Thursday, June 30, 2011

Six Degrees of a Coaching Change: Tracking the Coaching Carousel Part IV

On Tuesday, we started tracking the 2011 Coaching Carousel.

We've now reached Part IV, and by the end of the post, there will only be 12 coaching vacancies that we've yet to break down.

The most interesting aspect of Part IV are the names that you will recognize. Remember Jerry Wainwright? He landed on his feet after losing his job with DePaul (and battling prostate cancer). Heath Schroyer may have lost his job as the head coach at Wyoming, but he'll still be coaching in the Mountain West next season. Former Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz even makes an appearance.

Its gets better. Can you guess how Jeff Capel's firing resulted in two former NBA players getting assistant coaching positions? Or where Texas hero Kenton Paulino is coaching now? Oh, and what coach went 28-74 in Alaska before getting hired in Florida?

I think I'm enjoying these posts too much. You can read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here:

March 14th: Three coaches got the axe on the 14th. Its started with Jim Whitesell, who was fired after seven seasons at Loyola (IL). The Ramblers started out 8-2 and nearly beat Kansas State and Butler, but finished the season just 16-15 and 7-11 in the Horizon. Steve Roccaforte lost his job at Lamar after five seasons in Beaumont, TX. The Cardinals were just 7-9 in the Southland last season. And finally, there is Jeff Capel. Oklahoma gave the former Duke point guard his pink slip just two (dreadful) years after reaching the Elite 8 with Blake Griffin.

  • March 28th: With Oklahoma's growing interest in Buzz Williams, Marquette locked up their head coach with a new seven year deal that has a very high buyout.

  • April 1st: Lon Kruger finally gave into Oklahoma's advances, accepting a seven year, $16 million contract from the Sooners. Kruger had turned down offers from Arizona, Oregon, and USC in the past, but due to the current financial state of the Nevada school system -- meaning no raise for Kruger -- and the money that the Sooners put on the table, the former UNLV head coach had no choice but to accept the offer.

    • April 10th: Dave Rice, who played on Jerry Tarkanian's Final Four teams at UNLV, was hired to replace Kruger. Rice had spent the past six seasons on the staff of Dave Rose at BYU.

      • April 15th: Dave Rice's first hire at UNLV was grabbing Justin Hutson as his associate head coach. Hutson spent the previous five seasons in the same role at San Diego State.

      • April 26th: Sticking with the theme of MWC coaches, Rice's second hire to his staff was Heath Schroyer, who was fired as head coach at Wyoming back in February.

      • May 11th: Rice hired his former teammate Stacey Augmon as an assistant at UNLV to complete his staff.

      • June 28th: To replace Hutson on his staff, Steve Fisher hired former San Diego State star Tony Bland.

    • May 18th: Mark Pope, who spent last season as an assistant coach on the Wake Forest staff, was gets the chance to replace Rice at BYU.

    • June 23rd: Walt Corbean was promoted from director of basketball operations to assistant coach to replace Pope at Wake Forest. Jeff Nix was brought in to take Corbean's old role.

  • April 5th: To replace Whitesell, the Ramblers stretched their arms down to St. Louis, where they hired Porter Moser, who had spent the past four seasons on Rick Majerus' staff. The last three he was the associate head coach.

  • April 6th: Pat Knight didn't even have to leave the state of Texas after getting fired by Texas Tech, as he was hired to replace Roccaforte at Lamar.

    • April 13th: Knight made his first two hires at Lamar. He pulled Kenton Paulino, a former Texas player, from UT where he spent the past three seasons as a special assistant. The second coach was Clif Carroll, who was at Collin College previously.

    • May 3rd: Knight completed his staff with Joseph Price, who was an assistant at Morehead State prior to coming to Lamar.
March 15th: Two coaches were fired on the 15th. The first was Steve Cleveland, who lost his job after six seasons at Fresno State. He went 14-17 last season. The second was much less surprising, as Sidney Lowe resigned after five entirely forgettable -- and no NCAA Tournaments -- with the NC State Wolfpack.
  • March 27th: With interest rising in Chris Mooney, Richmond opened up their pocket books for the coach that has taken the Spider program to the top of the Atlantic 10. Mooney was given a 10 year deal that will keep him in Richmond until 2021.

  • April 4th: Mooney wasn't the only coach in the city of Richmond to get a contract extension. After leading VCU to the Final Four, the Rams inked Shaka Smart to an eight year deal with $1.2 million annually. Its unclear how much interest Smart had in NC State, but the interest that programs like the Wolfpack had in Smart was a large factor in the extension he received.

  • April 4th: With the job opening at NC State, Cincinnati decided to lock up the man that had built their program back to relevance by signing an extension with Mick Cronin.

  • April 5th: NC State AD Debbie Yow finally landed a head coach as she pulled Mark Gottfried out of the ESPN studios. Gottfried's last job was with Alabama, where he was fired in 2008 after 11 seasons at the helm.

    • April 6th: Gottfried didn't waste any time building his coaching staff, hiring Orlando Early, who was an assistant with Gottfried at Alabama. He most recently was on Darrin Horn's staff at South Carolina.

    • April 8th: Gottfried's second hire with the Wolfpack is a name that many North Carolina residents will be familiar with -- he hired former Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz, who spent last season at Iowa State.

    • April 14th: Gottfried's final hire with the Wolfpack was Rob Hoxley. Hoxley has worked with Lutz multiple times during his career, but spent last season as an assistant with Middle Tennessee State.

    • April 15th: To replace Lutz, Fred Hoiberg hired Cornell Mann, who most recently was on Brian Gregory's staff at Dayton.

    • April 26th: Gottfried lost one of the three prize freshmen that Sidney Lowe added in his final recruiting class at NC State as Ryan Harrow decided to transfer. Harrow eventually transferred to Kentucky.

    • May 16th: Gottfried may have lost Harrow, but he added an even more important piece when he landed top 25 recruit and Raliegh native Torian Graham, a member of the class of 2012. The key to Gottfried's success at NC State is going to be recruiting in his backyard. Rodney Purvis, who de-committed from Louisville, and TJ Warren are both studs in the class of 2012 and considering the Wolfpack.

    • May 26th: To replace Early on his staff at South Carolina, Darrin Horn promoted Cypheus Bunton to the role of assistant while hiring Justin Phelps as director of basketball operations.

  • April 7th: Fresno State made a quality hire as their head coach by tapping into the Rick Barnes' pipeline and hiring Rodney Terry to lead their program. Terry had spent the previous nine seasons with the Longhorns.

    • April 26th: Terry made his first hire as Fresno State's head coach, landing former Miami assistant Michael Schwartz, who was out of a job when Frank Haith went to Missouri.

    • May 9th: Terry made his most interesting hire, inking former DePaul head coach Jerry Wainwright. Terry had worked as an assistant for Wainwright at UNC-Wilmington.

