College basketball coaching carousel continues to spin, but just a pair of jobs remain
The coaching carousel continued to spin Thursday when two schools picked new coaches.
Binghamton announced the hiring of Rider coach Tommy Dempsey, and Rider, in turn, promoted assistant Kevin Baggett to the top spot.
There still are two open jobs, at Brown and Mississippi Valley State. Brown's new athletic director doesn't officially come on board until June 1, and a new coach might not be named until then; that job has been open since mid-March.
Here's a look at all the coaching changes this offseason.
Former coach: Jeff Reynolds New coach: Dave Pilipovich Buzz: Pilipovich, a Falcons assistant, was named interim coach when Reynolds was fired in February, then was given the full-time job in March.
Former coach: Mark Macon New coach: Tommy Dempsey. Buzz: Macon was fired in late April after the Bearcats finished 2-29 this past season; he was 24-68 in his three seasons as coach. Dempsey had been Rider's coach for the past seven seasons; he won 119 games with the Broncs. Rider is in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; that's considered a much stronger league than America East, which is Binghamton's home.
Former coach: Jesse Agel New coach: TBD. Candidates could include Penn assistant Mike Martin, Brown interim coach T.J. Sorrentine and Rhode Island College coach Bob Walsh. Buzz: Agel lasted just four seasons, winning 39 games, before being fired in early March.
Former coach: Tom Parrotta New coach: Jim Baron Buzz: Baron was fired after 11 seasons at Rhode Island, but quickly got the Canisius job. Canisius has averaged barely 10 wins over the past six seasons.
Former coach: Ernie Zeigler New coach: Keno Davis Buzz: Davis was fired in 2010 after two seasons at Providence and was out of basketball this season. He took Drake to the NCAA tourney in his only season as Bulldogs coach in 2008.
Former coach: Bobby Cremins New coach: Doug Wojcik Buzz: Cremins, 64, retired in March after missing the last two months of the season for a medical leave of absence. Wojcik was fired in March after seven seasons at Tulsa; he averaged 20 wins but never took the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tourney.
Former coach: Tim Miles New coach: Larry Eustachy Buzz: Miles spent five seasons with the Rams and guided them to the NCAA tourney this season. He left to become Nebraska's coach. Eustachy, who guided Southern Miss to the NCAA tourney this season, was hired as the replacement. He spent eight seasons at Southern Miss and won 142 games, though this season's appearance was the only NCAA bid the Golden Eagles earned in his tenure. Southern Miss did have four 20-win seasons under Eustachy.
Former coach: Ron Everhart New coach: Long Island coach Jim Ferry Buzz: Everhart did a solid job rebuilding a program that was in disarray when he got there, but he never got the Dukes into the NCAA tourney and that evidently caused school officials to fire him after six seasons and 99 wins. Ferry was hired away from Long Island, where he had coached for 10 seasons and led the Blackbirds to two NCAA appearances. He also has been a head coach at Division III Plymouth (N.H.) State and Division II Adelphi (N.Y.); he spent three seasons at Adelphi and guided them to the Division II tourney in each of those seasons.
Former coach: Mike Miller New coach: Jay Spoonhour Buzz: Miller was fired after seven seasons and 75 total victories. Spoonhour, whose dad, Charlie, coached at Southwest Missouri State, Saint Louis and UNLV, had spent the past three seasons as coach at Moberly Area CC in Moberly, Mo. He is a former assistant at SLU, Valparaiso, UNLV, Missouri and UT San Antonio.
Former coach: Isiah Thomas New coach: Richard Pitino Buzz: Thomas said his firing caught him off-guard, but he won just 26 games in three seasons. Pitino, who turns 30 in September, is another big name for FIU. He spent last season as an assistant for his dad at Louisville; before that, he was an assistant at Florida under Billy Donovan for two seasons, and he also has been an assistant at Duquesne and Northeastern.
Former coach: Bobby Washington New coach: Joseph Price Buzz: Washington coached the Tigers for three seasons and was reassigned after his team won just four games this past season. He took over a program facing NCAA sanctions for low APR scores. Price was an assistant at Lamar this past season, and also has been an assistant at Ball State, IUPUI and Morehead State. He was a guard at Notre Dame under Digger Phelps, then played pro ball overseas for 13 seasons.
