Gonso to head basketball coach search committee

Indiana University president Michael McRobbie has just announced that it has formed a 10-member committee to search for a new men’s basketball coach. Here’s the entire text of a press release from IU: 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana Rick Greenspan, athletics a University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today that he has appointed a 10-member, blue-ribbon committee of faculty, alumni and Athletic Department representatives to begin a nationwide search for a new men’s basketball coach.

The panel will be chaired by Harry Gonso, an Indianapolis attorney and former IU trustee who led the Hoosiers as quarterback of the 1968 Rose Bowl team. An Academic All American and All Big-Ten football player, Gonso earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from IU in 1970 and a law degree with honors from the IU School of Law-Bloomington in 1973.

“Harry Gonso is the ideal person to lead a search of this importance,” McRobbie said. “Harry has a deep appreciation for both our academic mission and our athletic traditions. He is well aware of the high expectations our fans and alumni have for our men’s basketball program. Harry shares my determination to find a coach who will lead our men’s basketball program in a manner that reflects Indiana University’s tradition and values.”

The head coach’s position became vacant on Feb. 22 when Kelvin Sampson resigned. Dan Dakich, an assistant coach and director of men’s basketball operations, was named interim head coach and will continue to head the team until a permanent head coach is named.

“I am grateful to President McRobbie for placing this trust with me,” Gonso said. “I think he has put together a very strong search committee, and I am confident we will carry out this task quickly and successfully.”

Athletics Director Rick Greenspan said that he looked forward to working with the search committee named by McRobbie.

“The advice and counsel of this committee will be critical as we seek to make the best choice possible for Indiana University and our fans,” Greenspan said. “I greatly appreciate the willingness of Harry and the other distinguished members of the search committee to give their time and energy to this important task.”

Gonso, who leads the life sciences practice for the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller, served as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ senior counsel and chief of staff in 2005 and 2006. He also served 18 years on the IU Board of Trustees, where he was chair of two presidential searches and vice president of the board from 1988 until his retirement in 1994.

Gonso indicated that the search committee and its members would not be publicly commenting on the progress of the search process until a decision is announced.

Also named to the committee were:

  • Rick Greenspan, athletic director 
  • Ken Beckley, former president of the IU Alumni Association
  • Grace Calhoun, associate athletics director for compliance and academic services and senior woman administrator
  • Bruce Jaffee, professor of business economics and public policy and faculty representative on the Athletics Committee
  • Wayne Radford, former IU basketball player and most valuable player of the 1978 Hoosiers
  • Jennifer Sinclair, president and chairwoman of the IU Varsity Club National Board of Directors
  • Bill Stephan, IU vice president for engagement
  • James Wimbush, dean of the University Graduate School, professor of business administration and chair of the University Athletics Committee
  • Jerry Yeagley, former IU head men’s soccer coach and member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Hall of Fame


  1. If Harry works for Ice Miller it seems something of a conflict of interest. Ice Miller played a major role in the firing of Sampson.

  2. It doesn’t matter who we get and when…we are going to be rebuilding all over again. There is no way that these recruits would watch IU’s play recently and still want to come!

  3. Pritchard, Roth, and Elston in 09 are still coming.

    I’m glad to see Yeagley and Gonzo involved with this.

  4. I wish people would stop it about Greenspan. It was Herbert who wanted Sampson, not Greenspan. when your boss says hire this guy….you’re stuck with him.

    It does look like a good committee, except it is a large committee.

  5. I can save the committee time. Offer the job to Mark Few if he declines head up the west coast and get Tony Bennett.

  6. Since when did the HT start charging to be apart of their tourney challenge? I mean $10 for one bracket and at chance at $500. There are many brackets on various websites that are absolutely free, for more than one bracket, and the prize is $10,000. Once again the HT is just a joke!

  7. HT has to charge for everything. How else can they afford to pay Chris & Doug’s huge salaries?

    Journalism is so corrupt.

  8. My vote is for Mark Few as well. Any other good prospects out there? I don’t think Thad Matta will come.

  9. Side question: What the heck happened to AJ Ratliff this year? He’s a pure shooter that hasn’t played at all. I don’t get it — I thought he was eligible?