    • May 10th: Terry's final hire was Byron Jones, who spent last season as an assistant at Winston-Salem State.
March 16th: After 13 years at Colgate, the mediocrity that was the tenure of Emmett Davis finally ended. Davis went 7-23 in his final season, but that doesn't mean his career is over. Davis got a job in May with Tulsa.
  • April 25th: To replace Davis, Colgate hired Matt Langel, a 32 year old who spent the past five seasons as an assistant on Fran Dunphy's staff at Temple. Langel was a 1,000 point scorer at Penn.

  • June 7th: To replace Langel, Dunphy hired Dwayne Killings. Killings was on the Temple staff from 2006-2009 as an assistant director of basketball operations before spending last season under Pat Chambers at Boston University.

  • June 8th: Langel completed his staff at Colgate. He hired Dave Klatsky from the Stevens Institute, Terrell Ivory from Davidson (where he was the director of basketball operations), and Michael McGarvey from Ursinus College.
March 18th: Florida A&M fired head coach Eugene Harris after four underwhelming seasons. Harris was 46-80 in his four seasons, with the last three years producing 20 or more losses.
  • May 5th: Clemon Johnson, a former player at Florida A&M, was hired to replace Harris. It will be quite a change for Johnson, who spent the past four seasons at Alaska-Fairbanks, where he compiled a 28-74 record.

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Package deals in college hoops: are they back in style?

Back in 2010, the NCAA enacted some new legislation in an effort to do away with the phenomenon known as 'package deals'.

Essentially, a package deal is when a coach hires a person that is close to a recruit in order to get that recruit to go to their school. Larry Brown hired Danny Manning's father to convince the younger Manning to go to Kansas. The Jayhawks also hired Mario Chalmers' father in an effort to land Chalmers. Tyreke Evans had his personal strength coach get hired at Memphis. Scott Drew hired Dwon Clifton to try and land John Wall. And that isn't even scratching the surface.

Here is the exact text of the rule, known as Bylaw

Individual Associated with a Prospective Student-Athlete -- Men's Basketball. In men's basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete's anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the prospective student-athlete's actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ (or enter into a contract for future employment with) an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department noncoaching staff position.
The reasons for having this rule make sense, but that doesn't mean the rule is foolproof.

Take Kevin Young, the former LMU star and SDSU commit. Around the same time -- early June -- that he started to show some serious interest in Kansas, the Jayhawks started recruiting Mervyn Lindsay. Lindsay is a good player -- he averaged 15 and 10 in high school -- but he had no scholarship offers as of November's early signing period and was not ranked by The catch? Lindsay and Young both played AAU hoops for a man named Elvert 'Kool-Aid' Perry.

Then look at J-Mychal Reese, a top 50 recruit in the class of 2012. J-Mychal isn't the only member of the Reese family receiving offers from high-major programs, however. His father is a longtime high school coach in Texas and currently has job offers from LSU, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M, three schools recruiting J-Mychal. If a school did hire John Reese, they would be able to sign J-Mychal so long as John was given one of the three assistant coaching positions at the school.

Jordans Adams, a top 75 player in the class of 2012, committed to UCLA just 12 days after Korey McCray signed on as an assistant with the Bruins. McCray ran the Atlanta Celtics AAU program and had a great relationship with McCray. Missouri is still in the mix for Rodney Purvis because they hired former Louisville assistant Tim Fuller back in April.

Here's my question -- are package deals really all that terrible?

Look, I understand the ethical dilemmas involved. Paying an adult to get a commitment from a kid he is associated with is sleazy and has no part in our game.

But in this day and age, college basketball is all about recruiting. And recruiting is all about who you know and how big your network is. Take Dalonte Hill, for example. He may have been signed to Kansas State because of his relationship with Michael Beasley -- who was going to attend Charlotte with Hill until Bobby Huggins hired him -- but Hill also established a pipeline to the K-State campus from the DC Assault AAU program with which he was affiliated. That connection is a major reason why Hill got a job with Mark Turgeon at Maryland.

Isaac Chew got a job on Frank Haith's staff at Missouri not because of his ability to coach, but because he was once associated with the Kansas City Pump'n'Run elite AAU team.

Its a bad precedent to set, I know. But its also a necessary one.

No coach is going to win with a steady and constant flow of talent into his program.
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Thursday Morning Dump

- Well, we know why Bethune-Cookman's head coach was fired. He failed to assist an investigation into an alleged rape committed by a player on his team. That player also happened to be the reigning player of the year in the MEAC and ... his son!

- Matt Norlander breaks down Shaka Smart's new contract

- Eamonn Brennan asks a question that probably should have been asked already: How good is UConn going to be without Kemba Walker?

- We didn't have a chance to write on this, but Goodman is 100% correct -- Rotnei Clarke would be a phenomenal pick-up for Brad Stevens at Butler.

- Jeff Peterson is headed to Florida State, where he will be eligible immediately.

- Temple swingman Scootie Randall had knee surgery earlier this week to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee

- Good read on the coaches that spurned jobs at bigger schools to sign extensions at their current school.

- Andy Katz. Daily Word.

- This interview with Tom Brennan only reaffirms my suspicions that he would be an awesome guy to throw a few brews back with.

- There is actually a Hall of Fame out there that is going to induct Tim Floyd

- Jeff Eisenberg hits another home run with this article on a New Jersey hooper headed to Alabama that helped in the tornado relief efforts.
Continue reading...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Six Degrees of a Coaching Change: Tracking the Coaching Carousel Part III

We are now heading into post No. 3 of our breakdown of the 2011 Coaching Carousel. (See Part I here and Part II here.) Today, we will be looking at the single biggest splash that was made in this offseason's coaching carousel: when John Pelphrey lost his job as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Looking back, the ride was wild.

Five head coaching positions changed hands. Three head coaches got a raise and a contract extension as the result of interest from the school's who had a position open up. There were 13 assistant coaching positions that were filled. Three top 75 recruits changed a commitment to three different schools. Four players transferred.

By the time all the dominoes had fallen, 19 different Division I programs -- and one NBA team -- had been affected in some way.

How did it all play out?

March 13th: Boom. Arkansas' John Pelphrey got the axe. In four years with the Razorbacks, Pelphrey managed just a 69-59 record, going only 25-39 in the SEC. That's not exactly what a program that has won a national title is looking for. And I'm sure that it had absolutely nothing to do with the recruiting violation that came to light three days earlier. Pelphrey would eventually end up getting hired back onto Billy Donovan's staff at Florida, the same place that he started his career.

  • March 23rd: After quite a bit of speculation and even more disinformation relayed by both parties, Arkansas finally settled on Missouri head coach Mike Anderson as a replacement for Pelphrey. The move makes sense. Anderson was a long time assistant under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas and runs the system that Richardson made famous with the Hogs.

    • April 6th: Anderson announced that he would be bringing the staff he had at Missouri to Arkansas. Melvin Watkins will be his associate head coach while TJ Cleveland and Matt Zimmerman are assistants.

    • June 4th: Rising junior Glenn Bryant asks for and receives his release to transfer out of the Arkansas program.

    • June 11: Rising senior point guard Jeff Peterson decided to transfer out of the Arkansas program. Since he had already finished his undergraduate work, Peterson can transfer and play immediately.