Former coach: Joe O'Brien New coach: Bill Evans Buzz: O'Brien, who won 56 games in six seasons, was fired. Evans was an assistant at Montana, Idaho State's rival in the Big Sky Conference. He also is the former coach at Southern Utah.
Former coach: Bruce Weber New coach: John Groce Buzz: Weber won 210 games in nine seasons with the Illini and led them to a national runner-up spot in 2005. But the program seemed to have plateaued a few seasons ago. Groce had been coach at Ohio for four seasons; he led the Bobcats to two NCAA tourneys, including a Sweet 16 appearance this season. He is a former assistant at Butler, Xavier and Ohio State under Thad Matta.
Former coach: Tim Jankovich New coach: Dan Muller Buzz: Jankovich left to become SMU's coach-in-waiting under Larry Brown. He was 105-64 with the Redbirds, with four NIT appearances but no NCAA tourney bids in five seasons. Muller is a former Illinois State star player who had been an assistant at Vanderbilt for the past 12 seasons.
Former coach: Frank Martin New coach: Bruce Weber Buzz: Martin enjoyed a successful five-year run at Kansas State, winning 117 games. But he somewhat surprisingly left for South Carolina. That led to the somewhat surprising decision by K-State officials to hire Weber, who had been let go at Illinois a few weeks before being hired by the Wildcats.
Former coach: Jim Ferry New coach: Jack Perri Buzz: Ferry spent 10 seasons at LIU and guided the Blackbirds to two NCAA bids. Perri, his lead assistant, was promoted to replace him. Perri was an assistant for seven seasons under Ferry and is a former head coach at Division III Rhode Island College.
Former coach: Trent Johnson New coach: Johnny Jones Buzz: Johnson left Stanford and won 67 games in four seasons at LSU, including once NCAA appearance, before deciding to head to TCU. The Horned Frogs are getting ready to move into the Big 12. Jones arrives from North Texas, where he won 190 games in 11 seasons and took the Mean Green to two NCAA appearances. Jones is a former Tigers guard who played for Dale Brown. Jones also served as an LSU assistant for 12 seasons.
Former coach: Charlie Coles New coach: John Cooper Buzz: Coles, who turned 70 in February, retired after 16 seasons at the school; the RedHawks won 263 games during his tenure. Cooper had quickly turned around Tennessee State in his three seasons with the Tigers; he is a former Auburn, Oregon and South Carolina assistant.
Former coach: Sean Woods New coach: TBD Buzz: Woods, who led the Delta Devils to the NCAA tourney this past season, left for the Southern Miss job. He won 50 games in four seasons at Valley.
Former coach: Rick Stansbury New coach: Rick Ray Buzz: Stansbury retired after 14 seasons and 293 victories with the Bulldogs. As successful as he was, the general consensus seemed to be that his teams, more often than not, underachieved relative to their talent level. Ray had spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Clemson; he also has been an assistant at Purdue, Northern Illinois and Indiana State.
Former coach: Donnie Tyndall New coach: Sean Woods Buzz: Tyndall, who won 114 games and made two NCAA appearances in six seasons, left for Southern Miss in late April. Woods, who played point guard at Kentucky for Rick Pitino in the 1990s, was hired away from Mississippi Valley State. Woods guided the Delta Devils to the NCAA tourney this past season; they lost in a play-in game to Western Kentucky.
Former coach: Robert Burke New coach: Jamion Christian Buzz: Burke lasted just two seasons, winning only 17 games. Christian, 29, is a MSM grad who spent this season as an assistant at VCU; he also is a former assistant at William & Mary.
Former coach: Doc Sadler New coach: Tim Miles Buzz: Sadler was 101-89 in six seasons with the Huskers, but he never could get them to the NCAA tourney. He is considered an excellent tactician, but never could get the caliber of player needed to compete in the Big 12 or Big Ten. Miles had been coach at Colorado State; he led the Rams to the NCAA tourney this season.
Former coach: Jerry Eaves New coach: Cy Alexander Buzz: Eaves won just 99 games in 11 seasons with the Aggies. Alexander, 58, has had a long coaching career, including stints as head coach at MEAC rival South Carolina State (where he won five league titles) and at Tennessee State.
