A Decade is Finally Enough

He’s only been here the last few years so it’s certainly not Mike Hill’s fault…he’s trying. But it’s not getting any better…at least for the 2 main sports.

He got us into the AAC despite our enormous shortcomings so kudos to him for that. And he’s made some good hires in a variety of other sports…and it’s realistic to understand that not all hires will hit. But I’m really just tired of it never getting better in the 2 sports I dump $$ into for tickets and donations. I think I’m finally ready to really be done.

Been a 49er Club member for 25+ years, basketball season ticket holder for 20+ and football season ticket holder and FSL holder since inception. Donated thousands of dollars over 25 years and bought thousands of dollars in tickets. My Priority Club rank is 449. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the brand change (thanks Mike) and I’m proud we’re in the AAC (thanks again Mike)…but I can’t do this anymore.

From a return on investment standpoint and from an entertainment dollars standpoint…it’s been over a full decade now of horrid performance and embarrassing product that is not returning my investment nor is it entertaining. I’ve said this before and never really felt ready to pull the trigger but now after 10+ years I think I’ve reached my breaking point.

I did a little research for kicks…

The Lutz years: Substantial return on investment and entertaining as hell
12 seasons…average record was 18-13
Finished in the Top 4 of the Conference 7 of 12 seasons - 5 top 2 finishes (1 - 1st, 3 - 2nd, 2 - 3rd)
Won 2 Conference Tournament Tiitles
5 - 20 Win Seasons out of 12
8 - 18 win seasons out of 12

Since Lutz: Zero return on investment and constant embarrassment
11 Seasons…average record 12-17
Highest Conference finish is 4th (once)
9 of 11 seasons finished 7th or lower
Losing to App and ECU - which rarely if ever happened
Losing to Belmont Abbey…AT HOME
Not qualifying for the Conference Tournament…regularly

Then Football…being new gets somewhat of a pass. But another Revenue sport that has averaged in 9 seasons a very modest if yet unimpressive record of 4-7. And again…it’s not really getting any better.

So in the last decade…our 2 revenue sports are averaging 4-7 and 12-17. FOR A DECADE!!! WTF is my investment producing?? Answer…NOTHING. So why invest?? Entertainment value? Ha!

Again…it may not be Mike’s fault but it’s not improving and he was my last hope…the last drop of faith I had left I put in him and even he can’t make the nightmare stop.

So…I will love my University, wear my gear and watch a game or two from time to time…and I’ll still be proud when or if we ever do something amazing again. But financially…I think I’ve had enough.

#449 out.


Hope this is being sent to Mr. Hill personally. I think he may selectively read post within this forum.

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You may want to sent this post over to Hill and note this is the feelings of many alumni.

Excellent post. My story is virtually identical except my experience is several years longer.

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I believe my priority club rank is #660, so I guess I’ll soon be #659!


I am getting ready to get FSL’s. Anyone dumping their seats after this year?

I am still on board with Will. I fully expect to see defense staff turned over this offseason. In the last 3 years we have had 2 of our most successful seasons with the middle year being the covid year. The trajectory of football is still ok - even with this years collapse. Now if something happens and the staff comes back intact then we have issues. Until then I am good.

Ron - man I really wanted this to be the year it got set we were going the right way. 2019 was a step in the right direction and the covid year was a HUGE step back. Going into this season we had more talent than we have had in the last 10 years and Ron has picked up the tempo of the offense for most games this year - but if all of those things still don’t translate to more wins then there is no other direction to point the finger other than at him. His hire - unlike the Major and Price hires, made total sense. #1 assistant off the #1 team. It just doesn’t appear to be working. I am not a fan of firing any coaches in season, but Ron has really dug himself a hole here. Losing games we shouldn’t and then coming back and winning more high profile games was a hallmark of some of Bobby’s teams, maybe Ron will pull that off. I am less convinced of that today than I was a few days ago though. I wanted Ron to work mostly because I don’t want to start the rebuild over.

As for joining the AAC, it is certainly possible that with us coming into that league the resume of the coaches than might be interested would be a step upas would the salary, but in basketball I don’t think the candidate pool was the issue nor was the hiring process. It just has not work. Unfortunately I think us losing some of these games just puts us on par with ECU and a few of the other bottom feeders in the league.

When ever we replace these guys and I think with Ron it could be after this season if it doesn’t get turned around, then we need to hire folks with HC experience. This hiring process of assistants or left field hires - just isn’t getting it done.


Bless you TR

You expected Hill to address the Sanchez extensions publicly after last year too and he never did. You were adamant he would. Nothing.

At some point you have to start holding Mike accountable and quit worrying about free swag and a great tailgating parking space.

Mike’s first 2 hires have been failures to this point. There is no way around it.


I’m still on board with Will!

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Let’s not give up now. We are on the verge of something special. We do need another boost of excitement.

I felt like he should have. I told him as much. I don’t know where you get his idea about the free swag. I got a little box 2 years ago and that was because I was consulted on the design. If Ron continues down this path and we finish.500 he has to go. Simple as that. If Will doesn’t shift his defensive staff then next year will be his do or die.

As far as tailgate spot - I have about 150 people tailgating with us these days and as a group they represent a pretty big chunk of change these days. So am I a little more tactical in my comments? Yeah I am. Y’all call for stadium expansions and more money for coaches, well I’m not gonna screw up the thing that is helping us bring more money in. Ive relayed my concerns but I’m not going Judy scorched earth level yet because I don’t think Mike deserves that at this point.n Regardless of last season he was not going to make changes after Covid.

