How K-State coach Jerome Tang responds to being mentioned for open jobs like Arkansas

Kansas State coach Jerome Tang has been mentioned quite a bit over the past month as a possible candidate for job openings across the world of college basketball.

After putting together two winning seasons with the Wildcats, national experts have suggested that other teams such as SMU, USC and Arkansas would be wise to consider hiring him.

Both SMU and USC have already struck deals with other coaches, but Tang remains a potential candidate at Arkansas. In fact, the Razorbacks might have him at the top of their wish list.

Many have linked him to Arkansas as a potential replacement for Eric Musselman. College basketball reporter Jeff Goodman reported on Thursday that Mississippi coach Chris Beard was the Arkansas front-runner with Tang also in the mix. But things appeared to get more serious with Tang on Friday afternoon after Beard announced that he was staying put at Ole Miss.

Tang seems more than willing to listen to Arkansas about this opening. Can K-State also convince him to remain at his current coach, perhaps with a new contract or other incentives?

K-State fans are no doubt feeling nervous about the possibility of a SEC school swooping in and poaching their coach.

Tang was asked if he had a message for any EMAW supporters while he appeared on the Field of 68 YouTube show with Goodman on Thursday in Phoenix, where the Final Four will be played this weekend.

“Man, I am real thankful that I’m not on Jeff Goodman’s hot seat right now,” Tang said. “You are either doing well and somebody is putting your name in for a job or you’re not doing well and Jeff Goodman has got you on the hot seat.”

That answer certainly won’t end any speculation linking him to Arkansas. But it doesn’t mean he’s not staying at K-State, either.

As the interview went on, he spoke about how excited he is to have gained a commitment from Michigan transfer Dug McDaniel. He also spoke about how happy he is with the Wildcats.

“We are thankful,” Tang said. “We have got an unbelievable staff and we are blessed to be in Manhattan and excited about what we have for the future.”

Tang has been asked about being mentioned for other jobs in the past and he has consistently said that he is happy in Manhattan, but if other career opportunities present themselves he will pray on them and go from there.

“I have never commented on what I was going to (do) in the future at any point in my life,” Tang said last year. “If God wants me at K-State, this is where I’m going to be. If God wants to move me that is where I’m going to go. I’m going to follow his lead.”

Tang guided K-State to 26 wins and a trip to the Elite Eight in his first season with the Wildcats. He followed that up with 19 wins and a NIT appearance this year.

Tang recently signed a contract extension with K-State that runs until the end of the 2029-30 season.

He is set to make $3.1 million in salary next season. His buyout is $6 million, but it will drop to $5 million at the end of this month.