Former coach: Mike Adras New coach: Jack Murphy Buzz: Adras resigned in December; he won 193 games in 13 seasons and had been coach since Ben Howland left NAU to take over at Pittsburgh. Murphy, who was an assistant at Memphis, was hired to replace him. Murphy spent eight years at Arizona, his alma mater, in various roles under Lute Olson. He also is a former scout for the NBA's Denver Nuggets and had been an assistant at Memphis for three seasons.
Former coach: Johnny Jones New coach: Tony Benford Buzz: Jones left to coach LSU, his alma mater. He guided the Mean Green to 190 wins and two NCAA appearances in 11 seasons. Benford, a Texas native, had been serving as an assistant at Marquette and also was an assistant at Nebraska, New Mexico and Arizona State.
Former coach: John Groce New coach: Jim Christian Buzz: Groce led Ohio to two NCAA appearances in his four seasons at the school, and he left to take over at Illinois. The Bobcats turned to Christian, who had spent the past four seasons at TCU with middling results. Christian definitely knows the landscape, as he had coached at Kent State, Ohio's MAC rival, before leaving for TCU. With TCU moving into the Big 12, the pressure would have increased for Christian to oversee a winner. The pressure will be less at Ohio.
Former coach: Jim Baron New coach: Danny Hurley Buzz: Baron was fired after 11 seasons with the Rams; he had some pockets of success but never led them to the NCAAs. Hurley had done a quick turnaround job at Wagner, and the hope is his high school ties in New Jersey will help URI's recruiting efforts.
Former coach: Tommy Dempsey New coach: Kevin Baggett Buzz: Dempsey left after seven seasons to become coach at downtrodden Binghamton, and Rider officials promoted Baggett to take over. Baggett had been a Broncs assistant for the past six seasons.
Former coach: Don Friday New coach: Rob Krimmel Buzz: Friday resigned after four seasons and a 32-86 record. Krimmel, a former Saint Francis player, was his top assistant and was promoted to the top job a few days after Friday left. After his playing days with the Red Flash, Krimmel spent 12 years as an assistant at the school before moving up.
Former coach: Jimmy Tillette New coach: Benny Seltzer Buzz: Tillette had spent 15 seasons as the Bulldogs' coach before being fired. He led them to the NCAA tourney in 1999 and 2000, but they were 11-19 this season, their sixth consecutive losing record. Seltzer, who played at Washington State and was an assistant at Indiana the past four seasons, is a Birmingham native who grew up close to the Samford campus. Seltzer also is a former assistant at Marquette and Oklahoma.
Former coach: Matt Doherty New coach: Larry Brown Buzz: Doherty won 80 games in six seasons with the Mustangs, who will move from Conference USA to the Big East in 2013-14. SMU hasn't made the NCAA tourney since 1993. Brown was a surprising hire. He will turn 72 before the season starts and hasn't coached college ball since 1988, when he guided Kansas to the national title. He is the only coach in history with an NCAA title ring and an NBA title ring (with Detroit). He has a tough task: SMU was a middling program in a mid-major league and now is readying to move to the Big East.
Former coach: Darrin Horn New coach: Frank Martin Buzz: Horn, who was fired, never seemed to be a good fit with the Gamecocks. He frequently was overmatched on the sideline in the tough SEC East and averaged 15 wins in his four seasons at South Carolina. Martin was hired away from Kansas State, which is a far hotter program than South Carolina right now. It'll be up to Martin to change that.
Former coach: Chris Lowery New coach: Barry Hinson Buzz: Lowery enjoyed immediate success as the coach at his alma mater, leading SIU to NCAA appearances in each of his first three seasons at the school. But the Salukis didn't reach the NCAAs in any of the ensuing five seasons and Lowery was fired in early March. The replacement was a bit of a surprise. Hinson was director of basketball operations at Kansas, and he also is the former coach at Missouri State. While he enjoyed some success at Missouri State, he never led the Bears to the NCAAs in his nine seasons at the school.
Former coach: Larry Eustachy New coach: Donnie Tyndall Buzz: Eustachy was hired away by Colorado State after spending eight seasons at Southern Miss; he led Southern Miss to the NCAA tourney this past season. Tyndall arrives from Morehead State, where he guided the Eagles to a 114-84 mark in six seasons and led them to two NCAA appearances in a league (Ohio Valley) traditionally dominated by Murray State. Tyndall also has been an assistant at Idaho, Middle Tennessee and LSU.
