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John Thompson's Pick for UVA Job: Boze

And ESPN980's John Thompson Show continues to lead the area in moments that make reporters pull over to the side of 14th Street during rush hour and start typing while hoping no police cars come by.

"I'm putting it out there," the Coach said a few minutes ago. "Check out Todd Bozeman. That's the one guy that would scare the hell out of everybody, if you say Todd Bozeman is the new coach at Virginia."

"Everybody" here meaning fans, alumni, opposing coaches, opposing players and UVA beat writers, but not necessarily area bloggers. They'd be happy.

"That'd be a helluva good choice," Thompson said. "You go get Todd Bozeman, I guarantee them boys will look up and listen to who you just hired....He'd put the fear of God in most of those guys who are in it. They don't want it....I guarantee it that he'd get that thing going. Well, what do I know?"

Thompson accurately noted that it's a hire that would require "intestinal fortitude" from some UVA decision-makers, because of Bozeman's so-called "checkered past."

"Who doesn't have a checkered past?" Brian Mitchell asked.

Uh. Anyhow, Bozeman had made an appearance on the John Thompson Show right before he was picked for the UVA job by its host, and while he didn't say anything crazy, there was a nice exchange about his team. Take note, ye who have Oklahoma in the Final Four.

"Coach, I think that when we step out on the floor teams are surprised at how big we are," Bozeman said. "Although it might appear that we're sacrificial lambs, we're not thinking like that. We have Baltimore guys. Those guys are gritty. I know [Blake Griffin's] a great player, but we match up with everybody in terms of size. Now obviously not talent-wise, but size-wise we won't be at a disadvantage."

At which point Thompson asked if "gritty" meant "The Wire"-style.

"Hey Coach listen, when you live in Baltimore, that's all part of it," Bozeman said. "They're not afraid of anything. I mean, these are some gritty guys. They're gonna compete, you best believe that."

"They haven't found Omar yet," Thompson said. "I'm still looking for the dude who got Omar....You know what I know about you Todd Bozeman? That you think you can win this damn game, don't you?"

"I'm not afraid to say that," Bozeman said. "You play to win the game. Why participate if you're not trying to win?"

"Good luck son," Thompson said. "I'm proud of you. You deserve everything you've got."

Ok, Mr. Littlepage, your turn, I guess. And someone better a comment from Herm Edwards, too.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2009; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Next: Julian Tavarez Sounds Like a Fun Guy


I'm going to faint.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | March 17, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, what are the cold cut options at John Paul Jones Arena? That could be a major factor.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 17, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse


I know Big John is enjoying his radio career, but I didn't know he was a comedian too!

Posted by: hoos3014 | March 17, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Bozeman can do a lot better than UVA.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 18, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

A few weeks ago I commented on a John Feinstein story during the Gary Williams mess. At that time, I praised Coach Williams but mentioned that if Maryland was going to look for a coach, they ought to look at Todd Bozeman. Feinstein, naturally, was dismissive, because of the baggage and the fact that he was coaching a mid-Major from Baltimore, and not ready for the big time at College Park.

I am a big fan of Feinstein; I read his columns and I have read several of his books (the golf stuff is great). But he suffers from the "anything from Baltimore is not ready for prime-time mentality".

Todd Bozeman would be great for UVA. Unfortunately, they probably can't or won't pull the trigger. Littlepage has a mediocre football and basketball program. He will need to hire someone non-controversial who is a proven winner. So let me offer a name: Tubby Smith.

Posted by: sdbeckham | March 18, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"He will need to hire someone non-controversial who is a proven winner. So let me offer a name: Tubby Smith."

He tried to get Tubby last time, and ended up with Leito.

Tubby can do *much* better than UVA.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 18, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Craig Littlepage should go ahead and get some boxes delivered to his office.

If it's not Tubby, the football team is still mediocre - well, it's time to show Craig that little letter he wrote to us Alumni and tell him to take his crap elsewhere.

I'm tired of seeing guys get drafted in the first round for the NFL, knowing that 2007 was ALL Chris Long, and thinking about the suffering that Sean Singletary dealt with his last season. Craig Littlepage has made TERRIBLE decisions at UVA - he's a clown - and he shouldn't be running a sports program in D III as far as I'm concerned.

He's let people stomp on traditions, burned bridges, and generally mishandled every situation thrown in his direction during his tenure and we've got NOTHING to show for it.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 18, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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