Scott Fowler

Charlotte 49ers should target Wofford coach Mike Young

Wofford head coach Mike Young led his team to a second consecutive NCAA tournament berth out of the Southern Conference in 2015. He’ll be a hot coaching candidate in the offseason, and is someone the Charlotte 49ers could consider.
Wofford head coach Mike Young led his team to a second consecutive NCAA tournament berth out of the Southern Conference in 2015. He’ll be a hot coaching candidate in the offseason, and is someone the Charlotte 49ers could consider. AP

The Charlotte 49ers blew it when they hired Alan Major.

Now they have a chance to get it right, and I think the best way to do that is by hiring Wofford coach Mike Young.

The 49ers have all sorts of options now that they and Major have agreed to “mutually part ways,” and a number of them involve good coaches who could be visited without using a full tank of gas.

The best of those, though, is Young. The simplest way to state his case is this one: In a one-bid league, Wofford – just down I-85 in Spartanburg, S.C., and also the Carolina Panthers’ training-camp home – has made it to the NCAA tournament four times in the past six seasons.

Let’s repeat that: Four times. Six seasons.

You would agree that Charlotte, in a best-case scenario, would hire someone similar to Davidson’s Bob McKillop, right? Graduates his players. Runs a clean program. Shows loyalty, inventiveness and boldness.

Well, Young, 51, does all of those things. And for three of those four NCAA appearances Wofford has earned from 2010 onward, mighty Davidson was still in the Southern Conference.

Young has been at Wofford forever – 26 years overall and 13 as the head coach. What he has done there is similar to what McKillop has done at Davidson – established a family atmosphere, hired some of his best former players as assistants and won with the second-tier kind of athletes that Wofford generally gets.

I don’t know if Young is interested, but he would be a great answer to what Charlotte should do next. And he should be affordable.

Halton Arena has become a ghost town. I have never seen the enthusiasm lower for this basketball team in this city.

Fortunately for the 49ers and athletic director Judy Rose, there are lots of good coaches out there. The best for this program, though, works only 70 miles away.

Fowler: 704-358-5140; sfowler@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @scott_fowler

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments