April 23, 2021

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College basketball coaching changes: Roy Williams retires at UNC; Chris Beard goes to Texas, which opens TTU

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Roy Williams TBD The best job in college basketball is open for the first time in 18 years. Williams’ retirement at 70, and with 903 wins to his name, puts him in the top 10 list of best coaches in men’s basketball history. The job is expected to be filled by the end of next week. Will it be Hubert Davis or Wes Miller? If it’s neither, expect a huge name outside the UNC family. Shaka Smart Chris Beard Texas nabbed its top target, which is a reflection on how coveted the UT job is. Beard went 112-55 at TTU and carries a 142-60 career record. It is anticipated that he will get Texas to the Final Four and turn that program into one that can win the Big 12 as often as any other. We shall see. Archie Miller Mike Woodson Mike Woodson is leaving the NBA life after decades in the game to return home and coach the Hoosiers. Woodson agreed to a six-year contract, and in a particularly smart move, also will be linking up with former Ohio State coach Thad Matta. Matta will oversee operations for men’s basketball in an advisory role. Steve Wojciechowski Shaka Smart Marquette moved quickly and quietly to lure Shaka Smart away from Texas, and in doing so, turned some heads. This was considered Porter Moser’s job to turn down. Instead, a fresh start for Smart, a Wisconsin native, who goes back to basketball-first university in a basketball-first conference. Larry Krystkowiak Craig Smith The Utes fired Krystkowiak after 10 seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances. It doesn’t help when BYU and Utah State are making NCAA Tournaments regularly, while the biggest university in the state with the proudest history is treading water around .500. And so with that, Smith scoots on down from Logan to coach in Salt Lake City. A solid hire for a historically proud program. Lon Kruger Porter Moser Kruger’s somewhat-sudden retirement, combined with Marquette choosing not to wait for Moser’s tournament run to end, opened the door for the Sooners to swoop in, offer a six-year deal and lure him away from Loyola Chicago. The question is, can he be as successful in a power conference as he was in the Missouri Valley? Following Kruger is doable, but not simple. Steve Prohm TJ Otzelberger ISU AD Jamie Pollard did not want to cut ties with Prohm, but a 2-22 season left him with no choice. Prohm was 97-95 in six seasons, with three NCAA appearances. Turns out Pollard had his guy waiting in the wings the whole time. Otzelberger had mediocre seasons at UNLV but he is capable of having success in territory he’s quite familiar with. Richard Pitino Ben Johnson Certainly a surprising hire. Minnesota closed the deal with Golden Gophers alumnus Ben Johnson, who formerly worked under Richard Pitino before more recently serving as an assistant for Travis Steele’s Xavier staff. Chris Beard TBD With Beard off to Texas, this program finds itself in a manageable-but-tough spot. You likely won’t get someone who can take TTU to the national title game, but can you pick the right coach to keep TTU at a level where it’s making the NCAA Tournament in most years? AD Kirby Hocutt will need to choose wisely. Gregg Marshall Isaac Brown Marshall’s resignation in November allowed Brown to step in on an interim basis. After putting the Shockers into the NCAA Tournament picture and guiding them to the top of the AAC standings by mid-February, the school announced a promotion for Brown to the full-time position on Feb. 26. Jim Christian Earl Grant A surprise hire, as Grant comes from Charleston, where he went 127-89 in seven seasons, with one NCAA Tournament run. Christian was fired Feb. 15 after six and a half seasons. He went 78-132 and did not make an NCAA Tournament. Boston College has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2009. Pat Chambers Micah Shrewsberry Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry has been tapped to take over in Happy Valley. Shrewsberry was considered an inevitable head-coaching hire in college basketball for a couple of years now, and he’ll stay in the Big Ten, as the school is now the only one in that league employing Black coaches in men’s basketball and football. Dave Leitao Tony Stubblefield Congrats to Stubblefield, who was a pick out of left field for many. He’s spent the past 28 years in coaching, with this his first opportunity to run a program. He comes via Oregon, where he spent the past 11 years as an assistant for Dana Altman. TJ Otzelberger Kevin Kruger Lon Kruger coached in Las Vegas once upon a time. Now his son will get the chance, as the school decided to stay in-house and promote the 37-year-old to his first head-coaching gig. Kruger finished his college player career with UNLV in 2007. Paul Weir Richard Pitino I’m not convinced the Pitino hire is going to work to maximum ends, but it will be interesting. He’s adaptable, that’s for sure, and that should suit him well. New Mexico has lofty expectations given its conference and location. The fan base holds its head coaches accountable on the level you’d find at a top-40 program. Jeff Neubauer Kyle Neptune Neptune spent the past eight seasons serving under Jay Wright. This hire is a good one for the Bronx native, who can give Fordham its best chance at competing in the A-10 as any coach in the past 20 years. The job remains among the toughest in a multi-bid league. The school joined the Atlantic 10 in 1995; it’s failed to make the NCAAs since. In fact, it’s had just two seasons above. 