Bass leaves Tech to coach in pros
1971 Bob Bass had had an itch for over a year, and now he has the red, white and blue basketball to scratch it with.
And Bass' love for the professional game was much stronger than he ever thought. Bass also thinks that his successor as head coach at Tech, Gerald Myers, is more than capable of handling the situation. Bass resigned Friday and is to leave today for his new post as coach of the American Basketball Association's Floridian team.
With a grin, Bass admitted, "When I came out here almost two years ago, I didn't realize I liked pro ball so much. But, after being out of it I realized it (professional coaching) was something I wanted to do."
Bass came here at the end of the 1968-69 season after two years as head coach of the ABA's Denver Rockets, citing a challenge to return to the college game - where he spent 15 seasons - as well as a distaste for the long pro season and its demands on his time away for his family.
The Floridians will pay Bass $35,000 a season, $16,000 more than he received at Tech.
But, Friday, Bass said, "I've found that major college basketball keeps you on the run just about as much as the pros; both of them are demanding. In college, there's recruiting, banquets and meetings, as well as scouting.
"I really felt when I left the pros I was through with the game. I had no intention to return. But even before we played our first game here (Dec. 1, 1969), I received an offer (from Florida) to return. I didn't consider it, but I guess maybe after that I got to thinking about it.
"Then the Texas Chaparrals started playing out here, watching them and talking with some of my former players (Utah's Jeff Congden and the Chaparrals' Wayne Hightower). Also, I didn't enjoy recruiting; few coaches do.
"And when it comes down to it, there's a certain glamour about playing in New York one night, in Miami the next..."Everything I asked for at Tech was honored. The fans and students have backed me completely. I'm just sorry the move had to come in the middle of the year. It's a bad time, I know, with conference just starting.
"This came pretty sudden," said Myers, who took charge of the team at Friday night's workout. "My hope now is that these kids will play hard and as well as they can."
"I don't plan to change anything as far as strategy goes," said the former Raider and Monterey coach. "We'll just play the games one at a time, and the season will take care of itself."