As you can imagine, the last six days have been very stressful for Clemson men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell and his staff following the Tigers’ loss to Oakland in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament last Tuesday night.
On Monday morning, a little bit of that stress was lifted off their shoulders when Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich informed Brownell he will retain him for an eighth season.
However, getting to the resolution Radakovich came to on Monday was not an easy one. The Clemson Insider has been following the Brownell saga since last Tuesday so we wanted to give our readers as much insight as we can on how the process developed and how Radakovich came to his decision on Monday morning.
Last Tuesday, during the first half of the Oakland game, it was made clear to us by a reliable source that Radakovich was definitely planning to bring Brownell back.
However, after the Tigers blew a 20-point lead and lost the game, things changed a little on Wednesday as a few of the high-dollar donors at Clemson, who have supported Brownell throughout, suddenly changed their opinion.
On Thursday night a source outside of Clemson contacted us and said they had heard Brownell was going to be fired. We then contacted another source who was giving us similar information, but we were skeptical about that information based on everything else we knew, so we continued to check with other sources and obviously discovered we did not need to report on anything.
During our research Thursday night we confirmed that an outside counsel from out of state was heading to Clemson. The counsel met with Radakovich on Friday to discuss the basketball situation, and likely related contract issues.
Friday afternoon, TCI and another web site reporter spoke with Radakovich in the parking lot prior to the baseball team’s game with Virginia. In that meeting Radakovich expressed how he wanted to see Brownell succeed at Clemson.
On Saturday morning, TCI was there to confirm Brownell met with Radakovich at 11 a.m. and they spoke until 1:30 p.m. During the meeting Radakovich discussed with Brownell where he felt the program needed to improve. There was dialogue back and forth about how to make those improvements. Brownell was also asked about his thoughts on where the program needs to improve and how he would plan to make those improvements.
Brownell told TCI exclusively just minutes after his meeting with Radakovich that “it was a very productive meeting.” Brownell met with his staff shortly after talking with TCI and discussed the contents of his meeting with Radakovich.
Over the weekend we learned VCU head coach Will Wade was expected to interview for the NC State job on Friday. NC State wanted to hire its new coach on Friday and Wade was expected to be one of those to interview for the job. However, on Thursday night, he canceled the interview and pulled his name out of the running.
We heard Wade’s agent was asking for around $2.8 million and NC State was not willing to pay him that much money to be their head coach.
Starting on Friday there were rumors and reports about Will Wade possibly coming to Clemson. We had a lot of people asking us about Wade coming to Clemson, but TCI knew that was never the case. Knowing Wade’s asking price, plus the buyout the school would have had to pay Brownell, which would have been $3.5 million spread out over three years, it was obvious to us that Wade was never in serious consideration to be the head coach at Clemson. There was no way Clemson was going to pay in the neighborhood of $2.8 million on top of another $1-plus million it would have to pay Brownell for the next three years.
After gathering all the information we could on Saturday, we felt fairly certain Brownell was going to return as head coach for the 2017-’18 season as we said in our Saturday night report.
Of course on Monday morning, about 8:45 a.m., we got confirmation that Radakovich met with Brownell and told him he was going to return for an eighth season at Clemson. We know Brownell spoke with his coaching staff briefly after the meeting and informed them they have to get together soon as a staff.
We will have more information on this story in our Insider Report later this evening.