There has been months of speculation about Texas A&M looking at moving on from Billy Kennedy and pursuing Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams, a Texas native. Now, the inevitable moving on from Kennedy is happening in College Station with Williams as the “top target” to replace him.
Texas A&M's Billy Kennedy won't be back https://t.co/ui3SqaIoJ4
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) March 12, 2019
Here’s a brief excerpt from the Houston Chronicle’s Texas A&M reporter Brent Zwerneman on the interest in Williams.
“A&M’s top target is expected to be Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams, a native Texan and a former A&M assistant under Billy Gillispie from 2004-06. The No. 16 Hokies are the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament this week.”
If you’ve followed the rumors throughout the past several months, then you are not surprised at all by the fact that the Aggies are making a coaching change and targeting Williams. Part of that has been due to Kennedy not meeting the raised expectations for A&M surrounding the recent resurgence of A&M basketball while it’s hard not to wonder if this is more mutual than most would think given that he has Parkinson’s Disease.
There is also no denying the fact that Texas A&M has the money to outdo just about any financial extension that Virginia Tech could put on the table; simply see Jimbo Fisher’s contract for proof of that. Additionally, there is no doubt that there is something that is hard to resist about having a chance to coach in your home state.
However, anyone calling it a done deal about Buzz Williams leaving is probably overreacting a little too much. Will it be difficult for the Hokies to hold on to Williams with A&M and possibly Texas, if they move on from Shaka Smart, pursuing him? Definitely, but there is one major factor here that throws all of that up in the air.
As we’ve all seen, Buzz Williams is a one-of-a-kind person unlike any coach in the country. Buzz isn’t afraid to do things his way and do what everyone else can’t imagine him doing. Look at the fact that he left Marquette for Virginia Tech in the first place or that in his first head coaching contract at Marquette, he made it a must for the athletic program to help support his launch of Buzz’s Bunch.
Of course, there are other family factors surrounding their investment in the community of Blacksburg along with having built a very good basketball program in his mold at Virginia Tech. Those are also factors that you’ve heard plenty in the past with plenty of coaches, but they still mean something.
However, there is no doubt that Buzz Williams isn’t your typical coach and that makes it less of a shoe in that he leaves for A&M if they pursue him as expected.
For now, the Hokies’ focus will be on the ACC Tournament and their third-straight NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Once that’s over, we’ll quickly find out whether the Hokies will still have the coach who has taken the program to heights that seemed unimaginable till now or if they’ll be back on the market, only with an actual high-quality basketball program this time.
Buzz Williams’ departure may seem likely given what A&M can offer, but the unique person that Buzz Williams is makes it far from being a guarantee.