College basketball coaching changes 2023: Waiting game is afoot for Rick Pitino and Ed Cooley6 min read
The Wolves were coached by Balado for six years and fired him after his buyout dropped in mid-March. The program last made the NCAAs in 1999.
Brennan lasted a decade at American. He made the NCAAs in his first season there. Three names that might be in play for this job: Virginia assistant Jason Williford, former Hartford coach John Gallagher and former Siena and George Washington coach Jamion Christian.
The Black Knights played seven years under Allen and were, for the most part, a middle-of-the-pack Patriot League team. This job requires a specific kind of coach and recruits, obviously, specific kinds of players — guys who want to represent their country and attend for reasons beyond basketball.
James is out less than two years after taking the job. The former Duke assistant was 17 games under .500 through two seasons (21-38), but Austin Peay was a job in transition, moving from the OVC to the ASUN this season. Gipson moved quickly to get this job, and I’m told was able to push for an aggressive salary pool in the negotiating process.
The Falcons hired Southern Utah coach Simon, who was 38-14 the last three years for the Thunderbirds.
Bucknell split from Davis after eight seasons, which included a 129-155 record and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. Bucknell is arguably the best job in the Patriot League and will be competitively chased. The program has made the NCAAs eight times. Villanova’s George Halcovage and Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara are two of the candidates the school has identified early in its process.
The Bulls made four NCAA Tournaments in five years under Bobby Hurley and Nate Oats, but the momentum couldn’t continue under Whitesell. This search will probably take some time.
Two seasons and done for Oliver, who went 27-37. It wasn’t so long ago that ETSU was competing for NCAA Tournaments and winning the SoCon under Steve Forbes. And so, a former ETSU assistant under Forbes, Savage gets the job on a four-year contract.
The Eagles bring in Henry, an assistant at Alabama, to try and bring some life into an Eagles program that is arguably the worst in the Sun Belt. Henry replaces Burg who was on a weirdly short leash and only given three years by athletic director Jared Benko. The Eagles went 43-45 in three seasons.
The Phoenix hired Sundance Wicks, an assistant coach for Wyoming the past three seasons. Wicks replaces Ryan, who was fired after he went 2-19 this season.
Tubby Smith’s son was promoted to the full-time job a year ago but was fired following a 14-17 season. Similar to Bucknell in the Patriot League, High Point is a highly coveted job in the Big South because of its campus setting and facilities.
Nelson went 27-84 in four seasons. The Crusaders, who reside in the Patriot League, have made one NCAA Tournament since 2007. The school will likely look to land someone with previous head coaching experience at the mid-major level.
Pribble, an assistant at Seattle, was hired to replace Claus, who went 28-88 with the Vandals. Idaho is an appealing mid-major job in that part of the country now due to new facilities, but it’s traditionally a sub-par team in the Big Sky.
The 11-16 Jaspers had a sideways campaign after firing Masiello on the precipice of the regular season. RaShawn Stores did an admirable job in a very tough situation, and it remains wait-and-see whether he’ll get promoted to the full-time position.
Aiken was fired after just two seasons and a 22-45 overall record. Former coach Heath Schroyer is now the AD and decided Wade was worth the risk. Wade is awaiting a ruling from the IRP due to his role in LSU’s case, wherein he was caught on a wiretap talking about paying players. That verdict will come down in the spring.
Herrion’s contract was not renewed after he went 227-303 in 18 seasons as coach of the Wildcats.
A seven-year run with one above-.500 season (2018-19) led to Kennedy’s resignation on March 6. The Highlanders play in the America East, and the job ranks near the bottom in the conference.
A calamity of tragedy and abuse poisoned this program, so much so that the school’s chancellor shut the season down in February. Days later, Heiar was rightfully fired in the midst of his first season. NMSU will pick up the pieces and rebuild in the spring, but the question is: Who wants to take this kind of job? Someone will, but the task is going to be heavy. The school’s biggest appeal to potential candidates is its NCAA Tournament viability as a mid-major: The Aggies have had a tournament-level team 11 times since 2007.
NC A&T is in the midst of a challenging transition from the MEAC to the Big South to the CAA in a three-year span. Interim coach Phillip Shumpert has kept the Aggies competitive in the league after Jones was fired. A&T went 8-10 in conference play.
The Demons are in search of a coach after Gipson left after just one season to take the Austin Peay job. That’s a whiplash-like turn after having Mike McConathy from 1999-2022.
Simon left after going 65-28 overall and 38-14 the last three years for the Thunderbirds to take over at Bowling Green.
The Bulls had one above-.500 season in six years under Gregory, who leaves with a 79-107 mark. USF is a tough job in a league (the American) that is bringing on six more members this summer.
The former Temple star went 52-56 in four seasons and will remain on as a special advisor for the athletics department. Said AD Arthur Johnson: “Aaron has been a highly-decorated student-athlete, committed alumnus, husband, father, and a dedicated coach for Temple these past nine seasons, both as an assistant and head coach. Every step of the way Aaron has represented the University and the program in the finest manner. We are extremely grateful for his long-standing service to Temple and the men’s basketball program.” Get Matt Langel before someone else does.
Two years, two NCAA Tournaments, and now Lutz heads to Western Kentucky. The Islanders’ gig is in a great location and is probably the best job in the Southland at this point.
Young was fired in February following less than two years on the job. Turner, who has great recruiting connections across Texas, arrives after spending the past two seasons as an assistant at Kentucky and Oklahoma. He will be the program’s fifth in a seven-year span. It’s been bungled since Scott Cross’ quizzical firing (after winning 72 games in three seasons) in 2018.
Stansbury’s run lasted seven years and included a .610 winning percentage (139-89), but he’s the first coach in program history to fail to reach the NCAA Tournament. This is a good mid-major job with proud tradition. Lutz figures to restore some roar to a region with which he’s familiar. This is a quality hire, and Lutz has a good recruiter’s eye.
Brown was interim coach in 2020-21, got Wichita State to the First Four and was given the full-time job. The past two seasons: 32-28. The Shockers finished outside the top 100 at KenPom. Former Maryland/Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon is rumored to be interested in the opening, as is Furman coach Bob Richey and potentially Houston associate head coach Kellen Sampson. Wichita State is spreading its net far and wide. This is a key hire at a crucial time for the program.
The Terriers had McAuley for less than 2.5 seasons; he was pushed out due to internal strife between him and his players. Dwight Perry has coached the team since. Wofford went 16-15 in the regular season. Two names linked to this are former assistant/current App State coach Dustin Kerns and former Wofford assistant/current Virginia Tech assistant Kevin Giltner.
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