Local coaches discuss Hornet’s coaching change

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

By GEORGE MAHL-Sports Editor

Recently, New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn announced head coach Paul Silas will not be back for the 2003-2004 season. Thus, the search for a new coach has begun. Most fans in the New Orleans area feel the firing was unjust. Here in the River Parishes, the feeling is mutual.

“Shocked” was the first thing out of Riverside Academy boys basketball coach Tommy Monier’s mouth.

“But, I’ve seen this happen before.” Monier remembers an instance a few years ago involving UNO head coach Joey Steibing. “The guy (Steibing) was named Sunbelt Conference coach of the year and got fired on the same day,” Monier recalls.

He does say, the NBA is sometimes tough to get a read on.

“The NBA is tough to gauge. Sometimes you just tell the guys just go out there and play,” Monier said.

West St. John High School boys basketball coach Antoine Edwards is also puzzled by the owners decision.

“I’m really disappointed with that. I went to a couple of the hornets games and it seemed like he was popular with the players and the fans,” Edwards said.

The Hornets made the playoffs four times under Silas, however, they never made it past the second round.

Edwards thinks the Hornets had built a solid future with Silas at the helm. “When you have got something good, you have to try and keep it.”

Former UNO head coach Tim Floyd is a top candidate and will be interviewed next week.

“There is a big difference between college and pro. I think Tim is a great college coach, but I question whether or not he would succeed as Hornets head coach,” Edwards said.

Monier agreed with Edwards, but said it seems the NBA has more of a carousel of coaches than any other league.

“It looks to me like all of the candidates on the list are recycled coaches. In other words, they have coached at more than one place,” Monier.