Mercifully this horrible season ends somewhat unexpectedly in round one. Everything that could go wrong did this season. We knew it would be bad - but never envisioned it this bad. Maybe one of the worst losses in Viking history ends this horrible season. Vikings have a few spots open as almost the whole team returns - but then again this could be an offseason like no other in recent history.
I've been thinking about what I was going to say about this all day. First off Thank You Babe. Having a son who went through the program I cannot express my gratitude for how Coach and his staff developed my child. Was I always 100% in agreement - NO. Do I wish he played more and was given more opportunities - Yes . But it's hard to argue with the kid that came in as a freshman to the one who left as a senior.
That being said this situation did not happen overnight. This did not happen because of one bad season. It did not help however that the Vikings had their worst season in 15 years or more in the new ADs first season in Viking Village. The AD was correct - the team did not improve this year and the way they lost was as bad as some of the teams they lost to. The chippy play, unreal amounts of technical fouls, poor body language and at times the inability to execute basic basketball fundamentals was on full display this year for all to see - including the administration.
When you throw in the off the court drama that has gone on and off since 2016 which came to a head this season - it was a recipe for change. Grbac told all the coaches what he expected prior to the season in a very stright forward meeting at the start of the school year. When the volleyball coach was let go after many years of service and success it set everyone on notice they Elvis was serious.
Babe had one hell of a 10 year run - but this year was just as "toxic" as a season can be. We heard the rumors pre season that this could be rough after the results from the scrimmages started trickling in. Normally I dont pay attention to those results but it was coming from people I respect and who know hoops. The season started with a loss to rival Euclid and ended with a round one playoff loss at home to 5 win Edgewood. In between you had two losses for the first time to Lake, and multiple blowout losses to Benny, Gilmore, Iggy, Ed's, Mentor, etc. There was suspensions and finally an expulsion on top of that. It was not hard to view things from the eyes of the AD that things were unraveling. There was also the usual tension between the coach and school administration that always seemed to be circulating around since 2016. I sit in the stands with several of you and you all know the talk that was going around.
In closing I'm glad (as is my son) that he went through the program. Viking Village is a special place and always will be. Babe did not make Viking Village - it made him. While I like others will miss Babe - I to wont miss the drama and constant negativity from outsiders who have been relentless in their bashing of coach and the program. The program will rise and will become elite again very quickly and my family and I will be there to support it. Elvis has stated he will look to hire a person with VASJ ties. I hope whoever they hire still values the top neighborhood talent yet still uses the power of the VASJ tradition to bring in talent that has chosen to go elsewhere recently. I'm not worried about Babe - he will land on his feet and somebody will take a chance on a coach with his credentials. Thank You again for all you did coach to restore the Viking tradition and here is to hoping the next coach takes the ball and keeps it going. Go Vikings !!!!!
Despite all the behind the scenes drama that was taking place ever since he took a leave of absence, he did help the program go places it hasn’t seen in years. Being able to witness 3 state titles during that time frame is something I won’t forget. Seeing the talent develop to get to the pinnacle was unbelievable and something we probably won’t see again. That 2015 class was a once in a lifetime class. He did leave his mark and as I mentioned I do have strong opinions regarding Babe, but he did a lot of good during his time but I knew something felt off after 2013 and just got worst as time went. But I also have to agree with Elvis that each coach must live up to expectations and at the end of the road everything just came crumbling all at once and the fiasco that took place Saturday leading up to his suspension was the final straw. Despite my loss of respect for Babe, I genuinely do wish Babe the best of luck in his next adventure wherever it may be, I’m sure he will find a coaching job soon.
Not shocked by the Gaffney thing at all. Meddling father, prima donna kid, 3 high schools in 4 years, 6-9 kid who wants to play the entire game at the 3 point line. The article mentioned "professional options." I'm sure his 1.8 and 1.4 averages will have the pro scouts drooling.