With Tournament dramatics sweeping the country and Gonzaga monopolizing our local attention in the Big Dance yet again – we put our spotlight on Montlake – and ask what is becoming a more frequent question among Husky fans: Is it time to replace coach Lorenzo Romar?
For now – I don’t believe so. But a year from now with more disappointing results – and it could be.
This is now the third straight year the Huskies have been absent from the NCAA Tournament – the longest in Romar’s tenure in Seattle. Then again, they should’ve made it in 2012 after winning the regular-season conference championship, and were snubbed by the Selection Committee in a down year for the PAC-12.
Right now, there’s no buzz around the program. The Dawg Pack was not at its best this season, and the overall attendance at Hec Ed was disappointing.
While I don’t think now is the time to consider a change, if the Huskies go a fourth consecutive season without a tournament bid – it will be.
Listen, I think Romar has been one of the best coaches in Washington history – one who has my utmost respect as a man, a leader, a teacher and a coach. Romar is the architect of the most successful stretch of Husky basketball in school history, and is, ironically, responsible for the perennially high expectations.
But we all know that coaching is a results-oriented profession – and now that the standard has been set – the Huskies must reach those standards or be held accountable.
Sweet 16 appearances are nice – but they’re not the Final Fours or national championships that automatically give coaches a lifetime free pass.
Remember, this isn’t a new coach laying a brand new foundation. We’ve seen what Romar can do, and consistent postseason appearances have certainly raised the bar. But a fourth straight year without a tournament bid would effectively lower that standard – something that should be unacceptable to loyal Husky fans.
There was a time when the outlook was bright. Promising local stars, helping turn Husky basketball into a perennial power. Lately, that hasn’t been the case.
Coach Romar is as solid a man you’ll ever meet – no better spokesman and representative for the University of Washington.
But if the results aren’t there next year – it could be time to make a change.