    • June 16th: New Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy lands a commitment from Glenn Bryant, who will have to sit out a year after transferring.

    • June 17th: Mike Anderson refuses to grant Rotnei Clarke a release to transfer from the school, resulting in the Clarke family going to the media to try and force the issue.

    • June 20th: It took a couple of days, but Clarke eventually is granted his release by Anderson. It looks like Clarke may end up playing his final year of eligibility at Butler.

    • June 29th: Peterson decided to attend Florida State for his final season, where he will no doubt provide some back court help.

  • March 30th: Missouri showed heavy interest in Purdue's Matt Painter. After a number of days on the fence -- and a number of reports claiming that Painter had made a decision, with some convinced he was staying and others convinced he was leaving -- Painter finally agreed to remain in West Lafayette with a longer, more lucrative, contract.

  • April 4th: Missouri was able to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on Painter pretty quickly, as they were able to sign Frank Haith away from Miami. Haith is a bit of a surprise hire, as he was never dominant -- and barely registered as good -- with the Hurricanes.

    • April 12th: Otto Porter, a Missouri native and one of the best recruits still available, decided to spurn his hometown Tigers, who he was rumored to be favoring, when Haith was hired. Porter ended up at Georgetown.

    • April 12th: Haith, responding to a text message from a reporter about Porter, was quoted on record discussing a recruit that had not signed with Missouri, a secondary violation.

    • April 13th: In an effort to ramp up his recruiting, Haith brought in Louisville assistant coach Tim Fuller. Fuller, who has deep connections in North Carolina and is close with 2012 uber-recruit Rodney Purvis, has been close with Haith since Haith was an assistant on the Wake Forest team Fuller was a member of.

    • April 14th: Frank Haith hires Ernie Nestor as the second member of his staff. He and Nestor had spent time together on Dave Odom's staff at Wake Forest. Nestor was the director of basketball operations at Penn State last season and has been a head coach at George Mason and Elon.

    • April 15th: Haith's final hire is Isaac Chew, who spent the past four seasons at Murray State. Chew is a big-time pick-up for Haith as he spent a number of years as a coach for Kansas City Pump-n-Run Elite, one of the best AAU programs in the area. Ironically, neither Chew or Nestor were replaced at their previous jobs due to changes in the coaching regime at both schools.

    • April 26th: To replace Fuller, Pitino hired Wyking Jones away from New Mexico. Prior to working for the Lobos, Jones was the director of the Nike EYBL, which means that he has connections with Nike AAU teams all over the country.

    • April 26th: Duane Broussard was promoted from director of basketball operations to replace Jones at New Mexico.

  • April 5th: Due to a number of high-major job openings (including Missouri), VCU was forced to open up their wallets to keep Shaka Smart around. The 33 year old, who led the Rams to the 2011 Final Four, got an eight-year, $1.2 million annual contract. His salary more than doubled Jim Larranaga's at George Mason, who led the Patriots to the 2006 Final Four.

  • April 12th: Harvard's Tommy Amaker became a top target for the Hurricanes, but after discussions with the University, Amaker opted to remain the head coach of the Crimson, who will be the heavy favorite to win the Ivy next season.

  • April 23rd: In a move that many thought to be shocking and, frankly, ill-advised, 61 year old Jim Larranaga agreed to leave George Mason and accept the head coaching position at Miami. There are a number of factors involved in his decision, but the fact that he didn't get along with his athletic director -- and that Shaka Smart got his raise -- was enough to drive him from a powerhouse mid-major to the bottom of the ACC.

  • April 25th: George Washington head coach Karl Hobbs is fired by the school's new AD. His staff loses their job as well. The most interesting part of this isn't that Hobbs is out of a job, but that his assistant, Roland Houston, is. Why? Houston's nephew, Eric Copes, is a top 10 center in the class of 2011 and was committed to GW to play for his uncle.

  • April 30th: George Mason reached back into the ACC, the league that snatched away Larranaga, to hire their replacement. Paul Hewitt, who was fired as the head coach at Georgia Tech in March, got the job. Hewitt made a name for himself by turning Siena into a low-major powerhouse before taking the Yellow Jackets to the 2004 Final Four.

    • May 5th: With Larranaga out and Hewitt in, Luke Hancock, who was George Mason's tournament hero and their best returning player, asked for a release to look into a transfer.

    • May 6th: Hewitt hired Chris Kreidel, who had spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern. Kreidel was a member of Hewitt's staff from two seasons at Georgia Tech.

    • May 13th: Roland Houston is officially hired by Hewitt. On the same day, Copes is released from his letter of intent to GW.

    • May 16th: Copes officially becomes a member of the George Mason recruiting class. This is a huge coup Hewitt, as Copes should be a very good player for the Patriots, the kind of big man that can buoy a program in the CAA.

    • May 24th: Hancock finally settled on a school, announcing his intentions to transfer to Louisville to play in the Big East.

      • June 7th: Louisville announces that, as a result of having three more scholarships promised than they have available, Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith, and Elisha Justice will be walking-on next season.

    • June 2nd: Paul Hewitt completed his coaching staff by hiring Mike Wells, who had spent the past 17 years as an assistant and advanced scout in the NBA.

    • June 22nd: To fill the void left by Kreidel, Georgia Southern hired Chris Capko, who had lost his job after there was a head coaching change at Stetson this spring.
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Todd Lickliter to Miami-Ohio ... trendsetter?

Todd Lickliter got a new job this week.

The former Butler and Iowa head coach, who was fired by the Hawkeyes in the spring of 2010, didn't get a job as a head coach. He didn't get a job as an associate head coach, either. Hell, he didn't even land with a high-major program. Charlie Coles, the longtime head coach of Miami-Ohio, has hired Lickliter as an assistant coach.

This is significant. This moves matters.

But before I get into that, the background: Perhaps the most interesting piece of information that I came across while researching the 2011 Coaching Carousel was just how many coaches opted to stay at their current school, leveraging a raise through their perceived interest in changing jobs.

Some of these contract extensions weren't necessarily a huge surprise. Marquette was able to lock Buzz Williams into a seven year extension -- with a very high buyout -- when Oklahoma and Texas Tech came calling. Matt Painter used Missouri's vacancy as a way to get a longer, and more lucrative, contract out of typically-stingy Purdue. Sean Miller got an extra two years and $100,000 from Arizona thanks to Maryland's inquiries.

None of those extensions are particularly surprising, however. From a purely basketball perspective, Marquette, Purdue, and Arizona are all very good jobs to have that offer high salaries and a comfortable place to raise a family.

There were some surprises, however.

Take, for example, Shaka Smart. VCU's hotshot young head coach, who was fresh off of a Final Four run with a Ram program known for churning out successful high-major head coaches, turned down all suitors -- trust me, there were many and would have been many more -- by signing an eight-year extension worth $1.2 million a year. While that salary is a significant raise for Smart, its likely much lower than what he could have commanded as a "free agent", if you will.

