Today’s Article by Tony Jones in the Salt Lake Tribune attempts to raise Ute fans hopes by pointing out how Oregon has risen so far under Dana Altman. There is actually something darkly comical about that. And it goes beyond the fact that Phil Knight will spend whatever it takes to win while our big boosters think they can bargain shop an athletic program to greatness.
Dana Altman at one time was very interesting in becoming Utah’s head coach. In fact when Majerus stepped down/resigned/was forced out/faked a heart attack or whatever was the end of his time here, one of the early calls was to Dana Altman at Creighton.
Altman was a very smart man, took a look at the Utah Roster and saw that we had one year of Andrew Bogut and then not a great deal of talent on the roster. He knew there would be a rebuild that would take some time and following a legend is a very tough gig. So he asked for a contract that would force Utah to give him the time he needed no matter the bitching and whining of the fans in the middle of it all. He asked for a 10 year deal.
Dr. Hill balked at the offer and didn’t try to negotiate. He moved on to many other candidates who said now, danced with Trent Johnson before making Ray Giacolletti the unfortunate bastard who took the job.
And we all sort of know what happened after that. Although I think one day I’ll write it all down so the record is straight and all the blame can be assigned in proper places.
But Dana Altman goes down in lore as one more what might have been, the theme of the last decade or so of Ute hoops.