Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ESPN hires Seth Greenberg as college basketball analyst

The former Virginia Tech coach moved his family to Avon, Conn., for the new job.

Seth Greenberg was fired from his position as Virginia Tech basketball coach after nine seasons.

The Roanoke Times | File 2011

Seth Greenberg was fired from his position as Virginia Tech basketball coach after nine seasons. "I’m very proud of what we accomplished," he said. "And now it’s time for me to move on and I guess for Virginia Tech to move on."

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

Seth Greenberg gained a new employer Monday, and it could very well be his final one.

ESPN announced it has hired the former Virginia Tech coach as an analyst for its men's basketball coverage. Greenberg will spend most of his time as a studio analyst, although he will occasionally be a color commentator on game telecasts.

"It's going to be a different lifestyle, but it keeps me involved in the game," he said in a phone interview Monday. "I'm going to talk basketball and I'm going to have fun doing it. And at the end of the night, when the game's over, I'll probably sleep a lot better."

Is this just a one- or two-year gig for Greenberg until he gets another coaching job? He did not give that impression.

Earlier this month, Greenberg and his family moved from Blacksburg to Avon, Conn., near ESPN's Bristol, Conn., studios.

"We moved up to Connecticut with the mind-set that we're making a commitment to doing this," he said. "I'm excited about the opportunity they're giving me. Like anything I've ever done in my life, I'm going in with both feet in. I wouldn't have moved to Avon, Conn., if that wasn't my mind-set.

"This is a great platform for me to share my passion for the game."

Greenberg's middle daughter, Ella, still plans to graduate from Tech in December. His youngest daughter, Jackie, would have been a senior on the Blacksburg High School volleyball team this year but will instead graduate from a Connecticut high school.

Greenberg could have traveled back and forth from Blacksburg to Bristol while his daughters finished school, but he and his wife decided not to put off the move north.

"Being that I was going to be in the studio three or four days a week, I would have missed Jackie's whole senior year," Greenberg said. "That wouldn't have been fair to her or [wife] Karen.

"I didn't think staying in Blacksburg would have been the healthiest for anyone involved."

Greenberg, 56, was fired by Tech in April after nine seasons with the Hokies.

"I appreciate the opportunity I was given," he said. "I'm very proud of what we accomplished. And now it's time for me to move on and I guess for Virginia Tech to move on. I think history will end up proving out that we did some very special things."

Greenberg was 170-123 with one NCAA tournament bid and five NIT berths at Tech.

"I have great memories of Virginia Tech," he said. "It's where my children were raised and grew up. My memories are of graduating every senior but one. My memories will be of taking the worst program in the Big East and making it one of the most successful programs in the ACC over a five-year period."

Does Greenberg still have any anger towards Tech?

"I'm not giving that much thought," he said. "I don't have any control over what happened."

He was replaced by former assistant James Johnson. The two have not spoken since Johnson was hired. Greenberg said he has called Johnson "numerous times but we haven't been able to connect."

Greenberg will often appear in the ESPN studio during halftimes, between games and during the nightly college basketball wrap-up show.

ESPN also announced Monday the hiring of former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl as a studio analyst and occasional game commentator.

Neither Greenberg nor Pearl will succeed Hubert Davis, now a North Carolina assistant, on the weekly "College GameDay" show. That slot will go to Jalen Rose, who is moving over from ESPN's NBA coverage.

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