Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

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Cat Grad
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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cat Grad » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 pm

Ilikecats wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:23 pm
I’m surprised with the outrage over our AD making a tough call! It’s his job to build a culture that university athletics can prosper in a healthy environment. There’s been a lot of negative press on how Coach Fish engaged our student athletes and we all know that in today’s legal environment, our AD had to look at many things besides wins and losses. He made the call and I feel for Coach Fish and his family. I also feel for the athletes that left the program due to what they perceived to be a toxic environment. Business decisions are made and I respect the level of difficulty that goes into those decisions. I appreciate the concern for Coach Fish and his family, but speaking negative of our AD due to his courage to make the tough call is just plain wrong!
I no longer have anyone close to me in the MSU athletic department at any level be it coaching, secretarial, etc. and therefore don't pay attention as I once did to these changes. I do know from prior experience with other schools this decision does not appear to be Costellos. It appears from the outside looking in as a directive and again I qualify my statement with the fact I have no knowledge of who made this decision. My quantitative inclination is based upon prior practice within these type of decisions.

If that is the case, then it is obvious Costello's recruitment team had better make an excepional hire for this position, look closely at the women's program and hope the football team exceeds last year's efforts and that is going to be difficult given the schedule the football team is facing for next year. It's a cutthroat business, especially when one factors in the scarce resources these coaches have compared to many other athletic programs our school has to offer our student-athletes.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by phantom » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:05 am

In the coaching profession, coaches get hired and fired all of the time. My fear for Fish when he took the job was he took a bad job. Montana State hadn’t won and typically there are reasons schools have long stretches of not winning. In five years, there was one season where there wasn’t progress made on the floor. Year four was an awful year and this one was much better. You didn’t hear about dissension this year. That tells me the toxic elements were removed. The team battled through tough moments. A team doesn’t react the way they did to Fish’s personal tragedy without caring for the man.
Ultimately, with the decision made to go a different direction after this season, the bad decision wasn’t made today, it was last year. If it didn’t matter if there was progress made this year, then they wasted time in the rebuild.
Finally, I’ve read for however many years about Costello having to do with South Dakota State’s success. That is a complete joke. The success of that program was made by Scott Nagy over the years as they transitioned from a strong D2 to a Summit League power.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by GoldstoneCat » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:16 am

phantom wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:05 am
In the coaching profession, coaches get hired and fired all of the time. My fear for Fish when he took the job was he took a bad job. Montana State hadn’t won and typically there are reasons schools have long stretches of not winning. In five years, there was one season where there wasn’t progress made on the floor. Year four was an awful year and this one was much better. You didn’t hear about dissension this year. That tells me the toxic elements were removed. The team battled through tough moments. A team doesn’t react the way they did to Fish’s personal tragedy without caring for the man.
Ultimately, with the decision made to go a different direction after this season, the bad decision wasn’t made today, it was last year. If it didn’t matter if there was progress made this year, then they wasted time in the rebuild.
Finally, I’ve read for however many years about Costello having to do with South Dakota State’s success. That is a complete joke. The success of that program was made by Scott Nagy over the years as they transitioned from a strong D2 to a Summit League power.
You and I have been in agreement on Fish since this conversation started, and I agree with you again here. Last year's team should have been at least as good as this year's. If this move was going to be made, make it last year. The only explanation for letting him play out the string is $$. Not wanting to pay a buyout. Pesky thing happened though, the team improved throughout the season, and I have to wonder if we had won those 2 road games at the end and finished third, what move is made? I feel like costello didn't get this right either time.

Now, I'll also say that just because i didn't agree with the move or specifically its timing, this doesn't have to be bad. I think we're decent next year if we can hold our recruits. Perhaps we'll be able to get someone in to coach defense. Fish could coach a team to score, but defense has been poor all along. Let's hope it's a good hire.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by phantom » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:23 am

GoldstoneCat wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:16 am
The only explanation for letting him play out the string is $$. Not wanting to pay a buyout. Pesky thing happened though, the team improved throughout the season, and I have to wonder if we had won those 2 road games at the end and finished third, what move is made? I feel like costello didn't get this right either time.
I think you hit it on the head with money being the reason. If that is the case, then look no farther than that as the reason to the question "Why can't Montana State win in basketball". It's not like the head coach at Montana State makes a fortune, so the buyout should have been a no-brainer if they really didn't like the direction of the program. I think your question is a very valid point on winning the two final games. The reality is, those games shouldn't have mattered in regards to this decision in a well run athletic program. At that point, you've already evaluated him and made your decision.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by thefrank1 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:26 am

Regarding the post suggesting that Leon was directed to act, Waded was fully aligned with this decision regardless of whether it was Leon's idea or not. The university has high standards of performance particularly when it comes to student treatment. It was an area that Brian struggled with and I believe it tipped the scales toward non renewal. As I have stated previously, he did a lot to benefit this program and I am glad he was here.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by WalkOn79 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:51 am

I personally don't think player treatment had ANYTHING to do with this. Most of us never saw him interact with players during practice or in the locker room.
Last edited by WalkOn79 on Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Catlady » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:01 am

You must not go to games. It’s very noticeable and somewhat painful. You could call it borderline abusive. I want a little ass kickin from the Coach but this exceeded the norm!



