As most of you have heard, former UNC guard Jeff Lebo was fired by Auburn earlier this week and within ten days landed at East Carolina. Lebo never got traction at Auburn, which is a tough place to run a basketball program for anyone. The Tigers only went to one postseason, the 2009 NIT during Lebo's tenure there. Now Lebo takes over what Adam Gold of 99.9 The Fan called the worst job in all of college basketball. While that might be a bit of an embellishment, the records of ECU coaches over the past 50 years points to a very tough situation for Lebo. Since 1959, ECU has only had one coach post a winning record during his tenure. Even Dave Odom only went 40-40 there. Needless to say, Lebo has a huge mountain to scale but at least he has the comfort of knowing UNC will likely appears on his schedule at some point in the future.
Now, that is not why I brought this up. When I heard that Lebo was going to ECU, I remembered that ECU's athletic director was former Virginia head coach Terry Holland. During Lebo's career at UNC, Holland was still coaching at UVa which means Lebo would now be working for a man who once coached a team Lebo played against in the ACC. From 1986-1989, Lebo and the Tar Heels posted a 7-2 mark against Holland's Cavaliers. Among the seven wins was a memorable 84-82 double OT victory vs UVa in the 1987 ACC Tournament. Lebo scored 22 points in that one. One of the two UNC losses in the span came on January 15th, 1989. UNC went to Charlottesville as the 8th ranked team in the country and got absolutely rolled 106-83 by the Cavs. Adding injury to insult, Lebo was injured and subsequently out when UNC visited Duke three days later to play the #1 Blue Devils. UNC, behind sophomore PG King Rice, beat the Devils by 20. Lebo would later return and helped to break UNC's seven year long drought in the ACC Tournament helping secure the Heels' first title since 1982.
College basketball and coaching carousels produce strange bedfellows sometimes. In this case you have a coach and athletic director who were once on opposing ends of the court for nine ACC contests. Now they will work together to see if anything worthwhile can be made of ECU basketball.
Good luck with that guys.