"The Voice" with Matt Lepay

As you read this blog, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay continues the process of finding its next men's basketball coach.  Among the candidates is Badgers associate head coach Greg Gard.  The list of finalists includes former Marquette players Jon Harris, currently an assistant at Missouri State, and Brian Wardle, who is on the Green Bay staff.

Others in the "Final Five" are former Phoenix standout Gary Grzesk and St. Louis University assistant Porter Moser.  While Moser is the only one of the five with Division I head coaching experience (Illinois State and Arkansas-Little Rock), the list is intriguing because it seems to feature a good group of promising young coaches.

Billikens Head Coach Rick Majerus told the Green Bay Press Gazette that when he leaves, SLU would be "ill advised not to hire Porter."  Majerus refers to Moser as a "co-coach."  That is quite an endorsement, not unlike how Bo Ryan described Greg Gard after the Badgers beat Michigan State in February, calling him the best assistant coach in America.  No doubt the other candidates also are getting plenty of support from various sources.

Though the years, fans on occasion have asked me whether Gard is as quiet as he appears to be during games.   Actually he is quite the opposite.  Be it with recruits, fans or even the media, Gard is very cordial and gracious with his time.  Having witnessed him at a number of functions, Gard can work a room much like his boss.  Recruiting observers have told me the same thing, and I would think that is a rather important skill in the coaching world.  What might separate Gard from some others is that he isn't one of those phony back-slappers who might talk to you, but you know is looking for someone else in the room who might be more important.

Gard's recruiting work speaks for itself.  He has helped the Badgers get into Minnesota, and more and more folks in Ohio are getting to know him as well.  The last time I checked, Ohio has a fair amount of talent.  Perhaps you have noticed the football program is hitting that state rather hard, and with some success.  The basketball squad might be doing much the same.  In case you are wondering, no, that isn't me just being an "Ohio guy."  I had no talent.  That is why I am a broadcaster.

I would like to think that Greg Gard is in a very good position right now.  If he stays put, he will continue to be a critical member of one of the nation's more stable and successful basketball programs.  If he becomes Green Bay's next head coach, Phoenix fans should feel very good about the direction of their program. 

I am not here to act as Greg's agent, nor am I interested in knocking the other candidates.  Any one of them could be a good fit.  My point is that Greg Gard seems more than ready to be a head coach, and sooner or later he will be a head coach.  How soon might not just depend on the powers that be in Green Bay, but also on Gard himself.  Put yourself in his shoes.  You can either get the chance to run your own show, or you can continue to work with a surefire Hall of Fame coach, developing the talent you had a huge hand in recruiting, chase another Big Ten title, and live in a great college environment.

They say life can be full of options.  These appear to be pretty attractive options.
ON WISCONSIN