Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward has done it again.
On Wednesday, A&M finally did what everyone across college hoops expected would happen weeks ago.
At 9:22 a.m. the A&M athletic department announced that Buzz Williams would be returning to Aggieland as the Aggies’ new head basketball coach. Williams served as an assistant coach under Billy Gillispie from 2004 to 2006.
What makes Williams’ hiring incredible is that Woodward has been able to go out and get another coach who had consistent success in other programs.
In his five years at Virginia Tech, Williams turned the program around, taking them to back-to-back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. Just a few days ago, Virginia Tech and Williams suffered a loss in the Sweet 16 to No. 1-seed Duke after the Hokies’ last-second shot to tie the game missed the mark, ending their season in a heartbreaking fashion.
A year and a half ago, thousands of people across the College Football world were ‘shook’ by the fact that Woodward was able to land Jimbo Fisher as the Aggies’ new football coach.
Many were astounded by the contract Fisher was given, which was fully guaranteed.
According to Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated college basketball insider, Williams is set to sign a multi-year deal that is valued at $3.5 million a year.
Once the contract is signed, Williams will be the fourth head coach Woodward has hired in the last two years. In each of those cases, Woodward has gone after one person and one person only.
Rothstein also said A&M athletics had no secondary candidates when looking for a new head basketball coach.
Looking at it from afar, it could be considered reckless to go all in on one person. But that’s the way Woodward does business. He is a fearless and calculating man who only goes after the best coaches available — and does it in full force. When the women’s golf team needed a new head coach, he went and got one of the most successful coaches in the game and did so without a hitch. He did the same with volleyball.
Woodward has said time and time again that A&M will have the best of the best to compete with the best of the best in the SEC.
However, winning games isn’t enough — at least not for Woodward and an A&M fanbase hungry for success in the SEC.
“We kept our focus on finding an elite basketball coach, a developer of talent, a tremendous recruiter, a tireless worker and someone who fits Texas A&M,” Woodward said in a statement. “Buzz Williams is all that and more.”
While Williams’ hiring wasn’t as secretive or filled with Christmas-tree-in-the-front-yard stalking as Fisher’s was in December of 2017, it still has the same effect. It creates a ripple in the SEC — causing others to notice and begin to take A&M a lot more seriously.
Yes, we are just hours into the ‘Buzz is back’ era, but based on Woodward’s track record of making blockbuster hires, this hire should change A&M basketball for the better.
Angel Franco is a telecommunication senior and sports editor for The Battalion.