If Ron can’t turn this around and we don’t finish top 4 in year 4 then yeah he will go down as a miss. I am not willing to call Will a failure. He got us to a bowl year 1, improved recruiting, helped get us into the AAC, and had us off to a hot start this season. It collapsed. What will determine if he is a failure is how he handles the staff after this season, which could still end in a bowl and even then he played a central role in landing the AAC invite so not sure I can call him a failure even if next year doesn’t work out.


The frustration is watching the success of other in state and regional schools, with our pending doom again this year in basketball, it is safe to say that ECU has a better basketball program, and App St has caught up to us, and this is the one sport that we always had the leverage in, watching Coastal Carolina win the college world series and excel in football to the degree that they are nationally ranked is frustrating to see, watching App St through the years earn national respect with their upsets of power 5 teams is frustrating, even ECU had their share of significant upsets against in state powers over the years, as a Charlotte grad I am jealous, I want what their fan bases have, I want national respect, I want to be excited about incoming recruiting classes, I want to go into a season expecting to compete for a conference championship, I am tired of hearing about the success of other in state and regional teams and being an after thought, with the embarrassing start in basketball, I dont know if any of us can stand the pending defeat at ODU and a failed bid to become bowl eligible, where do we turn after that


We got top 500 fans bowing out after decades with us. I don’t think Niner on Niner attacks helps anything at this point. I am completely frustrated BUT we are moving to the AAC. That is the only thing keeping me in. Conference affiliation makes a world of difference since we have seen up close and personal during the last 25 years. Hill might have missed on Healy and Sanchez but he seems to understand the game better, is better connected, and does not put resumes on his kitchen floor to go over as a step in the hiring process.


Major… Price… Sanchez… with regards to basketball seems pretty simple to me, HIRE A COACH WITH DIV 1 WINS ON HIS RESUME!

I don’t understand why we think we have to go with the unproven guy, if we are going to go into the AAC without a proven head coach that can win we are going to be at the bottom of the conference every year… geez this isn’t that hard, don’t know why we make it that way.


I respect everyone’s opinion and pain tolerance level. Fully understand if some take a break from the Niners but I hope you don’t go to far.

For me, I’m in for life. Doesn’t matter how bad it gets I’m still buying tickets and going to games.

In the last three years I think things have generally improved over the Lambert and Price years, so it’s not like we are at the bottom of the curve.

I do agree that the next basketball HC hire needs to be someone with HC experience and some success at a lower level. I am against hiring assistants and celeb ex players. That just hasn’t worked for us.

Never give up Niners!


Okay. My bad. Just really frustrated with football this year and how basketball has started. I feel as though you give a pass or lower the bar based on your connections. Obviously you don’t.

I said failures earlier. That was too strong for Will. He’s been very disappointing. Since 86 of 130 teams now bowl, it is just too low a bar for me. We should be competing in our conference and certainly in our own division for championships. We weren’t even close to competing. That’s a failure on the field.

I get the AAC argument but that was likely much more Mike than Will or Ron. It had very little to do with on field performance because there were teams they passed over who were much more qualified in that area.

I’m just tired. I have 2 brothers that graduated App and I’m tired. Tired of excuses, tired of “if he just did this I am okay with him”. I’m tired of one more year. It’s a great campus with abundant resources and we have squandered them for 10 years. Kudos to Mike for all he has done for us but he needed to make a HR hire in b-ball or football and it didn’t happen. Houston really screwed him over. That was the guy but he just didn’t want to come.

Almost been 2 decades

I get it. Totally get it. What we have been given in football and basketball over the last 10/15 years hasn’t been acceptable.

In basketball, which is my favorite sport and the one that we can actually make national news in, we have been beyond bad. When we hired Ron I was not a fan of the defense first mentality but couldnt argue with the resume after the last two hires. I just don’t see how the defense first model works with recruiting. This year though he has no excuses. He obviously got the message that he needed to perform because he went and got more talent and he listened to pick up the tempo. Those are good things but if they still don’t solve the issue of losing then we have a problem. Will Mike fire him if he under performs? I am not positive, but the fact he had heat on him this year I would think it’s certainly on the table and lean towards likely. If we can’t finish top 4 in conf then we need to move on.

In football Will did play a big role in AAC invite. I know that as fact. The AAC loves the media attention he brings, ESPN loves club lit, a lot of his gimmick works there. Just a respectable D and we have at least 2 more wins this year. I pretty much throw out last year so we have had 2 solid years with Will. This one is just really frustrating because the 3-0 start and how just some changes would have been impactful. Replace West and bring in someone that runs a real scheme and I think we are set for next year. If Will refuses then he rolls the dice next year not just on our season and his job but his career. No school at a higher level is going to hire a CEO model HC who won’t replace his coordinators when he needs to. I also think that Mike will have a hand in this. His florida pedigree is going to come out with football more so than basketball IMO. I ran into Mike after the game saturday as I was leaving and he just said this isn’t acceptable and his tone wasn’t happy. I didn’t even bring up the game, so clearly he gets it. He had a pretty damn full stadium the last 3 home games and we went 1-2 with the 1 win coming after many had left. He knows there is an issue.

Coaches and ADs get paid big money. Gotta go make things happen. Mike got us into the AAC which is awesome. I am confident he isn’t happy with just having a losing program there. He needed to hit on one of the to high profile hires. Ron is looking like a miss and Will is teetering. Not a great place to be.

One last thing for the people complaining about losing to teams we shouldn’t and games that shouldn’t be that close - are you new Niners? That has been a hallmark of our programs since I walked onto campus in 1991.

I’m still a believer in Will. 2020 and COVID really killed momentum for this Niners football team and although we started strong in '21 our defense has been exposed. I fully expect a disappointment on Saturday ( OD is a 9.5 fave, yikes) where then Will should fire everyone on the defensive side of the ball. If we don’t go bowling with a winning record in '22 it may be time to cut bait.

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