Miami’s Jim Larranaga will be 74 in a few days and in some ways, he seems to be just hitting his coaching stride or, perhaps, his coaching apex.
Larranaga of course took George Mason to the Final Four in 2006 which was one of the greatest coaching accomplishments of the modern era.
He moved to Miami in 2011 and has only excelled since arriving. Two years ago he got his team to the Elite Eight and last year to the Final Four, losing to eventual national champs UConn.
And he has learned to work the portal and leverage NIL as well as anyone.
Generally speaking Larranaga has excelled by recruiting guys who are a little too small (Norchad Omier) or that got passed over by other schools for whatever reason and then turning them into a compelling team.
Essentially, he’s shopping for individual bargains and increasing their collective value.
This week he got a commitment from 6-4 Top Ten guard Jalil Bethea, and that’s the highest rated recruit that Larranaga has landed at Miami. He’s also gotten commitments from Austin Swartz, a 6-4 guard out of Concord, NC’s Cannon school, and Isaiah Johnson-Arigu.
Miami is also in the hunt for a couple of other highly-rated prospects who could give them the highest-rated recruits in ‘Canes history and they’re also in the hunt for some other highly-regarded players.
All in all, it’s quite a second act for Larraganna. No one knows for sure how much longer he’ll go but he doesn't seem to be slowing down in the slightest - in fact, it’s quite the opposite.