  10. Are you serious Mike? The news about AJ is about 2 months old. Where have you been? Tell me you are joking!

  11. Hooray for President McRobbie! The Search Committee was absolutely necessary since our AD lacks judgment, foresight, and vision for the Athletic program. If the AD had good leadership, he would have dismissed Sampson when the violations were first reported. Tricky Greenspan won’t act until he is pressured. He has NOT been a progressive spokesman, public leader for IU fans and did not move forward on athletic improvements until he was pushed by our informed alumni, coaches, and perhaps even the Trustees. More importantly, we need a Search committee that can speak informatively, persuasively, and with vision for new directions to coaching candidates because our AD is not very communicative. This committee will reach out to other informed IU fans when necessary to make judgments about our basketball program. President McRobbie has realized the deficiencies of Greenspan. He had no other recourse but to appoint this Search Committee.

  12. I applaud the committees appointment, but it needs to be made clear when a decision is made about the coach, who IS going to be held accountable for accepting the decision. Where does the buck stop?

  13. Chris, Since you are obviously raking it in with the HT…….how about some shares of Bear Stearnes stock? It is about the price of a beer. Enjoy your night! Seriously, is that all DD said at the presser? Did you guys find cheap tickets to Raleigh?

  14. GoHoosiers: Who would you like to be accountable? It appears that the AD is not. It is somewhat of a good question.

    The celebrity counsel of the search committee does their job and a new hire is complete. Accolades and hopes are expressed to the new hire. The new coach buys a million dollar home and the work begins.

    Is it? … “All the Kings horses and all the Kings men could not put Humpty Hoosier back together again.” or……. Life comes back to the Hoosier program?

    Hep did it in two years. Have HOPE! IU needs the hoopster version of Hep.

    I am declining to comment on the committee. My first blush says OK. You know tho…….I AGREE! who is going to fess up for accountability?

  15. OK….I am bored and I will add this. I like Calhoun, Jaffe, Sinclair, Stephan and Wimbush simply because this falls in their job description. Yeagley maybe. Radford maybe. But why? Where is Bill Mallory? Did he decline? Back to the accountability. If Greenspan heads this again, he must have 100% accountability. Call it a second chance or whatever. This is a the proverbial slippery slope. I do not envy anyone on this list.

  16. Sorry Ken Beckley, I left you out. You are a super Hoosier and good luck on this task. Bring us the basketball Messiah.

  17. I’m not sure it’s a given that this committee will have all that much power or input, i.e., this may be as much for PR as for substance. By now a whole group of coaches’ agents should have already been contacted and the winnowing process should be well under way. Sounds to me like this group will be more of a vetting committee than a search committee.

  18. DJ…….tell me more. Who is behind the scenes and completing this process? Greenspan? I think I understand what you are saying as the initial contacts are likely underway. Did you read Hep’s book. I loved how that process was described. (His hiring).

    Let face it……Sampson hiring was a gamble that went bad. Imagine him towing the line and surviving the sanctions. Greenspan is a hero if that happens. It did not. Sorry…..back to the point. I agree with you. The short list is likely in place with possible interviews being scheduled.

  19. I will say it once more before viewing Dancing with the Stars. Find us a “Terry Hoeppner” who knows how to coach and recruit kids. This is a bad wreck, but it can be repaired. A PR genius would be the bonus coach.

  20. “Maybe” Yeagley??? Are you serious? Like I already said, I’m very happy to see Gonso and Yeagley on this committee.

  21. Sorry Jimmy…..you are right. Coach Y is an asset. He has been a top notch ambassador for IU. He will provide good balance for the business experts. Ditto what I said about Hep, for Coach Yeg. Another example of an excellent asset for the IU program.

    I was tentative at first. I have seen celebrity status on these committees before and what for? Coach Yeg will provide experience and clarity.