The same can be said for the head coach of Smart's crosstown rival, Richmond. Chris Mooney led the Spiders to the Sweet 16 in 2011, which impressed the higher-ups at Richmond to extend his contract through 2021. The move came as a preemptive strike -- Mooney was involved with the Boston College coaching search back in 2010, but got his extension before anyone showed major interest this year.

Wichita State's Gregg Marshall -- who extended his contract through 2018 -- and Harvard's Tommy Amaker -- who leveraged more resources for his program -- also parlayed their success into a better situation at their current school. And who can forget about Brad Stevens' and the 12 year contract he signed with the Bulldogs after their first title-game run?

There are a multitude of reasons why these mid-major coaches opted against the high-major gigs that would have been available to them. All five (Smart, Mooney, Marshall, Amaker, Stevens) are making a substantial living, even in basketball terms. All five enjoy their current job. All five are settled where they live, their family is settled where they live, and they enjoy their workplace environment; having a boss that you get along with should not be overrated.

But there is no question that, in the back of their minds, there is something warning them about becoming the next Todd Lickliter.

You see, at one point Lickliter was the hotshot mid-major head coach. He took over for Thad Matta at Butler in 2001 and carried on the Bulldog tradition. When the head coaching position at Iowa opened up, Lickliter jumped at the opportunity. The problem? Iowa may have been a raise, but it was -- and still is -- a very difficult place to win games as a collegiate coach. Lickliter found that out the hard way, and after three years at Iowa and one year on his couch, Lickliter is back as a mid-major assistant, the same role he was in before getting replacing Matta a decade ago.

Quality mid-major coaches are learning. They are in the position of power. They are the hot commodities. They are the ones that can afford to hold out for a great job, not just a job in a higher-profile conference.

It appears as if the best young coaches are paying heed to the mistakes of their predecessors.

Now if we can only get the best young players to do the same.
Continue reading...

Six Degrees of a Coaching Change: Tracking the Coaching Carousel Part II

On Tuesday, we began tracking the 2011 Coaching Carousel.

Trust me when I tell you that the process is much, much more complicated that you think. In Part I, we learn how former Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer is connected to UCLA recruit Jordan Adams, how Pat Knight's firing at Texas Tech led to Joe Jones getting the Boston University job, and the ironic job changes of the last two Villanova associate head coaches.

Part II has plenty of juicy nuggets as well. Like, for example, why Josh Pastner was able to hire Damon Stoudamire, how Keno Davis played a role in Fred Hill getting hired at Northwestern, and how Paul Hewitt losing his job at Georgia Tech ended up with Malcolm Armstead and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel ultimately transferring to Wichita State and Hofstra, respectively.

Hit the jump for Part II of the 2011 Coaching Carousel. Click here to browse through the entire Six Degrees of a Coaching Change Series:

March 8th: After four disappointing years with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Perry Clark resigned, refuting earlier reports that he had been fired by the Islanders. The former Miami and Tulane head coach had taken the job with A&M-CC after spending three years as a broadcaster.

March 9th: Barry Rohrssen's career at Manhattan came to an end after a 6-24 season at the helm of the Jaspers. It was Rohrssen's fifth season as the head coach at the MAAC school, but he managed a winning record just once in those five years.
  • April 10th: After failing to agree on a contract with LIU's Jim Ferry, Manhattan reeled in Steve Masiello, a New York native, from his post as associate head coach under Rick Pitino at Louisville.

  • April 12th: Rick Pitino filled the void left by Masiello by bringing his son, Richard Pitino, back into the program as the associate head coach and, potentially, as a coach-in-waiting for the Cardinals. Richard had been an assistant under Billy Donovan, a Rick Pitino disciple, at Florida. The younger Pitino's decision to return to Louisville opened up a spot on Donovan's staff for Norm Roberts and John Pelphrey.

  • April 13th: Masiello's first move as the head coach at Manhattan was to keep Scott Padgett, his former teammate at Kentucky, on as an assistant. After that, he hired Matt Grady to be his associate head coach. Grady was previously at Morehead State in the same position.

  • May 19th: Masiello completed his staff by hiring Rashon Burno, a former standout at DePaul who lost his job at Towson after one season when head coach Pat Kennedy was fired.
March 10th: The 10th was another rough day for head coaches as three positions opened up. Ricardo Patton was fired as the head coach at Northern Illinois after four seasons. Tom Asbury retired as the head coach of Pepperdine. It was his second stint at the SoCal school, as he was the head coach from 1989-1994. Finally, Cal St. Bakersfield opted not to renew the contract of head coach Keith Brown.
  • March 11th: Marty Wilson, who was the associate head coach with the Waves under Asbury, was promoted to head coach at Pepperdine. Wilson is an alum and a nine-year member of the staff.

    • March 24th: Wilson named two new members of his coaching staff: Mark Amaral would be taking over the role of associate head coach -- the position that was vacated with Wilson's promotion -- and Bryant Moore would be joining the staff as an assistant coach.

    • May 24: Sam Kirby was hired by Cal Poly to replace Amaral. He spent last season at a small school in California.

  • March 23rd: After spending ten years in the Michigan State program -- the last four as associate head coach -- Mark Montgomery finally got a chance to be a head coaching, taking over for Patton at Northern Illinois. He is the eighth Izzo assistant to get a head coaching gig.

    • April 5th: Montgomery announced his coaching staff at NIU. He hired former Dayton assistant Jon Borovich, who lost his job when Brian Gregory went to Georgia Tech, and Lou Dawkins, a head coach at a Saginaw, MI, high school. Montgomery also retained Todd Townsend, who will enter into his fourth season as a Husky assistant.

    • April 20th: After spending the past six seasons as the head coach of IPFW, former Indiana high school legend Dane Fife replaced Montgomery as an assistant on Tom Izzo's staff. It was a bit of a surprise, as Fife seemed destined to get a high-major position eventually. IPFW set a school record for wins in each of his six seasons.

    • April 20th: On the same day that Fife announced his decision to leave IPFW, the school announced that Tony Jasick, who had spent the past six seasons as the associate head coach under Fife, would be taking over as the new head coach.

    • May 23th: Jasick completed his staff by hiring Jon Coffman, who was previously the top assistant at Colgate.

  • March 30th: After Brown didn't have his contract renewed at Cal St. Bakersfield, the newly D-I program -- '10'11 was their first year as a fully D-I independent -- hired Rod Barnes as their head coach. Yes, that's the same Rod Barnes that was fired from his head coaching position at Georgia State just eight days before Brown lost his job.

    • April 28th: Barnes made two hires to his staff at Bakersfield. Jeff Conarroe came along with Barnes from Georgia State, where he was the director of basketball operations for the past four years. Kevin Missouri was hired as as assistant coach after spending the past two seasons as a graduate assistant at UAB.

