manager ever at BGSU with Coach Larranaga! He is an awesome coach who treats his players and everyone around him like family. He will mold these players into educated men! Get ready for the signature whistle and tons of fun!

I think this will strengthen the foundation of the program. Good job!

Fantastic hire! This guy can flat out coach and motivate.

I really don't understand the age concerns. Though he may not look it he's actually 3 years younger than Coach K and last I checked that guy was still a pretty good coach. If anything it may feel like a re-birth for Coach Laranaga coming in to a new conference.

I also found it humurous how another school was talking about their limited finances as a reason for not being able to retain their coach when Miami (Shalala) does so much whining about their supposed lack of resources. Guess we're not so poor after all ;) ;) hahaha


I like this hire. UM hit a HOMERUN with this hire. You need a guy with instant credibility and they have it with the new coach. Shaka Smart would've been idea, but UM hoops can rest knowing that this guy will be here at least 10 years.

Went to undergrad at Mason. Saw coach in a McDonalds once. True story.

Of course it's a great hire - he hasn't lost a game yet.

Larranaga can't recruit. This is a huge fail for Miami. 14 years at Mason and only went to the big dance 5 times. He even said publicly that after making the final four (by luck because UConn and Michigan State had injury problems, and Florida just embarrassed Mason) that he had huge problems recruiting, he could only get JUCO kids.

Great hire by Miami!!

Naw I know guys that played for him and they all said that with limited resources and all a lot of the big schools didnt want to play them but when they played them they showed they were no ones pushovers. I know personally a few kids that have not committed to any college- i know personally they THE U will get e few of these kids- Look for announcements very soon !

You guys got a great coach, good luck Coach L, we will miss you, thanks for all you did.

a GMU Patriot

This is the worst pick ever. This is not the CCA, this is the (ACC)baby. Can you say Duke, N.Carolina. This is over his league. The AD didn't even interview Frank Martin. Can't wait to see empty seats again. What a disapointment. I will not spend a dollar to see this abortion.

What a joke we could have hit a homerun with a younger Grant or Martin this is a garbage hire....

Doubters/Haters you have ZERO clue what you are talking about. Watch what this guy does with our talent. We lost half dozen games because Haith was a friggin moron on the bench. This guy is a fantastic coach.

nd now please tell me why we did not even make an attempt to get a proven winner young and with a so fla background who can recruit plus win(beat Kan this year) Frank Martin and he would have made the move. yes this well may have been another LC move. sad to see.

i am not happy...frank martin has the connections to recruit florida. this is displeasing!wow um blew it.not even an interview.

I don't know why anyone is pissing and moaning about the hire of Larranaga as BB coach. He is a better coach that Haith will ever be plus he has shown he can win against the big boys in the NCAA tournament. I like Frank Martin too or Pearl as well but has either one of then done what Larranaga has done with much less resources? NO. There is no doubt we will have a much better team with him and at least we will be respectable in basketball for a change.

NY miamialum stop giving that NY bias, just because Larranaga is from NY doesn't mean he can coach. Larranaga can't recruit and watch Larranaga will be embarrassed out of Miami. I live 20 minutes from Mason and watch too much of the crappy school, that school shouldn't even exist. Larranaga can't recruit, he couldn't even land the top local public school kids, Cam Long is a horrible player who will work at Starbucks...

LARRANAGA IS A BUM, AND THE CANES WILL BE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE ACC, remember this...Haith is 10 times a better coach than Larranaga. Larranaga will be cleaning cages in the Bronx zoo in 2 years when he gets fired from Miami...

Well then he will be Haith's boss then cause he's too stupid to know what to do. I bet U Larranaga last's longer at Miami than that loser Haith last's at Missouri and Larranaga will have us in the post season more than Haith ever did.

I am a Canes fan living 10 miles from the Mason campus. He is a great coach. Runs a tight ship. Gets the community involvoed. Good guy that knows X's and O's.

First Golden, now Larranaga. Great job UM! ANY good organization starts with good leadership from the top. Its about time we get REAL coaches with pegigree. Mark my word- UM football and basketball will be better because of these smart moves. About FRICKIN time!!!

Great hire! I wish Coach L., all the best. I love his emotion and passion. He is a definite upgrade over Coach Haith (who I liked and respected). It is ironic, I bet Missouri is saying, "wow, we should have went after Coach Larranaga, instead of Haith", LOL!! On another note, is it me or are Observer and Miramar Cane, twins who were separated at birth?? Hmmm.....

When you see so many new posters with negative attitude and 3rd grade language skills, the signpost up ahead says..."You're in the TROLL ZONE."

Cane4Life...bud, you are not imagining things.
I swear Gator trolls have nothing better to do with their useless lives than post here.

BTW, the several thoughtful posts submitted by GMU folks says a lot about THEIR school, and their former coach. Good things.
Thanks GMU'ers. We UM'ers hope you find just as good a replacement.

U are U

the last 10 Years til 2020 U will continue to be so ...

Ur next Beisbol Coach ?

Posted by: Soldy | April 22, 2011 at 07:46 AM

Muschump? 7-5 with alleged Coach of the Decade? It's all downhill.

Hola, Soldy? Douchebag?

Posted by: Curse Virgin Pig | April 22, 2011 at 07:55 AM


Hola ... Does Ur new Coach get a Condo in Boca too ?

Coach L will jump start the Miami program! He will win the big games and win consistently! He will create a lot of excitement here by the way he coaches and how his teams will play the game. We will OWN the second half of every game. Initially recruiting may be a difficulty (He may just need some young energetic FL assistants)but believe me by the end of the season we will start drawing the 5-stars with his results and how his team will play.

He never made it to the tournament out of the ACC. Maybe he will be good, but we needed a young, up-and-coming coach. We did it with the football team, why not basketball?

I'm sure this guy can coach, but he's old. They should've hired a young guy who can stay for a decade.

So sick of all the haters. If you think Coach L cannot coach, you obviously have no clue about College Hoops. It's truly sad how pathetic these U haters are. To have nothing better to do then come on oUr boards and hate on our programs, it a sad sad life you live. I have an idea, go hang yourselves! GO CANES! Great hire and good luck Coach L.

If you think Larranaga is a good coach you obviously don't know college basketball, all the U fans should stick to football. Larranaga is a bum and never will win championships at Miami. In hoops its all about Duke and UNC, then comes Maryland and FSU, there is no way Larranaga can out coach those teams and even recruit close anybody in the ACC.
I will show up at Larranaga's funeral after Miami fires him.

really, who cares, like UM will ever compete with the boring top six or so basketball schools who get all the top taolent every year.

I guarantee I know more about college basketball than U do. By you just saying that Haith is better than Larranaga proves my point.

Great score for UM and its program. As a Mason fan, we are sad to see the Coach L era end, but our school and program are much better off because of what he established. He will compete and enhance the program as well as anybody possibly can at a football school. Hope to see a home and home series.

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