Zeke’s tenure in New York was marked by controversy both on and off the court. He routinely had public disputes with his players and was accused of sexually harassing a female staffer in the Knicks organization, a lawsuit that set management back nearly $12M. Not to mention, he was only 56-108 as the head coach. His firing was inevitable, but his troubled past didn’t keep him from landing his new gig in Miami.
Can Thomas succeed as a college coach? Well, he didn’t do too well in the NBA, but that’s a different game. Lets not forget he did play for Bobby Knight, the great motivator/choker/chair thrower so he knows a thing or two about how to motivate or, at the very least, scare college players. Certainly he has a daunting task ahead, FIU has had only 1 winning season this century, they finished 16-14 in 99-00.
As a college coach he’ll have new and unenviable experiences. Recruiting is a game in itself and he’ll be responsible for 15 kids a year and will have 30 parents, the university and the media watching closely anticipating a fall. Personally, I’m pulling for Zeke to succeed. We all deserve second chances, lets see if Thomas can take full advantage of this one. FIU isn’t exactly known for having a top notch athletic program, so his choices were obviously limited. Failure here could spell the end of Thomas’ coaching career.