  22. OK, here’s another slant: choosing a new coach by a broadly based committee is a good move; however, the timing of several things related to the Hoosiers is mind boggling: First the NCAA chooses to publicize their findings about 2/3 through the regular season — why then? The timing of that did nothing to IU but cause turmoil and start the tailspin we all know about. Players were upset, the students in general were divided in their reactions and loyalties, and a lot of confusion ensued. The fallout was hideous. DD takes over in the midst of all of this and although he may be in over his head, at least he had the stones to do it. The season turns sour, control and respect are eroded, the regular year ends badly, we lose to a Minnesota team which WAS NOT as good as the Hoosiers, we then get a seed of 8, (and although Kravitz of the Star is a jerk usually) it seems the NCAA did make sure we have an early out in the NCAA Tournament — and as he so eloquently puts it: we got what we deserved! Now — along comes another timing blunder: although DD has not had the support of too many in the IU Nation, he now is REALLY a lame duck and HAS to be embarrassed by McRobbie’s latest PR move. It really seems to this observer that any cleaning house should involve any and all who have contributed to this fiasco. Herbert got his walking papers for his loyalties to KS and his hiring — maybe it’s time for some more house cleaning. Am I way off base here or are there just too many blunders by a lot of people who need to be more accountable than they are?

  23. How absolutely delicious it would be for the Hoosiers to make a run, through UNC, well into the tournament. Myles Brand squirming all the while. It would be soooo sweet. CBS Sports would have to be all Hoosiers, all the time.

  24. I feel we are way past any Greenspan accountability. It appears that IU is standing behind him and KS is the lone sniper in this mess. DD is certainly the lame duck candidate here, but I don’t think we should hire him as coach just because of that. I fear a mass house cleaning would further divide the entire program. Where do you stop? or begin? I myself, waffle on the Greenspan issue. He hired a guy who got caught, but the same “Blue Ribbon” type of group stood behind it, as well as many others. And who would have thought that an adult, Div 1 coach would be ignorant enough, or brash enough to do it again?

  25. Being a Hoosier from Southern Indiana and work in Louisville, I see all the positive things that their AD, Tom Jurich, has done for their athletic programs both men and womens…it was rumored that he was a canidate to AD’s ago but we couldn’t land him…the “Powers To Be” should look into getting him to IU and let him work his magic

  26. My hope for the direction of the coaching search…Butler and Xavier have talented young coaches and each school graduates greater than 90% of players. Consider this and the fact that both programs spent more time in the AP top 25 this year than any big ten school other than maybe Wisconsin.

  27. “Herbert got his walking papers for his loyalties to KS and his hiring” – Jim

    Do you have any clue what you are talking about? Your whole rant was fairly pointless, but this made me realize that you have no clue. Adam Herbert did not get his walking papers, he announced in January of 2006 (3 months prior to hiring Sampson) that he was stepping down.

    This had NOTHING to do with Basketball, he was under fire from the faculty for his chancellor search and that he didn’t give the job to Kumble Subbaswamy, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a faculity member who was a finalist.

  28. There’s just a chance that the search will turn up an individual with some of the outstanding abilities and gifts of Coach Hepner. How one person could have had such a singular impact upon an athletic program is amazing (IMO). Coach Hepner transcended the gap between so-so Saturday afternoon ball games to total game-day enthusiasm for much of the State of Indiana. He made us all “believe” again in the I.U. Football program.

    No doubt there is a basketball coach somewhere out there waiting to be called – who embodies the qualities of a teacher, a humanitarian, a disciplinarian, and a competitor – all wrapped up in a neat little package much like our departed football coach.

    Indiana University administration definitely got the message sent by fans and alumni this time around. We’re not going to settle for any more reunions of pals and past acquaintances coming together. This next choice had better be solid.

    I’m optimistic about the possibilities.

  29. For a number of years, after Knight last won a championship, he negotiated his contract where he reported directly to the President, and not to the Athletic Director. Several head coaches since have had the same deal, supposedly. I want to hear that any new hires WILL be working for the Athletic Director and not have an “end run” around them as Sampson, Cameron, DiNardo, and others have had. What about it H-T? Want to dig into that one?

  30. I hope the committee has aleady met a few times by now – as much precious time has passed since Sampson’s dismissal. Hopefully they’ve already formed a short list of candidates.

  31. Mike4IU says “Offer the job to Mark Few if he declines head up the west coast and get Tony Bennett.”

    I can save Mike some time: Neither of them want it. Nor it seems does any other coach who has established that he or she can compete for a national championship.

    We’re looking at a lonnnnnng re-building process.

Comments are closed.