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by John K » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:28 am

aucat wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:58 pm
I have three observations: 1. I have to say that this year was the first year I truly enjoyed going to the men's games in some time. The guys were almost always competitive, which to me is critical, and they really played hard. 2. Given that we are losing Hall and Blevens and Neuman, I think we pretty much know that next year's team will drop down from what this year's team achieved. 3. I thought Brian Fish was totally a class act, but then
I said the same thing about Brad Huse. Leon Costello has experienced success with the basketball program at SDSU. I am going to trust his judgement.,
The program needs to experience success, more than we have had. Finally, I really don't know many programs in the nation where you can lose consistently to your main rival and realistically expect to be retained. Fish beat UM only one time during his 5 year tenure. When he got that first win over UM I thought maybe we had turned the corner with the program, but not really. I did enjoy the team this year, but if this is the high water mark for FIsh (and I'm afraid it is) then a change was pretty much inevitable.

The very best and warm wishes to Brian FIsh and his family and his future undertakings.
This sentence pretty much sums it up for me. On the one hand, it seems a bit unfair to fire a guy coming off the best season of his 5-year run at MSU. But on the other hand, if your best season during those 5 years is a 6th place finish in an 11-team league, losing in the QF in the conference tourney, and a sub .500 overall record, then it's also pretty hard to make a very strong case for keeping him.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by 3-7-77 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:43 am

A month ago, the anti-Fish sentiment on BN was a very faint whisper in the background. After conference play, and then after tournament play, the voices only grew a little louder. After the St. Patrick's Day firing, NOW the bold and the brave come out supporting the move. Where the hell were all of you a month ago? Only a few were not afraid to take a stand, to say enough is enough. To those, I say well done! As for the rest of you sheeple....


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by bobcatbob » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:35 am

3-7-77 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:43 am
A month ago, the anti-Fish sentiment on BN was a very faint whisper in the background. After conference play, and then after tournament play, the voices only grew a little louder. After the St. Patrick's Day firing, NOW the bold and the brave come out supporting the move. Where the hell were all of you a month ago? Only a few were not afraid to take a stand, to say enough is enough. To those, I say well done! As for the rest of you sheeple....
This is not about sheeple. It is about human decency. That is something you and your fellow people from EGRIZ seem to lack. A month ago Coach Fish lost his daughter. This is after losing a son years earlier. These tragic life events greatly transcend basketball. It was no time for people to be hollering for his head. Yes, now that the season is over and results are in coupled with his previous four year record, a valid and fair evaluation was made. Based on those results most fans are coming out in favor of the decision. It has nothing to do with being brave or bold or having courage.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by mrbobcatballer » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:37 am

Long time reader, first time poster. I've been watching the MSU basketball situation from afar the last couple years.
As with many moves and transactions in sports (at all levels), the true success or verdict if a move was a good choice won't be known until a ways down the line. At this moment, I would call the decision to not renew Fish's contract a bad decision. Everyone has brought up many of the valid pluses and minuses, so no need to resurrect those points. I do worry this is a bad look for the athletic department - letting go of a coach after a year of improvement both in the team and his coaching style. Also, there is the issue of the personal tragedy in his life. I know in a cutthroat business like college athletics that one has to try and keep the personal and profession separate, but it's hard to ignore that they are making this decision shortly on the heels of his loss. I would have suggested a shorter three-year extension to see if this year's improvement can continue, to help continue developing players like Kirby, and to see how the new class coming in would fit.
As I started this out though, we won't know the true verdict of this decision until down the line when we see who the new coach is and what they are able to do with the program. One thing is for sure, MSU needs to start paying more attention to basketball in all facets if it truly wants to build up the program. I know football has been more successful, but it's no reason to disregard basketball. This goes from marketing and promotions to increase attendance and beyond.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by WalkOn79 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:07 pm

bobcatbob wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:35 am
3-7-77 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:43 am
A month ago, the anti-Fish sentiment on BN was a very faint whisper in the background. After conference play, and then after tournament play, the voices only grew a little louder. After the St. Patrick's Day firing, NOW the bold and the brave come out supporting the move. Where the hell were all of you a month ago? Only a few were not afraid to take a stand, to say enough is enough. To those, I say well done! As for the rest of you sheeple....
This is not about sheeple. It is about human decency. That is something you and your fellow people from EGRIZ seem to lack. A month ago Coach Fish lost his daughter. This is after losing a son years earlier. These tragic life events greatly transcend basketball. It was no time for people to be hollering for his head. Yes, now that the season is over and results are in coupled with his previous four year record, a valid and fair evaluation was made. Based on those results most fans are coming out in favor of the decision. It has nothing to do with being brave or bold or having courage.
For the love of God let's not keep feeding the troll!!


