Shaus and Sexton and Make It Rain, or the AD Origins of WSU Basketball Success

  • For those trying to understand the recent success of WSU basketball spanning Mark Turgeon and Gregg Marshall, and wondering if it will continue, it helps to consider their prior AD, Jim Shaus, and their current AD, Eric Sexton.

    Jim Shaus was basketball man through and through. He was the son of Fred Shaus, the great coach at West Virginia that coached Jerry West and then moved to the NBA to coach West early on with the Lakers. Fred Shaus has been some what forgotten, because the Lakers mostly blossomed AFTER Shaus coached them. But as Laker coach Shaus won 4 western conference championships despite falling to the great Celtic teams of the time. Shaus identified the problem correctly. He became the GM and began building the Laker staff and team that would was win the title in 1972, when Bill Sharman was hired as coach, Wilt was acquired, and Elgin Baylor traded. With the Celtic giant slain, and with Jerry West in line to be the Laker GM that would craft Show Time and the eventual foundation for the Shaq/Koby Lakers, Fred Shaus returned to college coaching briefly at Purdue, then finished his career as AD of West Virginia. Fred Shaus built a huge basketball network in West Virginia. Son Jim apparently learned the family business—basketball.

    Son Jim Shaus graduated from Purdue (BA), where his father coached, and West Virginia (M.S.), where his father was AD, and after stints at Oregon, UCinn, UTEP, and Northern Illinois eventually wound up as Wichita State AD at the time Mark Turgeon rebuilt the basketball program. Shaus recognized Turg’s abilities and basketball breeding. When Turg left, Shaus also recognized Gregg Marshall’s ties as an assistant to Greg White at Marshall University in West Virginia, and his grooming under Head Coach John Kresse of College of Charleston. He probably also understood the significance of Kresse influence on Gregg Marshall with Kresse having been Lou Carnesseca’s assistant twice at St. John’s. Shaus did not hesitate to pull the trigger on hiring Gregg Marshall from tiny Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Basketball men recognize basketball men.

    By 2008, Shaus left WSU for Ohio University.

    WSU replaced Shaus with Eric Sexton, one of the most fascinating picks for an athletic director in some time I would hazard. Eric Sexton is a native Kansan and a WSU grad. But he is so much more. Sexton holds a Ph.d. in political science from KU. But let’s paste a quote from WSU President Don Beggs.

    “For 18 years, Eric has worked to develop positive relationships with people external to the university,” Beggs said. "He has participated in the hiring of several coaches and in 2005 served as chair of our successful NCAA certification process. He is the right person to lead the athletic department.”

    And then there is this from the reporter:

    "Sexton is the executive director for government relations and Board of Trustees at Wichita State, where he builds relationships with elected and appointed officials at the local, state and federal levels to advance the university’s finances and to provide for the academic and research needs of the Wichita region.”

    Translation: Cha-Ching!!!

    Sexton is at the Nexus of WSU, the Feds and research monies, the NCAA, the Board of Trustees, and now the Athletic revenue streams.

    He might even know the Kochs. 🙂

    Sexton has been able to encourage Marshall to stay through some pretty impressive offers.

    WSU’s athletics are going to be getting better for quite awhile, I suspect.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Can KU hire him?

  • @jaybate-1.0 HA! “He might even know the Kochs.” You think?

  • Political influences?

    Any chance he can get “the Donald” to come on as an assistant coach?

    “Double-dribble… you’re fired!” 😉

  • @drgnslayr

    Imagine a whole team with comb overs!

  • If TheDonald comes on, say goodbye to “foreign” recruits-- Sayonara! Auf Wiedersehen! Adios! Arrivederci! Au revoir! Do svidaniya!

  • On a most serious note, KU AD’s main task is the KU Football program. Mens and Womens BBall are seemingly taken care of. As is Track. As is Tennis (top20 incoming class).

    The football program needs to be competitive in the BigXII, which will automatically make it competitive nationally, and it needs to be playing in an up to date stadium. Conference realignment monsters may raise their heads again in the near future, and KU may not be so lucky next time. KU ending up in a western time zone, may be just the impetus to get Bill Self to give the NBA a shot, before he rides off into the sunset.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Your stretch to sound like Spahn and Sain and pray for rain fell a little short on this one!

  • @wissoxfan83

    It happens sometimes. :neckbeard:

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