    • June 25th: Barnes hired former Oklahoma assistant coach Brian Goodman to be his associate head coach with the Roadrunners. Goodman was out of a job when Jeff Capel was let go by the Sooners.
March 11th: Larry Smith lost his job as the head coach at Alcorn State, something that tends to happen when you go 12-78 in three years. He wasn't fired, per se. He was "promoted" to director of athletic development. Providence head coach Keno Davis was fired, however. Davis had been the head coach for the Friars for three seasons after winning a national coach of the year award at Drake in 2008.
  • March 22nd: To replace Davis, Providence kept it in the Northeast by hiring Fairfield head coach Ed Cooley. Cooley spent five years as the head coach at Fairfield.

    • April 5th: To replace Cooley, Fairfield dipped their hands into the Ivy League, hiring Sydney Johnson away from Princeton. Johnson got the job after leading the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.

    • April 18th: Cooley filled out his coaching staff, bringing two assistants from Fairfield with him to Providence. The one new hire that he made was Andre LaFleur as his associate head coach. LaFleur had previously been as assistant with the UConn Huskies. The opening on the UConn staff allowed former UConn assistant and Penn head coach Glen Miller to get a promotion to LaFleur's old job.

    • April 20th: Princeton replaced Johnson with his fellow Princeton alum and former teammate, Mitch Henderson. Henderson had been an assistant coach at Northwestern under Bill Carmody, who was his head coach in 1997 and 1998 with the Tigers.

    • May 13th: Henderson officially announced he staff at Princeton. He retained Brian Earl, who has spent the past four seasons in the program, and brought in Marcus Jenkins, who spent the past four seasons as the director of basketball operations at Richmond. The third assistant is Craig Moore.

    • May 19th: Sydney Johnson announced his coaching staff at Fairfield. He brought Tony Newsom, who was on his staff at Princeton for the past four years, in as an associate head coach. He hired Brian Nash as an assistant after Nash took last season off. Completing his staff, Johnson retained Tyson Wheeler, the director of basketball operations under Cooley, as an assistant coach.

    • June 7th: Carmody hired former Rutgers head coach Fred Hill to replace Henderson on his staff, meaning that the firing of one crappy former Big East coach led to another crappy former Big East head coach getting a new job.

  • March 28th: Luther Riley was hired out of the high school ranks to replace Larry Smith as head coach of the Alcorn State Braves.
March 12th: Jim Boylen will never get the chance to usher in the Pac-12 era at Utah as he was fired after a second straight losing season. He was with the Utes for four years. On the same day, Georgia Tech also fired head coach Paul Hewitt after 11 seasons with the Yellow Jackets. Hewitt probably lasted longer than he should have, as the contract he signed after his 2004 run to the Final Four had a $7.2 million buyout that he will be paid monthly over the next five years.
  • March 28th: Georgia Tech had their options for a replacement limited due to the amount of money that they have to pay Hewitt over the next five years, but they were still able to make a pretty good hire in Dayton's Brian Gregory.

    • April 2nd: Dayton hired one of the most promising young assistant coaches in the country as they landed Arizona assistant coach Archie Miller. Miller is the younger brother of Arizona head coach Sean Miller.

    • April 28th: After hiring Kevin Kuwik away from Thad Matta's staff at Ohio State, Miller grabbed Allen Griffin off of Mo Cassara's staff at Hofstra. On the same day, Gregg Marshall replaced Chad Dollar, who left Wichita State to become an assistant at Georgia Tech, with Dana Ford.

    • May 5th: Brian Gregory completed his staff at Georgia by officially hiring his longtime assistant at Dayton, Billy Schmidt. Former Wichita State assistant Chad Dollar and former DePaul director of basketball operations Josh Postorino were Gregory's other two hires.

    • May 19th: Joe Pasternack, who was the head coach at New Orleans until the school decided to drop from D-I to D-III, replaced Archie Miller as an assistant at Arizona.

    • June 2nd: With an opening on his staff at Hofstra, Cassara hired former UConn assistant Pat Sellers, who had to spend last season coaching in China after he was implicated in the Nate Miles scandal with the Huskies.

    • June 6th: Archie Miller completed his staff, as he officially hired Tom Ostrom, who had spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach under John Pelphrey at Arkansas before Pelphrey lost his job.

    • June 15th: Former UConn player Jamal Coombs-McDaniel decided to transfer to Hofstra in large part due to the fact that Sellers was hired as an assistant coach there.

    • June 16th: Former Oregon guard Malcolm Armstead transferred to Wichita State where Dana Ford, who was an assistant where Armstead played in JuCo, was hired.

  • April 3rd: Utah ended their search for a head coach by signing Larry Krystkowiak to a five-year contract. Krystkowiak spent last season as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets.

    • April 12th: Will Clyburn, Utah's leading scorer and rebounder last season, was one of eight players to transfer out of the program once Krystkowiak was hired. Clyburn decided to transfer to Iowa State.

    • April 18th: Krystkowiak officially completed his coaching staff. On the 8th, he hired Tommy Connor, a Utah alum that spent the past 12 seasons as the head coach at Westminster College. On the 10th, DeMarlo Slocum was hired as an assistant coach after three years in the same position at Colorado State. And finally, on April 18th, Krystkowiak hired Andy Hill, who had spent the past seven seasons as an assistant at Montana, two of which were under Krystkowiak during his tenure with the Grizzlies.

    • May 10th: Montana hired Jonathon Metzger-Jones away from UC-Santa Barbara to replace the departed Andy Hill.

    • June 1st: JJ O'Brien, who was another one of the eight transfers out of the Utah program, eventually settled on San Diego State, where he will have three seasons of eligibility left.

    • June 7th: In the ugliest of the Utah transfers, Josh Sharp, who spent the past two seasons on a Mormon mission, decided to transfer to BYU. Sharp never played for Utah, redshirting the 2008-2009 season.
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Wednesday Morning Dump

- If you only read one thing today, make sure that it is this: Joe Posnanski's reflection on Lorenzo Charles (This may have been the best thing I've read all month, maybe all year)

- Luke Winn is always a must-read. He may be a bit early, but we'll give him a free pass because he's such a damn-good writer. He previews everything and everything 2011-2012

- The coaching carousel never ends: Bethune-Cookman fired head coach Clifford Reed a week before the July recruiting period begins

- Jeff Goodman breifs us on the top-20 best non-conference games of 2011-2012

- Eamonn Brennan explains that while Billy Kennedy will provide a spark tot he Texas A&M hoops program, the Aggie's style of play isn't about to speed up

Georgia has notified the NCAA of possible violations dealing with incoming frshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

- Jason King drops a great list of the most overpaid coaches in college hoops. More on overpaid coaches from Chicago Bball

- Jason King also breaks down the best three-point shooters in college hoops

- Many changes will take place in the SEC next season. One change that will probably not occur is the switch to a 22-game schedule

- We've said this before: Every now and again, the NCAA get's one right. They are allowing the Unvieristy of Michigan to help profide financial support to recruit Austin Hatch, who was involved in a serious plane crash that took the lives of his father and stepmother

- Former-Buckeye Chris Jent will return to Columbus as an assistant coach

- Forerm-Aztec star Tony Bland has joined Steve Fisher's staff at SDSU as an assistant

- Saint Peter's head coach John Dunne received an extension from the school

- A fresh-faced, young Duke team is just the thing to "jump-start" Coach-K's coaching engine

- Former-Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter has been hired by Miami (OH) as an assistant coach

- Former-Arkansas sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke is set to visit Butler

- Gary Parrish provides his entirely-too-early All-American picks for 2012

- Villanova By The Numbers provides an excellent breakdown of the FIBA U19 Championships

- A great recap of the 2011 ACC recruiting landscape

- John Clay paints a beautiful portrait of Jonathan McIntyre, a faithful onliner supporter of Kentucky athletics who died earlier this week

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rick Barnes, Texas, and player vs. team success

Sometimes there is a downside to being consistently good.

