Garrido Steps Down
Of course, the big news of the last week is the relinquishment of head coaching duties by Texas Longhorns baseball coach Augie Garrido. Though adamant in saying he'd never step down under any (normal) circumstance, the 77-year-old eventually has, while taking on new as-yet-unannounced responsibilities as special assistant to Texas athletic director Mike Perrin. He'll also likely receive the full $300,000 buyout for his troubles, but the living legend was never leaving Austin. It was just time for a new voice.
After one of the worst seasons – and worst stretches – in the university's history, Garrido's departure from the baseball program was probably two years overdue. However, with his built-up credit, he'd more than earned that time to attempt a turnaround. At the end, the future College Baseball Hall of Fame coach retires a winner of five NCAA championships (two with Texas in 2002 and 2005), 25 conference championships, and 33 College World Series appearances over a remarkable 48-year career. His 1,975 wins are the most in NCAA college baseball history (all divisions included).
As for a replacement, the Austin American-Statesman released a short list of strong candidates, with some intriguing names. Florida's Kevin O'Sullivan has apparently becoming something of a front-runner – and may be interested. Dallas Baptist's Dan Heefner turned down Baylor, and rumor is he's been waiting for the Longhorn spot to be vacated. Brian O'Connor of the NCAA defending champion Virginia Cavaliers is being told their facilities will be upgraded, and might be wooed into staying in Charlottesville.
With July 1 looming, and closer than it appears, former Longhorn great Kevin Durant's tumultuous exit from playoffs – via a dramatic comeback by the Golden State Warriors – only puts the prolific scorer's future into full view. He's scheduled to become a free agent, where no less than six teams will vie for the 6'11" future Hall of Famer's services. Though the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to keep Durant for at least a year, the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, and yes, even the Golden State Warriors, are expected to get face time soon after the strike of midnight.