M. bball hires Zach Spyker to keep name recognition | The Triangle

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M. bball hires Zach Spyker to keep name recognition

Apr. 1, 2016
Photo courtesy Bruiser Flynt
Photo courtesy Bruiser Flynt

According to sources close to Drexel’s men’s basketball head coaching search, athletic director Aaric Wilmur provided search firm Parker Executive Search with just one requirement for its new coach: a name as kick-ass as, or more kick-ass than, Bruiser Flynt.

Multiple sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of this classified information, said that Wilmur had a difficult time firing Bruiser Flynt, the former men’s basketball head coach at Drexel, because of the myriad lost marketing opportunities.

On the day after Flynt and the school parted ways, sources said, Wilmur was spotted weeping in his office, holding a mockup of an advertisement for next season. The proposed billboard had Flynt’s face on the left, grinning, with the words, “Let’s Bruise The Competition.”

The billboard, sources said, had been drawn up by Wilmur himself. It was unlikely to be approved for widespread distribution.

In the wake of his heartbreak, Wilmur zeroed in on a truly kick-ass name as the one and only quality he wanted in his next head coach. It reached a point, one source said, that Wilmur would have hired a real live panda if its name had been Murderball Jackson.

This is how Wilmur and Drexel settled on hiring former Army head coach Zach Spyker.

“Spyker is a goddamn kick-ass name,” Wilmur said passionately at Spyker’s introduction Tuesday. “Like, listen to that name. Spyker. Spyker. Spyker. Ugh, I love that name so much.”

Early on, after conferring with the Board of Trustees and the Name Rater in Lavender Town, Wilmur decided that, while Bruiser was undoubtedly the best coaching name in school history, he would try to push on and continue the Drexel legacy.

“It was obviously going to be hard,” one source explained. “You don’t just bounce back from Bruiser. That’s an all-timer. President Fries was definitely questioning whether Wilmur could pull it off.”

The search began slowly. After taking a few days off to get over parting ways with Flynt, Wilmur emerged from his office, his Drexel Dragon-print tie soaked with tears and snot, and declared it “open season” on kick-ass names.

But candidates were reticent to apply after being tipped off about Wilmur’s strict name requirements.

“I’ll be honest, it scared me off,” St. Joe’s assistant Beff Zarnold told The Rectangle. Zarnold was among the strongest of the first round of prospective replacements, but ultimately withdrew out of name fear.

As the search continued, Wilmur pressed hard for candidates to possess the same kick-ass name traits as Flynt. Notre Dame assistant coach Fartin Singelsby, at one point considered a leading candidate, was ultimately ruled out for obvious reasons.

But when Wilmur brought Syiker in for an interview, sources said, it was love at first sight.

“They didn’t get past the initial handshake,” one source explained. “Spyker just told Wilmur his name, and Wilmur offered him the job on the spot. He knew he couldn’t do any better.”

Only time will tell if Spyker can also live up to Bruiser Flynt’s brilliant post-game witticisms, such as, “It is what it is,” and “What are you going to do?”

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