People start to ask why you never broach greatness. They wonder when the next step will occur. They are only satisfied with good enough for so long. And that is exactly what Rick Barnes is experiencing right now.

The Texas head coach has ushered in a new era in Longhorn basketball. No longer is hoops just something Texans do to take their mind off the football-less doldrums of winter. But in his 13 years at Texas, he's turned the hoops program from something to keep them busy into something that they actually follow. Its a golden era for hoops in Austin. Barnes hasn't missed an NCAA Tournament in tenure with the Longhorns. He's consistently competing for Big 12 titles, he made a Final Four, and he churns outs NBA players at as high of a clip as any coach in the country.

But his recent lack of on-court success is starting to get noticed. His Final Four came in 2003. His last Elite 8 came in 2008. The past two seasons have started so promising -- in 2010, the Longhorns spent time at No. 1 in the country and in 2011, Texas was on pace to have a record-setting defense -- and finished in disaster, as UT failed to make it to the second weekend of the tournament.

Barnes, perhaps justly, has earned the reputation of being a recruiter more than a coach; of being a guy that simply rolls the ball out on the court and lets his team play. Lute Olson had the same reputation. Jim Calhoun did for a while as well. Its enough that the Star-Telegram brought up Barnes' comments in a March, 2010, ESPN the Magazine article. In that ESPN article, Barnes said that as much as he would love to win a national title, he's obsessed with trying to get his players to live out their NBA dreams. "I'd give up a national title for all of our guys to be able to live their dream," he said.

He clarified those comments with Mike Jones on Wednesday:

"I was asked, 'Would you rather guys go to the NBA or would you rather win a national championship,'" Barnes said. "Obviously, my response was you'd like to do both. I was pinned down again and asked to pick one or the other."

"So, now they're asking me do I want to be selfish on my behalf. Think about it. If I had said I would rather us win a national championship than have one of our players ever get to achieve his dream, I'd be done in coaching. Everyone would say, 'You don't want to play for him because he doesn't care [about player development].' I was asked a question I couldn't really answer a smart way."

Given the opportunity to clarify, Barnes responded this way:

"If you asked me in the end would I want us to win a bunch of championships and our players not succeed -- I wouldn't want to do that. But on the other hand, if you could guarantee that every player you coach could have a chance to live out his dream -- and I'm not just talking about basketball, but life -- and that means your guys aren't going to win a championship, what would you take? I'd have to say I would want our guys to have a chance to live their dreams. Does that mean I don't care? That's not what I'm saying at all. Because I'm smart enough to realize if these guys live their dream, we're going to keep putting ourselves in position and one day it is going to come together, and we're going to win it. We do this for a lot of reasons. But if I didn't have the desire to win it, I wouldn't do this."
Personally, I don't think that Barnes needed to clarify his comments.

I think that his initial answer was perfect, and I hope that its the way every coach in the country feels.

The idea that Barnes doesn't want to win a national title is foolish. Of course he does. You don't get into the coaching profession -- one that requires endless hours on the road, long nights breaking down film, days and weeks away from your loved ones, and the ability to suck up to a 16 year old and his family -- without the desire to win. Obviously, there are some folks that are strictly in it for the paycheck. And there are some folks that do it simply because they love coaching and they love the game.

But at the end of the day, a coach is still a competitor. They are going to want to win as much as possible and on as big of a stage as possible. Its like being a doctor -- some practice medicine because they want to own a big house and a fancy car and some simply love being a doctor, but at the end of the day every doctor in the world is going to do their damnedest to help, sometimes even safe the life, of their patients.

For Barnes -- and for coaches in general -- the bigger issue is that they are coaching student-athletes. And since these student-athletes are not professionals and are not allowed to make money until they leave the amateur ranks, the role of a collegiate coach is that of a teacher.

The Longhorn players are basketball majors, and Barnes is their professor. His role is to make them the best basketball players that they can be and to help them find individual success and happiness. The fact that he has been successful in producing pros is a major reason why he continues to land top-flight high school talent, and sending three players to the first round this year -- including Tristan Thompson at No. 4 and Cory Joseph at No. 29, both of which were a surprise -- only helped that fact.

Barnes' job at Texas is to produce pros. If he's doing his job correctly, then along the way he is going to have some very good teams, wins some conference championships, and compete for Final Fours and national titles.

But he shouldn't put his success as a coach over the future success of his players, and he certainly shouldn't do it in a public forum.
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Cincinnati and their mediocre scheduling

Cincinnati was one of the last teams in the country to lose a game in 2010-2011.

It took until January 9th, when the Bearcats took a trip to Philly to play Villanova, for Mick Cronin's club to lose a game. And while Cincinnati did, eventually, earn a seven seed in the Big East Tournament and a six seed in the NCAA Tournament, that undefeated streak was more the result of a lackluster non-conference schedule that the Bearcats being a powerhouse last year.

According to Kenpom, Cincinnati played the 327th best non-conference schedule last season. Not all of that is Cronin's fault, mind you. He couldn't have predicted that both Dayton and Oklahoma were going to be way down. But regardless of fault, the fact of the matter is that the Bearcats only played one quality team outside of the Big East, and that was Xavier, their crosstown rival. If it wasn't for a very strong Big East and a down year across college hoops, the Bearcats would have been in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament despite winning 25 games.

(Ed. Note: Is there a coach that has a more entertaining series of pissed-off pictures? Seriously, Google image Mick Cronin. That little man can sure get riled up.)

There may be more at work here than Cronin simply not wanting to schedule quality competition. Andy Katz explains:

Mick Cronin makes a good point in the difficulties of getting into the elite tournaments as a Big East team. Tournaments are not allowed to take two teams from a conference, and a team can return to a tournament on a four-year cycle.
Its an interesting point to make.

There are a limited number of elite preseason tournaments. Some -- the CBE Classic, the Legends Classic, the Preseason NIT, the Coaches vs. Cancer -- are essentially four team tournaments. Of the six or seven other tournaments, only two or three a year end up having truly quality competition throughout. As a member of the Big East -- a conference that is also home to teams like UConn, Georgetown, Villanova, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Notre Dame, St. John's, and West Virginia -- and with those tournaments only needing to wait four years to bring back one of the Big East's big boys, the Bearcats end up in a less-than-desirable situation.

They don't get those neutral court games against top 25 teams.

And we all know how difficult it can be to convince some of those powerhouse programs to leave their home state in November or December.

