How great is it that Mark Madsen will be a coach at Stanford?

Mark Madsen displaying the timeless art of disarming you. (AP)

The unexpected news came late Tuesday. Scott Reiss of broke it: Mark Madsen, the daffy, dance-hindered former Stanford player and nine-year NBA vet, would be returning to his school.

To be part of the coaching staff.

It was pretty much one of the best gifts from the college hoops gods we could've received this offseason.

But why? Why does the news of Madsen, a two-time Pac-10 First-Team player and two-time All-American, moving into coaching bring joy? Because he emanates it. Madsen, who made a name for himself with unbelievably awkward dance moves that completely shifted the paradigm of what it meant to be a young white man attempting to gyrate to music, is a genuine article. He was a good basketball player, sure, but he was endearingly human and undeniably earnest all the same. You don't do the things he did on that stage with the Lakers a decade ago without being comfortable in who you are. In that way, Madsen has known his skin better than most of us know ours.

He remains that way to this day. Madsen's got this draw to him, this dichotomy between being an able and really talented basketball player, yet also being someone who unwittingly channels the quirky physical traits of Elaine Benes' dance moves.

Best of all, now we get a little more charm and personality into the coaching realm. And passion, too. Never doubt Mad Dog's passion. Looks like we're at a time when we need it, right? Mark, start tweeting a bit more, and we'll see you on the college basketball dance floor.

The human eye naturally floats to Madsen, at left, but there are so many things happening in this picture. (AP)
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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