I don’t think it was necessarily a bad decision to fire Weber either, and certainly understandable after the expectations from Self’s success and Weber’s first couple years there. But it’s an amusing comparison, as well as a good reminder of the potential downside of firing a guy who’s just a pretty good coach.
As to “a place like Illinois,” before Weber took them to the Final Four, they’d only made it there once in the previous 52 years. They’ve never won a national championship. Lou Henson won one B1G title in over twenty years and after we beat them in the Final Four won one NCAA game the next seven years, missing it entirely 3 of those years. Before Self, the Illini hadn’t made the Sweet 16 in 12 years and only made the tourney 6 of those years. And of course Self left. A really good coach can do really well at Illinois, but it’s not some blue blood program, and we’ve seen that top coaching candidates aren’t knocking down the doors to go there.
In this day and age, it’s hard to keep coaches who don’t succeed in the NCAAs. But getting upgrades isn’t always easy. Iowa chased off Alford and wound up with Lickliter, a downgrade, and then McCaffrey, someone pretty comparable. Minny axed Tubby and his 3 NCAA appearances in 6 years so they could hire Pitino and his one appearance in five years and a bunch of headaches.
I guess the overall takeaway - another reminder of how lucky UM is to have Beilein.