Fans of the Dayton Flyers probably don’t think much about Brian Gregory anymore, but I’m sure some are finding pleasure in the former UD basketball coach’s ongoing struggle to put a winner on the floor at once-proud Georgia Tech.
Five years ago, interest from an ACC school was a dream come true for Gregory, so he bolted UD for allegedly greener pastures.
But it hasn’t quite worked out for the Tom Izzo protege. Sure, Gregory has pocketed millions, but he also has Atlanta columnist Mark Bradley, a persistent critic, calling for his firing — which now seems inevitable — and fans in an uproar.
In eight seasons at Dayton, Gregory went 172-94 with two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT championship. Not sure if he now considers leaving to have been a mistake, but this much is clear: Even in light of Gregory’s considerable success here, his departure could not have worked out better for UD.
Archie Miller has brought the program to another level where anything — Final Four? — appears possible. The Flyers are No. 17 in one major poll, No. 19 in the other and perhaps poised for another deep tournament run after Tuesday night’s narrow win over Duquesne.
Georgia Tech, which has produced such players as Mark Price, Kenny Anderson, Chris Bosh, Dennis Scott and John Salley over the years, has never quite turned the corner under Gregory. The Yellow Jackets are 12-11 this season, an abysmal 2-8 in the ACC.
Consider this staggering stat from the Bradley column: Among Atlantic Coast Conference coaches who reached a fifth season, Gregory owns the fourth-worst winning percentage in regular-season league play. He’s 21-59 (.263).
Hard to believe Gregory has lasted this long, actually. He got a fifth year only because buying him out was seen as too costly and somebody rationalized that he deserved the benefit of the doubt because many of last year’s losses were close.
Gregory’s best record with the Yellow Jackets is 16-15. He’s 67-82 overall.
Best ACC finish? Ninth.
It will be interesting to see where Gregory lands next.