Morning Wood: UMass hires Jackie Moon to be men’s basketball coach after Matt McCall has a ‘change of heart’

By Morning Wood Staff

(Jackie Moon’s personal photographer/Daily Collegian)

By Tony Chius 

The day started off so simple for Jackie Moon. After many failed attempts at trying to steal his washing machine back from Freedom Hall, the former home of the now-defunct Kentucky Colonels, Moon was finally in position to get back what was rightfully his.

Moon was almost to the doors of the Louisville-based arena with a waiting Ed Monix in the getaway car when he got the call.

The man on the other side of the line was Massachusetts athletic director Ryan Bamford. It had happened again, and the slick-looking Bamford had to scramble.

Just days after his introductory press conference, UMass men’s basketball coach Matt McCall pulled a Pat Kelsey-esque move and left the Minutemen to head back to coach Chattanooga.

“Stop calling me on my personal cell phone. How in the hell did you get this number?” Bamford said after repeated calls Saturday night.

According to an anonymous source, whom shall not and will not be named, McCall sent Bamford a carrier pigeon to break the news.

“It was just too damn cold up there,” McCall said. “I’m not going to lie to you, I totally thought UMass was in Boston. Who knew it was in the boonies. I certainly didn’t.”

With the second last-minute departure of the month, Bamford turned to his secret weapon. That weapon was Moon.

Moon, who had just come off a failed 40-year musical tour where he would play “Love Me Sexy” on repeat for three hours each night, had a tough decision on his hands when Bamford called him.

“My music is my life, man. To just leave that behind, it had to be an incredible opportunity and that’s what I found here in Amherst,” Moon told the Morning Wood staff Sunday.

Moon had a long list of demands to agree to the deal that Bamford proposed. Some demands included: complete control over all UMass basketball operations, ability to host at least one bear wrestling night every semester at Mullins Center and last but not least, a new washing machine.

Moon has also made it clear that the hoop band will exclusively play “Love Me Sexy” and “Africa” by Toto during games.

Moon also plans on suiting up for the Minutemen next season, adding to his coaching duties. The Flint, Michigan native made no qualms about his role on the team.

“I’m just going to go out and say it. I am the face of UMass basketball,” Moon said. “The offense will run through me. The defense will run through me. Everything will run through me.”

“When I’m done at the University, everyone is going to be like ‘Dr. J who?’” Moon added. Bamford was more than willing to give Moon whatever he wanted in the 20-year deal that will pay the coach/player $20 million annually. The deal makes him the highest paid state employee in Massachusetts.

“Jackie Moon is going to bring this University to heights it’s never been before,” Bamford said. “He uses techniques that revolutionized the game of basketball. It’s that kind of guy we need to lead us to the promised land.”

One of Moon’s favorite moves is the alley-oop, a move he created back in the 1970s against the Spurs. UMass’ resident alley-oopers DeJon Jarreau and Brison Gresham are salivating at the opportunity to utilize the play more.

“If I could base my whole game around throwing alley-oops to Brison, I totally would,” Jarreau said. “Coach Moon is exactly what we need. The flashier and riskier play is way better in my eyes.”

“Yeah,” Gresham said when asked about if he’s excited for Moon to take over the program and then awkwardly refused to add more when a follow-up question was asked.

When the Minutemen suit up next November for the start of the 2017-18 season, they might not be the most talented team on the court, but they’ll certainly be making the most headlines.

“We’re going to be big and bold. That’s the only way I know how,” Moon said. “When you think entertainment and college basketball, UMass will be the first thing you think of.”

To all of the skeptics thinking UMass made the wrong move hiring Moon, he has one simple message.

“Screw all the haters. Don’t make me punch them in the jejunum.”

Tony Chius can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @fakeachiusano.