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WBB assistant coach Darin Thrun heads to SVSU

May 26, 2011

Women’s basketball assistant coach Darin Thrun, who astute readers may recall was at the center of the NCAA violations that landed the program on probation — Thrun was indefinitely suspended, starting last September, though I heard no further news about just how long that suspension actually was — has apparantly left EMU to take the same position with Saginaw Valley State University’s women’s basketball program.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure SVSU has a fine women’s basketball program, and they did go to the Final Four in 1982 and the championship game in 1985 — in the NAIA — but they’re a Division II program. I’ve got to call a move from assistant coach in Division I to assistant coach in Division II a step backward, especially given that EMU’s women’s basketball seems to be on the rise right now. Coming, as it does, on the heels of last fall’s investigation, it certainly makes me wonder if Thrun wasn’t…er…strongly encouraged…to find a new
job. Late last September, I noted that “while Gilbert’s job is safe for now, Thrun may not be at EMU much longer.” With this announcement, I think we see the fulfillment of thatt expectation.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. BLN permalink
    May 27, 2011 12:54 pm

    Thanks for staying on top of this story. I got to know Coach Gilbert and her staff pretty well, and Darin was clearly the brightest, most trusted and hardest-working member of her staff. The fact that he was the fall guy for the NCAA probe really stunk.

    And you’re right that moving to SVSU is a step backward, but I don’t think Darin had much of a choice. He’d been looking for other jobs for three years and, for obvious reasons, hadn’t gotten many bites.

    Put yourself in Darin’s shoes in 2010 – your boss (Gilbert) is out of town and calls you on the phone and asks you to get the team together for a meeting to help “prep” them for NCAA interviews. If you hold the meeting the way she wants, you risk violating NCAA rules. If you don’t hold the meeting the way she wants, she will surely fire you. Which would you choose?

  2. Kenneth Barna permalink
    May 27, 2011 6:40 pm

    Dear BLN,
    I don’t know any of the women’s basketball staff, so cannot comment on who is a hard worker or who is a good coach. My question to you, is, why had he been looking for other jobs? Does that mean he was unhappy at Eastern? Was he looking for head coaching positions, or assistant positions?
    You may not have intended to create a cloud here, but I think you have.

  3. BLN permalink
    May 27, 2011 9:22 pm

    Yeah, I didn’t mean to be coy. Darin was looking for other jobs because he knew that he couldn’t work long-term under Gilbert. Her demanding and intense personality wore heavily on him, just as her style has been tough for lots of people. Look at the substantial roster turnover and substantial staff turnover. So, yeah, Darin was looking for assistant jobs at other schools. When the NCAA violations came to light, his search intensified after he was painted as the fall guy.

    I give Gilbert a ton of credit for winning with a bunch of different players and staff members. But, personally, I believe our women’s program would achieve even greater success if she created an environment where players and coaches wanted to stay with her and improve their respective crafts.

  4. EMU Gal permalink
    June 1, 2011 7:57 pm

    Darin is a hard worker and a promising young coach. He was the fall guy, which wasn’t fair, but he had to move on in one direction or another. Not everyone can live the life of leisure waiting for the perfect job. You have to take employment when it comes. He will be a great addition to the SVSU coaching staff. I know I will pay more attention to that program. EMU’s loss!!

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