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by phantom » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:37 pm

Catlady wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:01 am
You must not go to games. It’s very noticeable and somewhat painful. You could call it borderline abusive. I want a little ass kickin from the Coach but this exceeded the norm!
Please. Just stop. At least don't say you "want a little ass kickin", just say you want him to serve milk and cookies and hand them a blankey on the way to the bench.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by mrbobcatballer » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:33 pm

Most decisions, transactions, hiring and firing in the sports world - we want to grade the choice and come to a quick decision on its merits immediately. But it takes time. Draft picks, signings, a new coach hiring - you don't usually know if it was a good choice until after some time has passed.
With that said, I think we should welcome the new hiring search and get a renewed excitement for the program. I hope we support the new coach and give them time and energy.
But we can also be frustrated with how Coach Fish was handled. I don't think it's a good look for the program that he was let go after a year of good improvement from the team and adjustments in coaching style. And though it's not connected to the team directly, there is the human impact of his tragic loss this spring and it makes the dept look a bit ruthless that they did not re-up his contract for a couple years. I know factoring in personal elements can be a slippery slope, but this instance, mixed with the marked improvement across the board for the team, should have resulted in an extension.
That is past now and the program needs to look forward and work to get better. This includes the new coach and recruits, but also should include a stronger marketing and promotion effort behind the basketball programs to increase attendance and excitement around the team.
I look forward to where the program goes next, and I want to say thank you to Coach Fish for his tenure and for being a stand-up guy that I know will land on his feet and find success.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Catlady » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:56 pm

Big gap between the two..... ok to be a tough coach, but it makes no sense to totally tear a player down every night!
I know it might’ve been different on your badminton team....Phantom. But there’s many a way to inspire a player!



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Helcat72 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:49 pm

bpcats20 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 pm
I don’t know if this was the right call.

I kind of feel like this years team was a top three team when all is said and done. It seems like we needed 2-3 more impactful role players to compete against the griz. We are not catching their program anytime soon. Randy Rahe at Weber State has a good to great program, Simon at Southern Utah does well at neutral sites. Travis Decuire is a great Coach who can recruit. It feels like when UM built Washington Grizzly stadium and we have been playing catch up ever since. They get great recruits and coaching tree to match.

I thought Coach Fish got better as a coach and showed improvement this year. I can understand why they may have let him go after five years. I just believe that we will be going backwards again after whatever steps we managed to scrape forward.
When we hired Fish I sort of figured he could influence some transfers from the Pac 12. What happened is that DeCuire recruited Rorie from Oregon and a Pf/center from Washington. He continues to supplement the Griz with Pac 12 talent. We got a player from Utah Valley and Southern Miss. I believe Tyler Hall was being courted by Fish while at Oregon and it was a coup getting him. I just have a problem with a recruiter who can't find a serviceable power forward/center like Akho or Peatling who killed us in the tourney.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by msu_agfan » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:51 pm

I've yet to see evidence to convince me Fish went across the "line" in abusing the players, he wasn't a quiet mushroom sitting on the side of the court, but I just have not seen the excessively mean spirit that some hint at. I also do not necessarily believe that the "majority" of the fans feel this was a good decision to let him go. You can say these things enough so that you will believe it. But, from those who care about the program, those who actually post here on a regular basis, you will not see those things convincingly spoken of. It is what it is though, and so we get to move on. Hopefully if we find ourselves in a similar position in 5 years, we decide to break the cycle and try out loyalty, continuity, steadiness, just try it. My personality wants to believe it would work, for my two cents. Go Cats! May our next coach be exactly what we need.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Catastrophy11 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:56 pm

WalkOn79 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:51 am
I personally don't think player treatment had ANYTHING to do with this. Most of us never saw him interact with players during practice of in the locker room.
One didn't have to watch many games to experience coach Fish belittle the sh!t out of the players in front of their families and the fans....



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cat Grad » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:05 pm

I realize this guys early career was dismal and there must have been a lot of people content with mediocrity when he began, but I happen to think his record would have been much worse at MSU than Fish's for several reasons...and I think Fish's record at Army would have...all speculation. I hope Coach Fish goes on to bigger and better things and believe he will. Good luck Coach. It's been a difficult time.

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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:59 pm

Catlady wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:56 pm
Big gap between the two..... ok to be a tough coach, but it makes no sense to totally tear a player down every night!
I know it might’ve been different on your badminton team....Phantom. But there’s many a way to inspire a player!
You are spot on. I thought Fish was a nice guy away from the court, but I could not understand all the negative yelling at games. And with today’s youth, a “critical” approach coaching kids can create more issues than benefits. Specifically when individual egos are stroked in high school and AAU basketball, an “in your face” approach can backfire.



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