This Sunday will mark the end of Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Thrillerdome, as it is affectionately known, has been the sight of many great memories for generations of Tech students and fans. When the new facility reopens as McCamish Pavilion, the arena will, in time, develop a fresh and exciting game experience for the people who love Tech basketball.
Still, it is unfortunate that the facility’s last game comes at such a low time for the men’s basketball program. For many fans, the thrill has been long gone. The memories of the magical Final Four run less than a decade ago have all but faded away and seem more like a myth than a series of exhilarating contests. Students and fans alike have become disenchanted with the team, and it appears that there is little hope of winning them back under the current leadership.
Paul Hewitt has done many great things for Tech basketball. When he came to Tech, he rejuvenated a program that had begun to flounder. He brought in new and talented recruits and installed a more modern playing style that invited fans back to the games to watch exciting, fast-paced contests that many across the nation envied. He took his teams into the NCAA Tournament and had Tech fans sitting on the edge of their seats, confident that their team always had what it took to pull out a win.
But over the past several years, the program has regressed, and change is needed. In order to reinvigorate the fan base, a new head coach must be brought in to take the program in another direction, much the same way Hewitt did 11 years ago. With the team playing home games away from campus next season, the timing is also apt for the program. People will one day remember the once-great Tech teams Hewitt coached, but before the beginning can be reread, the chapter must first come to an end.