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Which Former President Should Coach Each Pac-12 Basketball Team?

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What location is a perfect fit for Franklin Pierce?

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Portrait Of President Lincoln Photo by Katherine Young/Getty Images

UCLA recently parted ways with head coach Steve Alford, and former Bruin Bill Walton has the perfect idea for who should get the job.

Obama is, of course, the perfect fit. In fact, he’s so perfect, that I worry that UCLA will once again dominate college basketball. In order to stay competitive, the rest of the conference is going to have to recruit their own former President just to keep pace. With 42 options to choose from, here’s the POTUS every school should land on.


Arizona - Calvin Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge at Desk

It’s possible no team has encountered as much disappointment in the NCAA Tournament as Arizona. All of the high seeds the Wildcats have accrued over the years has amounted to one championship 20 years ago, and numerous early exits. Therefore, Arizona needs someone tenacious, who’s not going to wilt when the pressure is on.

That man is 30th President Calvin Coolidge. With numerous scandals swirling about Arizona’s recruiting practices, the Wildcats need someone who’s most famous for not saying anything. After all, Silent Cal would never be recorded promising payments to recruits.

Just imagine Coolidge’s grim visage courtside at the NCAA Championship. After the game he strides to center court, shakes Mike Krzyzewski’s hand, and utters those two words every Wildcat fan wants to hear.


Arizona State - William Jefferson Clinton

US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

The Sun Devils have lived in the shadow of Arizona for decades. Countless coaches have tried to take the program to championship level, but none have succeeded. There’s got to be another way. A third way.

Enter William Jefferson ‘Bill “Bubby (Slick Willie)”’ Clinton. After being routed by Republicans in three straight Presidential elections, Clinton turned the Democrats fortunes around with a new brand of politics, featuring such enduringly popular programs as NAFTA, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

That’s why we’re suggesting Clinton for the job. There is absolutely no other reason.


Stanford - Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland at Desk Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Stanford won the College Basketball National Championship in 1942, and then vanished from the sport for nearly five decades. Finally, in 1989, they returned to national prominence?

You know who else had a big comeback. Grover Cleveland. No one else has been elected President, lost reelection, and then decided that they should still be President. He was proved right. That’s the exact kind of attitude you’re looking for when you’re in the hunt for that third NIT Championship.


Cal - Warren G Harding

Warren G Harding Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Cal has fallen on hard times in the last couple seasons, despite having quite the historical pedigree, including a national championship in 1959. Therefore, I am giving the Golden Bears a “return to normalcy.” After all, what is World War I but an 8-24 season on a global scale?

This one is admittedly a stretch, but someone named Gamaliel did sell me weed outside of an Arcade Fire concert in Berkeley, so it just feels right.

USC - James Madison

Portrait of James Madison, by Gilbert Stuart, who made additional copies after completion of the work. Date c. 1805–07 Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

USC is forced to share a city with the UCLA Bruins, one of the most revered and dominant programs in NCAA history. Therefore, they need someone who’s willing to take the fight to a much bigger power. James Madison is that man.

Against his better judgment, Madison took the United States to war against the United Kingdom in the War of 1812. While Madison’s hopes of seizing Canada from the British didn’t come to pass, the White House was only slightly burnt down.

I’m pretty sure that if the worst possible outcome of a Madison outcome is the Galen Center being burnt down, the Trojans are going to take that bet.


UCLA - Barack Obama

Day 7: Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage

Did you not read the beginning of the article? Walton’s got this one covered.


Utah - James A. Garfield

Garfield the Cat floats down Broadway du Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

In 1944, Utah turned down an apperance in the NCAA tournament to instead attend the NIT. After being bounced early in the NIT, Utah was again offered a berth in the NCAA tourney, and this time they accepted, and won the whole damn thing. Despite originally not wanting to be NCAA champions, they were.

James Garfield did not want to be the president. He attended the Republican Convention pretty sure of that fact, so when he left the convention the nominee. He was elected president, did little of interest, and was eventually murdered by a crazy person who couldn’t get laid at the sex cult he joined.

Sometimes, stuff just happens.


Colorado - Teddy Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt riding a moose. Photo by Underwood And Underwood/Underwood And Underwood/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

He saved the buffalo once, he can do it again.


Washington - William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft Playing Golf

In football, basketball, baseball, and I am assuming all other sports, the Washington Huskies have had to play second fiddle to the conference’s more dominant teams. Therefore, I am giving them the ultimate second fiddle, William Howard Taft.

Taft recovered from his disappoiting presidency to eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. That perseverance in the face of failure is something that will be invaluable to Washington’s effort on the court.

This selection has nothing to do with the fact that Taft was a very Husky Boy.


Wazzu - George W. Bush

US President George W. Bush wearing a po Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

In 1917, the Washington State Cougars played some very good basketball, going 25-1. Several decades later, it was decided that they had won the national championship that year, despite a national championship not having been handed out.

Similarly, in November of 2000, George W Bush was not elected President. A couple months later, he got the job anyway. That kind of can do attitude in the face of reality is exactly what the Cougars need to get them to the next level.


Oregon - Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce 1804 to 1869. 14th president of the United States 1853 to 1857. From painting by Alonzo Chappel... Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images

The question for the Ducks is not who would be the best coach, it’s who would get the best Nike-mandated rebranding. The answer is without a doubt 14th President Franklin Pierce.

When the Democratic Party was looking for a candidate to end the terrible reign of Millard Fillmore in 1852, they turned to Franklin Pierce. The only problem was that he was boring and nobody knew who he was. So they turned to the closest thing the 1850s had to Nike’s Marketing Department, Scarlet Letter author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Hawthorne’s biography helped win Pierce the election. Pierce’s life after that descended into tragedy, with nearly all of his friends and family dying young. While that is very sad, today it’s the perfect backstory for any number of Superheroes. In Phil Knight’s hands, Franklin Pierce could be the next John Wick.


Oregon State - Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885) born in Marion County, Ohio. In 1864 he became commanding general of the Federal (Northern) army during the American Civil War. Grant was elected as the 18th In the American Civil War President of the United States in... Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images

This one’s easy. More than anything else, Oregon State needs someone who can win the Civil War.

BONUS PRESIDENT: Who Should be PAC-12 Commissioner?

William H. Harrison on His Death Bed with Visitors

William Henry Harrison. I’m not saying the conference would be better off if Larry Scott had died of pneumonia a month after getting the job. But I’m not NOT saying that.


These selections are obviously all wrong. If you know what the right ones are, please let me know if the comments.