With the roller coaster that the last few years have been, its nice to have an off-season focused on reloading our roster rather than finding a new coach. But some programs haven’t been so lucky this off-season. There are four jobs still vacant in the power conferences. A look at the coaching searches going on at each of those schools:
Job: Wake Forest
Departing Coach: Dino Gaudio (3 seasons; 61-31 overall and a 90-60 loss to UK)-fired
Looking for: A solid coach as soon as possible. With four top-100 ranked recruits committed to the deacons, it’s imperative that Wake act quickly before those kids start looking elsewhere. I was surprised that the AD got rid of Gaudio so quickly, but according to the Winston-Salem journal, Wellman decided he wasn’t a long-term solution and decided to act. The next coach better hope he gets a little more time.
Names on the Radar: Rusty LaRue (Wake assistant), Tubby Smith (MINN), Brad Stevens (Butler), and Jeff Bzdelik (Colorado) whose daughter attends the school and is thought to be the leader.
Departing coach: Oliver Purnell (7 seasons; 138-90 overall)-left to resurrect Depaul
Looking for: Purnell’s departure left the school stunned and with few options. Known mostly as a football school, their top recruit, Marcus Thornton, has already requested release from the school and others may soon follow. The Tigers have kept their expectations pretty low, interviewing Al Skinner (recently fired from BC) and hot-seat regular Jeff Capel of Oklahoma.
Names on the Radar: Skinner and Capel, as well as Gregg Marshall (Wichita St.), Wojo (Duke), and Billy Gillispie (h-e-double hockey sticks). If Wojo gets the job Clemson leaps up to number 2 on my most hated list. If Gillispie gets it, Gamecock women are in my prayers.
Departing Coach: Fred Hill (47-77 with a dozen transfers and a one profane tirade)-fired but still kicking
Looking for: You would think the Scarlet Knights would be looking for someone a little more low key after Hill’s public tirade, lying about the incident, and then refusing to apologize. Alas they have set the bar pretty low for replacement candidates, despite the huge potential that exists in the New Jersey recruiting scene.
Names on the Radar:Jim O’Brien of recruiting violations fame and Fran Fraschilla of ESPN fame.
Departing Coach: Ernie Kent (13 seasons; 235-173)- fired
Looking for: A home run. So far, the Oregon coaching job has been vacant for almost one month and the Ducks keep swinging and missing. With Stevens signing an extension at Butler, their last remaining hope for a huge hire seems all but dead April 30th is the deadline for season tickets to their new arena, opening in the fall, and the Ducks haven’t signed a recruit yet for the upcoming year. It’s do or die time.
Names on the Radar: Probably should do who is NOT on the radar. Gillispie, Terry Porter, PJ Carlesimo, Kevin from the Office (Vanderbilt), Tom Izzo (MSU), Mark Few (Gonzaga). Basically it sounds like Kentucky fans and a football coaching vacancy. Bill Parcells anyone?
I’m surprised Scott Drew of Baylor and Travis Ford of Oklahoma St haven’t come up more. Baylor has developed into a solid team and Ford surely has been stuck in Stillwater long enough. Maybe waiting to see how long Cal is here? Or maybe waiting for Gillispie to get out of rehab since we know how the cowboys love that Kentucky coaching pipeline.