The Bearcats end up in a bind. They have their built in rivalry game with Xavier, who is consistently a top 25 program, but after that, Cincinnati is going to struggle to build a competitive non-conference schedule. They did manage to schedule home-and-homes with Georgia and Oklahoma, but those would be much more impressive games in football than they are in hoops.

Cronin and Cincinnati are not without fault, but when criticizing the Bearcat's non-conference scheduling, keep in mind that its not necessarily a result of the program wanting to avoid paying competitive non-conference competition.
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Six Degrees of a Coaching Change: Tracking the Coaching Carousel Part I

It started on February 7th.

That's when Heath Schroyer had his contract terminated by the University of Wyoming. Brought in to clean up a program rife with academic and behavioral problems, the higher-ups in the Cowboy athletic department seemingly got fed up with a mediocre basketball team. Schroyer was just 49-68 in his three and a half seasons in Laramie.

It ended 136 days later.

(photo credit: Halcyon Hoops)

On June 23rd, Joe Jones, an associate head coach at Boston College last season, took over for Pat Chambers, the new Penn State head coach, as the head coach of Boston University. Jones' hiring at BU capped a spring that saw 54 Division I head coaching jobs change hands and saw at least eight different head coaches leverage a raise and an extension out of their current employers by expressing -- or by having the media express -- their interest in a different position.

How did it all happen? What events created the biggest ripples? How far did those ripples extend?

Over the coming days, we will be chronicling the story of the 2011 Coaching Carousel. This was originally supposed to be a single post, but the more research we did and the further that we dug into the back ground, the more interesting it got. For example, can you guess how Keno Davis played a role in the hiring of Fred Hill as an assistant at Northwestern? Or how Paul Hewitt factored into Jamal Coombs-McDaniel's decision to transfer to Hofstra? Or how in the world Pat Knight getting axed at Texas Tech allowed Jones to be named the head coach at BU?

A couple of disclaimers: for starters, we are only looking at the spin cycles started by a head coaching change. Dissecting all of the movement among assistant coaches would be far too time-consuming and, frankly, not quite as interesting. We also will be limiting the folks on the "carousel" to official assistants. Tracking why a video coordinator took the director of basketball operations position at a fellow SWAC school isn't going to make it onto this list.

And as always, please inform us as to anything we may have missed.

So without further ado, the 2011 Coaching Carousel Part I:

February 7th: Heath Schroyer is fired as the head coach of the Wyoming basketball team after leading the Cowboys to just an 8-15 record, 1-8 in the MWC, at that point in the season. Fred Langley, who was the associate head coach at the time, took over for Schroyer as the interim coach for the remainder of the season. The Cowboys went 2-6 under Langley, closing out the season with a loss in the first round of the MWC Tournament, but it wasn't enough to save Langley's job.
  • March 31st: Wyoming officially names Larry Shyatt their new head coach. Its his second stint as the head coach of the Cowboys, leading the team to a 12-16 record in the 1997-1998 season. Shyatt was the associate head coach at Florida last season.

  • April 5th: Shyatt's first move as head coach was to scoop up former UCLA assistant coach Scott Duncan to take over the associate head coaching position at Wyoming. That's the same Scott Duncan that may have left Ben Howland to deal with an NCAA violation for talking to Sports Illustrated about a recruit. Shyatt also hired his son, who was an assistant at North Florida, to his coaching staff.

  • April 12th: To replace Shyatt -- and a couple of other members of his staff that left during the spring -- Florida head coach Billy Donovan hires Norm Roberts and John Pelphrey. Norm Roberts was replaced at St. John's a year ago by Steve Lavin. We'll get into the Pelphrey situation in a bit.

  • April 18th: Shyatt hired former Kentucky player Allen Edwards as the final member of his staff. Edwards spent last season at Western Kentucky.

  • June 7th: Jake Morton replaced Allen Edwards on Ken McDonald's staff at Western Kentucky. Morton had been an assistant at Miami the past four seasons.

  • June 8th: Howland replaces Duncan with Korey McCray, a 32 year old AAU coach for the Atlanta Celtics. The goal? For the Bruins to create a pipeline into the fertile recruiting grounds of Georgia.

  • June 20th: It only took two weeks for McCray's hiring to begin to pay dividends, as Jordan Adams, a talented, 6'5" recruit from Georgia, committed to UCLA. He cited McCray's hiring as the reason for his commitment.
February 27th: This was a bad day to be a mediocre head basketball coach. Georgia State's Rod Barnes got the axe before he even had a chance to lead his team into the CAA Tournament (although it may have worked in his favor, but more on that later). Dave Calloway was forced out at Monmouth after yet another disappointing season at the New Jersey school, amassing all of 48 wins the past five seasons. At Stetson, Derek Waugh ran into the same issue that Calloway did. Despite winning by double digits at Wake Forest this past season, Waugh was a casualty of another disappointing season.
  • March 20th: Ron Hunter didn't hesitate. After spending 17 years as the head coach at IUPUI -- you might know him as the coach that sparked the Samaritan's Feet movement in college coaching -- Hunter jumped at the opportunity to take over at Georgia State, a school many believe is a sleeping giant situated in Atlanta.

    • April 22nd: Todd Howard, who had spent the past 10 seasons as the associate head coach under Hunter, was named Hunter's successor.

    • April 28th: Ron Hunter announced his staff at Georgia State. Darryl LaBarrie, who lost his job at Georgia Tech when Paul Hewitt got fired, was hired as the associate head coach. Claude Purdue was hired as an assistant coach after working up Tim Floyd at UTEP last season. And finally, Everick Sullivan, who spent last season as the associate head coach at Eastern Kentucky, was hired as an assistant coach.

    • June 10th: Eastern Kentucky replaced Sullivan with Richie Riley, who had spent the past two seasons with Coastal Carolina.

    • June 27th: Completing the cycle, Cliff Ellis hired Mamadou N'Diaye to replace Riley. N'Diaye played for Ellis at Auburn.

  • March 29th: King Rice, the man who just may have the best name in the college coaching profession, was named the new head coach at Monmouth. Rice had spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach under Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt.

    • April 15th: Stallings didn't wait long to replace Rice on his staff, snagging up Tulsa's associate head coach David Cason to come on as an assistant. Cason played for Stallings when Stallings was the head coach of Southern Illinois.

    • May 3rd: To replace Cason on his staff, Doug Wojcik hired Emmett Davis as an assistant coach. Davis lost his job as the head coach at Colgate this spring.

    • May 13th: Rice announced his staff at Monmouth. He hired former teammates Brian Reese (who was an assistant at High Point) and Derrick Phelps (the video coordinator at Fordham) as well as longtime coach Rick Callahan, who spent the past two seasons at Radford.

