With the end of the year on the horizon, it’s time to look back at the top 10 stories, moments, and newsmakers from 2012 on OVC Ball.
“The #FIREMIKEMILLER hashtag was featured in a story on OVCBall.net earlier this semester and turned into a popular base for a hashtag.”
-Alex McNamee, Daily Eastern News. February 27, 2012.
“A popular base?” I remember thinking to myself. I read the line again. “When did this happen?” Sure, I retweeted some tweets. Laughed at a lot of them, but no one else knew that. I wrote about it. But a “popular base?” That was news to me.
Mike Miller’s demise at Eastern Illinois proved to be just the opening salvo in quite a lengthy coaching carousel for Ohio Valley Conference coaches.
Number 10 on our list of top moment of 2012, three coaches would find themselves with new coaches, one fan base was breathing a huge sigh of relief, and I stuck my foot directly into my mouth in front of a room full of media, and one influential coach.
#FIREMIKEMILLER, and a rough start to the Spoonhour era in Charleston
I’m not sure the exact date that public perception really turned against Miller, but once started it was almost immediately clear Miller wouldn’t survive to see an 8th year in Charleston. The hashtag, an op-ed in the student newspaper, and a severe lack of fans at games likely all contributed to Miller ousting after a 12-17 season, his sixth losing season in seven years.
After a fairly lengthy search, Eastern Illinois landed on Jay Spoonhour to take over for Miller, but the transition proved to be anything but smooth. Within the first week, Joey Miller and Alfonzo McKinnie transferred out of Charleston, and soon after James Hollowell followed, but had a parting shot for the new coach, saying Spoonhour didn’t want the junior back.
Whatever you do, don’t use the “r” word around Dave Loos
Because I did. After Austin Peay was bounced from the NCAA Tournament, which would be the last time I would see Loos until this fall’s OVC Media Day, I asked the only basketball head coach / athletic director in NCAA Division I if he had thought about retiring from coaching. He had another former OVC head coach on the staff (Bret Campbell) and there’s little doubt that filling both positions was tiring.
His response is the current leader, by far, in the most awkward 10 seconds of my life. Because for the next ten seconds, the media room was silent. Loos stared off into the abyss. I sat there, fully expecting the answer to be “no.”
I never got my answer. A Clarksville radio host eventually jumped in to ask a question, letting Loos off the hook. Not that I’m complaining about that, mind you. I was just ready for that press conference to be over.
Steve Prohm takes the job at Mississippi Sta…nevermind.
No name popped up on more coaching radars than Murray State’s Steve Prohm. After a historic first season with the Racers, job offers were coming in from across the country. Some potential suitors included Colorado, and LSU.
None were more serious than Mississippi State. Prohm traveled to Starkville to interview for the job, and according to sources was offered that job and nearly a million dollars a year to take it. To the relief of Racer Nation, Prohm passed up the SEC opening, returning to sign a nice contract extension and pay raise at Murray State.
Donnie Tyndall lands at Southern Miss.
Out seemingly nowhere, late in the coaching carousel, Donnie Tyndall finally made the jump we all expected a year ago, heading to take over a good Southern Mississippi team. Morehead State found quite the replacement as well, in Sean Woods, a former University of Kentucky star glad to be back in the Bluegrass.
Woods will make another appearance in this year’s top 10, one many Morehead fans might wish to forget.