Not a bad debut for Brian Walsh as Vipers Acting Head Coach. No one from ownership or from the basketball operations department would admit that this is an audition for Brian Walsh to be the permanent Head Coach of the RGV Vipers, but we all know that it is. Frankly in two games, with the energy that the Vipers have shown, and of course the back to back wins against a team that had won six of seven coming into Dodge Arena, I think Walsh has put himself in a strong position to be named the head coach permanently.
I have been asked by a lot of people in the last week about Brian's credentials and if he should be the coach. I have always begun my answer with, "He has won everywhere he has been." He is a winner, and he knows the minor leagues. I know that Bob Hoffman was probably the right fit last May. Brian Walsh is the right fit this April. He knows the pro game. He is looking to do two things. 1) Put a winner on the floor every night. and 2) Get to the NBA.
We all kind of knew what Coach Hoffman wanted to do when he came back to the RGV last year. We all knew he was going back to the college game at some point. It just happened to be on weird terms. I don't fault Hoffman for doing what he did like some people do. But, here is the thing now, Hoffman was not the right fit, Walsh is.
Walsh won a title in the USBL, been to the final game of the CBA Finals with Dakota, been to the Finals in the D-League with Colorado. I could go on with his resume, but you get the point.
Names aren't going to win you games. They may sell tickets in the beginning, but you know what sells tickets from the midpoint on... WINS. Look at the coaches who are the winners in this league.
Brian Gates (Idaho Stampede)- A long time minor league coach. USBL, CBA, D-League. Never played a minute of college basketball let alone pro hoops, and he is going win (likely) his second straight D-league Coach of the Year award.
Dan Panaggio(LA D-Fenders)-Coached in the CBA and at the NBA level as an assistant. They have also clinched a playoff spot and are plus 30 wins.
Joe Wolf (Colorado 14ers)- Coached in Idaho before Brian Gates...former NBA player but was not a name by any stretch. The were one win from the D-League title last year.
Duane Ticknor. (Dakota Wizards) another minor league guy.... See a pattern here?
I could go on... but you get my point... Give him a chance. He has earned it, and he wants to be here.