500 in that span. Dave Paulsen Kim English George Mason went young, hiring 32-year-old Tennessee assistant Kim English. The former second-round NBA pick starred at Missouri and also spent time on the bench at Tulsa and Colorado. Craig Smith TBD Tricky spot for USU here. It took a big step back under Tim Duryea, then Craig Smith restored the luster. Porter Moser TBD Will be interesting to see if Loyola Chicago opts to promote 29-year-old assistant Drew Valentine, or if it thinks it can pluck a sitting head coach elsewhere to take over a program that is at a promotional crossroads. Rob Murphy TBD Murphy will make his way to the G League, and a fairly attractive MAC job is now open. Eastern Michigan is the kind of gig that usually attracts high-major assistants who are overdue for their shot at running a program. Greg Lansing Josh Schertz Indiana State has tapped into the Division II ranks for its next coach. Schertz spent 13 years and Lincoln Memorial and won nearly 85% of his games. He’ll make for an interesting experiment in the Valley. Jean Prioleau TBD The toughest job in the Mountain West. Prioleau won 20 games in four seasons with San Jose State. The school needs to get this hire right. Joe Mihalich TBD Sadly, Mihalich is stepping down after not coaching the 2020-21 season due to health reasons. Interim Mike Farrelly should get a really good look here. Pat Kelsey Mark Prosser Prosser got his first head job at Western Carolina three years ago. He went 37-53 and was handed the keys to Winthrop. Byron Rimm II TBD Byron Rimm II has been the IUPUI interim for nearly two full seasons. Seems like a long shot he will stay on after taking over for Jason Gardner in the summer of 2019. Terry Porter Shantay Legans After taking Eastern Washington to the NCAA Tournament, Legans has been quickly lured away and into the WCC at Portland. The question becomes: Will the lovable Groves brothers, who were fleeting NCAA tourney cult heroes, follow their coach to the Rose City? Mark Montgomery Rashon Burno Arizona State assistant Rashon Burno is on his way to Northern Illinois. He’s a savvy, high-energy hire. Burno replaces Mark Montgomery, who was 125-170 in nine and a half seasons. The school last made the NCAAs in 1996. Shantay Legans David Riley Legans’ link to the Portland job was something known for weeks. Eastern Washington was clearly prepared for it, and within days of Legans’ move to Portland, it announced longtime assistant David Riley would take over. He gets a roster that just went to the NCAA Tournament, a perk few other coaches on this list get to inherit. Chris Ogden TBD Ogden is taking a raise to join Beard’s staff at Texas, which is also Ogden’s alma mater. Nice work if you can get it.  Tony Jasick Jordan Mincy Jacksonville did not have to look that far for its next coach. The school tagged Florida assistant Jordan Mincy to take over after serving the past six seasons on Mike White’s UF staff. Danny Kaspar Terrence Johnson A few coaches lost their jobs in recent months due to scandal and subsequent investigations. Kaspar was accused on the record by some former Texas State players of using racially insensitive language. After an investigation that lasted more than three months, Kaspar and TSU split in September. Terrence Johnson stepped in and rightfully earned the full-time gig after guiding TSU to an 18-7 season. Rodney Billups Jeff Wulbrun A Stanford assistant lands a job that is viewed as a potential Summit League power. Good area, solid facilities for that level. Just waiting to be untapped. Jason Shay TBD East Tennessee State will be hiring a third coach in as many seasons following the surprising resignation Tuesday from Jason Shay, who lasted one season and went 13-12. It’s been reported he resigned after backlash over his players kneeling during the national anthem.  Will Brown Dwayne Killings Brown lasted 20 seasons and made five NCAA Tournaments, but it was time for a change. Marquette assistant Dwayne Killings, who has been a rising star in the industry the past five years, has received rave reviews from peers as Albany’s next coach. David Patrick TBD When Eric Musselman called Patrick in the offseason and offered him the top assistant’s gig at Arkansas — not to mention a hefty raise — Patrick left UC Riverside to return to the sidelines in the SEC. (He was previously at LSU.) In his stead, Mike Magpayo made UC Riverside respectable in the Big West. He’s likely to get the full-time job, a source told CBS Sports. Jay Spoonhour TBD Spoonhour lasted nine seasons — he was the longest-tenured coach in the Ohio Valley — but the school is not renewing his contract. Eastern Illinois went 119-157 in his tenure and was 9-18 this season. Mark Prosser TBD A low-major job in the SoCon has come open. Western Carolina hasn’t had to make a coaching change in less than three years in more than three decades. Anthony Stewart Ryan Ridder UT Martin brought in Ridder, who won 48 games in three seasons at Bethune-Cookman. The team did not play this past season due to COVID-19. Ridder replaces Stewart, who tragically died less than a week before the start of the season when he never woke up from a nap. Stewart led the UT Martin Skyhawks for four seasons. Matt Figger Nate James The next Duke assistant to get his shot is Nate James, who will head to the OVC and coach Austin Peay. James, 43, was an assistant at Duke since 2009. Lew Hill Matt Figger Terribly, two coaching vacancies existed due to coaches dying. Lew Hill died in his sleep the morning of Feb. 7, perishing just hours after he coached what he thought would be his last UTRGV game for an indefinite hiatus. Figger will be the next coach after going 76-51 in four seasons at Austin Peay. Tic Price Alvin Brooks Houston’s Final Four run propelled Alvin Brooks to make the leap from assistant under Kelvin Sampson back into the head-coaching ranks. Brooks’ last job as a head coach was at Houston, of all places, in 1998. Tommy Dempsey Levell Sanders Binghamton is one of the toughest jobs in the country, and Dempsey lasted nine seasons despite never finishing above .500. Sanders steps in on an interim basis for the 2021-22 season. Donyell Marshall TBD Central Connecticut never found momentum under UConn legend Donyell Marshall, going 40-104 in five seasons. This is maybe the toughest job in the NEC. Heath Schroyer John Aiken Schroyer stepped down as McNeese State coach on March 11, but here’s the twist: He’s also the school’s athletic director. His first decision as AD was to promote assistant John Aiken to head coach. An unusual gambit, the program continues without enduring a coaching search after a trying season. Murray Garvin Tony Madlock South Carolina State, out of the MEAC, opted not to renew Garvin’s contract on March 15. Madlock, a Memphis assistant, will be tasked with turning around a 1-17 team. Eric Skeeters TBD Skeeters was let go on April 1. A MEAC job, Delaware State is back on the hunt after three seasons with Skeeters at the helm.

Matt Norlander
2021-04-03 00:00:13

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