  • April 20th: Stetson kept it in conference with their head coaching hire. The Hatters dipped their hands into Rick Byrd's Belmont program and hired longtime assistant Casey Alexander to his first head coaching position. Alexander had learned under Byrd, who turned Belmont into a low-major powerhouse, for 16 seasons, the past nine as associate head coach. Byrd replaced Alexander with (a different) Mark Price.
March 3rd: Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dave Balza got reassigned, taking over as the executive director of the Eagles' Club. Balza wasn't technically fired, as he will work through the remainder of his contract, but he won't be doing it as FGCU's basketball coach.
  • March 31st: Andy Enfield will be. Enfield, who was an assistant under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State since 2006, will be just the second head coach in the history of FGCU.

  • April 15th: Enfield named his staff at Florida Gulf Coast. He brought Michael Fly with him from Florida State, where Fly had been the video coordinator for three years. He pulled Marty Richter from a position as a scout for ESPN. And finally, Enfield added Kevin Norris, who had spent last two season with Buzz Peterson at UNC-Wilmington.

  • April 16th: To replace Norris at UNCW, Peterson hired Andre Gray from Western Carolina where he was their recruiting coordinator.

  • April 19th: The replace Enfield on his staff, Hamilton hired former Nevada assistant coach Dennis Gates. This isn't his first stop in Tallahassee. Gates was a graduate assistant in 2004-2005.
March 7th: The bloodiest day in the 2011 coaching carousel, five head coaches lost their job on March 7th of this year. Pat Knight got the axe at Texas Tech after another disappointing season and Jim Les lost his job at Bradley, although both of them will be coaching next season (more on that later). After losing 19 straight to close out a four win season, Pat Kennedy was relieved of his duties at Towson. Poor academic performance and not an 8-23 record did in Tony Ingle at Kennesaw State. And finally, Kirk Earlywine's contract was not renewed by Eastern Washington.
  • March 20th: In what may end up being the best hire of this year's coaching carousel, Texas Tech hired Billy Gillispie, also known as the guy that turned UTEP and Texas A&M around almost immediately before flaming out in spectacular fashion at Kentucky. Don't be surprised if Gillispie is able to make the Red Raiders relevant.

    • April 19th: Chris Walker was hired by Gillispie as the associate head coach of the Red Raiders. He left Villanova, where he had the same title, to take the job at Texas Tech.

    • May 9th: To replace Walker, Villanova head coach Jay Wright hired former assistant Billy Lange. At the time, Lange was the head coach at the Naval Academy, opening up yet another head coaching gig. This is when it starts to get a bit crazy.

    • May 23rd: With the head coaching gig open at Navy, Ed DeChellis opted to leave his position as the head coach at Penn State to take the job. That sure does say something about Penn State hoops, doesn't it?

      • June 16th: Ed DeChellis announced his coaching staff at Navy. As you might imagine, it will look quite similar to the one he had at Penn State. Kurt Kanaskie and Dan Earl made the move from State College to Annapolis as associate head coaches and DJ Black made the move as an assistant coach. DeChellis also announced that Jason Crafton and Aaron Goodman will remain on with the new coaching staff.

    • June 1st: Surprisingly, Gillispie hired Derrick Jasper as one of his graduate assistants. I say surprisingly because it wasn't a secret that Jasper, who played for Gillispie for a season at Kentucky, did not get along well with his head coach.

    • June 3rd: Penn State announced the hiring of Pat Chambers as the successor to Ed DeChellis. Chambers comes from Boston University, where he led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA Tournament in his second season at the helm. Coincidentally enough, Chambers was the associate head coach at Villanova until 2009, when he got the BU job and was replaced by Chris Walker whose decision to head to Texas Tech resulted in Chambers' move to the Big Ten.

    • June 23rd: Joe Jones was named the head coach at Boston University, which filled the last available head coaching position. A former assistant at Villanova, Jones just finished his first season as the associate head coach at Boston College after leaving his gig as the head coach at Columbia.

  • March 27th: After spending three seasons as the head coach at Kent State -- the last two of which he won the MAC coach of the year award -- Geno Ford left to take over for Jim Les at Bradley. Ford didn't exactly leave KSU on the best terms as he is currently in the midst of a legal battle with the school.

    • April 6th: Ron Senderoff, who spent the past seven years as an assistant coach under Ford at Kent State, was promoted to head coach.

      • April 15th: Senderhoff kept most of the Kent State staff intact, but he did hire former player Eric Haut as an assistant. Haut had spent the past two years as an assistant coach at TCU.

      • June 2nd: SMU's Reggie Brown was hired to replace Haut at TCU. Brown had spent two seasons at SMU previously.

    • April 28th: Jaden Uken, who was the director of basketball operations for Ford at Kent State, followed him to Bradley where he was named an assistant coach.

    • June 13th: Ford completed his staff at Bradley by hiring former Boise State head coach Greg Graham to be his lead assistant.

  • March 29th: Eastern Washington went with a non-traditional method of hiring a new head coach -- they reached into the D-III ranks, signing Jim Hayford away from Whitworth, where he had won 20 games the past eight seasons.

    • April 19th: Hayford announced his coaching staff. Craig Fortier came with him from Whitworth and Shantay Liggins remained on the staff from the Kirk Earlywine era. The most surprising hire, however, was Craig Ehlo, the former NBA player who kicked off his coaching career.

  • April 4th: Towson hired one of the fastest risers in college hoops in Pat Skerry. Skerry, who got his first head coaching job at just 26, went from Rhode Island to Providence to Pitt in the span of three years.

    • April 19th: Jamie Dixon replaced Skerry, who was only on his staff for one season, with Bill Barton, who spent the previous year at Marshall.

    • April 26th: The first hire that Skerry made at Towson was his former colleague Kevin Clark. Clark and Skerry worked together as assistants at URI.

      • June 27th: Jimmy Baron replaced Clark at URI with Lenny Harris, a longtime assistant at NC State that was out of a job after Sidney Lowe was fired.

    • May 14th: The son of Bill Murray and a former assistant at both Arizona and Wagner, Skerry added to his coaching staff by hiring Luke Murray.

    • May 29th: Skerry completed his coaching staff by trying to ramp up his recruiting. His final hire was Kenny Johnson, who is affiliated with DC's Team Takeover AAU program.

    • June 3rd: To replace Barton at Marshall, Tom Herrion hired Jorge Fernandez. Fernandez had spent the past seven years at Miami, the last four as associate head coach, before having to find a new job when Frank Haith went to Missouri.

  • April 20th: Kennesaw State opted to hire former VMI big man Lewis Preston as their new head coach in large part due to Preston's emphasis on academics. Preston left his post as a Penn State assistant to take the KSU gig.

    • May 11th: Preston's first hire at KSU was Jimmy Lallathin, who was promoted to assistant coach in 2010-2011 in his fourth year on the Miami-OH staff.

      • June 14th: Charlie Coles made an interesting hire to replace Lallathin on his staff with the Redhawks -- Todd Lickliter. If you remember, Lickliter was once a hotshot young coach with Butler before flaming out after three years at Iowa.

    • June 1st: Lewis Preston hired Mike Smith away from Jacksonville State. The two were teammates professionally in Finland.

    • June 22nd: Preston completed his staff at KSU by hiring Tim Morris, who spent last season as a graduate assistant with Alabama.
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