Former coach: Roger Reid New coach: Nick Robinson Buzz: Reid, a former BYU coach, retired after five seasons with the Thunderbirds. Robinson had been an assistant at LSU for the past three seasons; he also is a former Stanford assistant.
Former coach: Jim Christian New coach: Trent Johnson Buzz: Christian definitely was a hot commodity when TCU hired him away from Kent State after the 2007-08 season. But the Horned Frogs struggled under his watch, and with TCU readying to move to the Big 12, Christian obviously felt it was time to move on. He left for the Ohio job. Johnson, meanwhile, had just finished his fourth season at LSU. He took the Tigers to the NCAA tourney in his first season but had struggled since. As with Christian, he obviously felt the time was right to move on.
Former coach: John Cooper New coach: Travis Williams Buzz: Cooper left to take the Miami (Ohio) job. He did nice work in rebuilding the TSU program in three years. The Tigers won 20 games this season for the first time in 32 years. Williams quickly was promoted to replace his old boss. Williams is a former head coach at Division II Fort Valley (Ga.) State who also coached pro ball in China.
Former coach: Doug Wojcik New coach: Danny Manning Buzz: Wojcik is the winningest coach in school history, with 140 wins in seven seasons. But he never got the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tourney and he was let go after the season. Manning, who was the first pick in the 1988 NBA draft, had been an assistant at Kansas for the past five seasons; for four seasons before that, he was Bill Self's director of student-athlete development.
Former coach: Mike Davis New coach: Jerod Haase Buzz: Davis, the former coach at Indiana, averaged a bit more than 20 wins per season in his six years with UAB. He led the Blazers to one NCAA appearance but was fired after the season. Haase, who played at Kansas, had spent the past nine seasons as an assistant at North Carolina.
Former coach: Mike Dement New coach: Wes Miller Buzz: Dement was fired in mid-December, and Miller – a former guard for Roy Williams at North Carolina – was named the interim coach; he was given the fulltime job in March after guiding the Spartans to a 11-11 mark during his time as the interim. He is a former assistant at Elon and High Point, which also are located in North Carolina.
Former coach: Seth Greenberg New coach: James Johnson Buzz: Greenberg, who was fired in late April, took the Hokies to one NCAA appearance in his nine seasons at the school. Johnson was one of three Hokies assistants who had left this offseason. But after spending less than two weeks as an assistant at Clemson, he was hired to coach the Hokies. Interestingly, when announcing he was firing Greenberg, Tech athletic director Jim Weaver admitted that exit interviews conducted with the departing assistants was one reason he let Greenberg go.
Former coach: Danny Hurley New coach: Bashir Mason Buzz: Hurley oversaw a quick turnaround at Wagner, guiding the Seahawks to 38 wins in two seasons before leaving for Rhode Island. Mason was promoted from an assistant's job. At age 28, he will be the youngest Division I coach in the nation next season.
Former coach: Ken McDonald New coach: Ray Harper Buzz: McDonald was fired in January during his fourth season at the school. Western went to the NCAA tourney in his first season but fell quickly after that. Harper was named the interim coach and ended up leading the Hilltoppers back to the NCAAs after they shockingly won the Sun Belt tourney title. Harper won two Division II titles as coach of Kentucky Wesleyan.
Former coach: Randy Peele New coach: Pat Kelsey Buzz: Peele was fired after five seasons. Kelsey is a former Wake Forest and Xavier assistant who was out of basketball this season, saying he needed time away from the game to finally come to grips with Skip Prosser's death from a heart attack in the summer of 2007. He played for Prosser at Xavier and coached under him at Wake.
The bearded 31-year-old argued heatedly with the chair umpire on court over a mark in the clay next to the line but failed to convince the official to overturn the call. Later in the set, he was docked a point for a second code of conduct violation after again spitting and arguing with the chair umpire. Serving at 5-1 down in the third set, Paire made two seemingly deliberate wild double-faults to lose the match, tapping his last serve well wide while a ball-kid was still on the court retrieving his previous serve.
In the aftermath of completing the first unbeaten regular season in school history last week, Mark Few likened what top-ranked Gonzaga has accomplished so far to running a long-distance race. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 when the season began. Two more wins next week at the WCC tournament in Las Vegas and the Bulldogs will join even more select company with the NCAA Tournament on the horizon.