Featured Fanpost: Potential Candidates to Replace Kevin Stallings

With the departure of Kevin Stallings now confirmed the following is a list of potential candidates to be the next head coach for Pitt basketball. No matter who is hired the next coach has to be given enough time to build, even if fans dislike the hire, which could take 5 years or more. I think they can get away with starting over now but there’s no way they can give the next hire less than 4 years, it will bury the program for good. I would doubt that they go the assistant coach route due to lack of head coaching experience, especially after canning a coach after just two years but if they did there are two names to look at. Travis Steele, associate head coach at Xavier and Ron Sanchez, associate head coach at Virginia. I wouldn’t expect them to hire an assistant but these would be two names to keep an eye on just in case there’s a surprise, Sanchez being the only assistant in the country I might take a risk on if I was in Lyke’s shoes. Starting off with the honorable mentions and counting down, some guys didn’t make the cut due to health, age, awaiting better opportunities, inexperience, etc.

Honorable Mentions: Thad Matta, Tom Crean, Kevin Willard, Mark Schmidt, Russell Turner, Tim Cluess, Tommy Amaker, John Becker

10. Eric Konkol-Louisiana Tech

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 63-35, (33-21)

Record at Current School: 63-35, (33-21)

Age: 41

Current Salary: $400,000/year

Konkol is from Wisconsin and was an assistant at George Mason and Miami (FL) before being named head coach of Louisiana Tech in 2015 after Mike White left for the Florida job. He went 23-10 in each of his first two years before going 16-15 this year, his first two years of success could be due to White which makes this hire risky. He hasn’t qualified for the NCAA tournament yet and will need to win the Conference USA tournament to have any hope of getting in this year.

9. Joe Dooley-Florida Golf Coast

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 171-109, (87-53)

Record at Current School: 114-57, (57-17)

Age: 52

Current Salary: $225,000/year

Dooley was the head coach of the ECU Pirates in the 90’s before bouncing around New Mexico, Wyoming, and Kansas as an assistant coach. When Andy Enfield left to take the USC job FGCU hired Dooley and he’s been solid posting a 57-17 conference record and guiding the team to two tournament appearances in five years. He also played at George Washington and is from New Jersey showing that he has been almost anywhere you can think of, possibly giving him the potential for a wide recruiting base.

8. John Brannen-Northern Kentucky

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 56-42, (32-22)

Record at Current School: 55-41, (32-22)

Age: 44

Current Salary: $300,000/year

Brannen is from Kentucky and played at Morehead State and Marshall before becoming an assistant coach at Charleston, Eastern Kentucky, St. Bonaventure, VCU, and Alabama. In 2015 he was hired at Northern Kentucky posting 9 wins in his first season before having a quick turn around with a 22 win season and 24 win season. He also had Northern Kentucky in the tournament last year but they are headed for the NIT this season, being from Kentucky he may want to stay more south, possibly Ole Miss or Georgia could interest him more.

7. Nathan Davis-Bucknell

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 209-71, (122-28)

Record at Current School: 68-32, (45-9)

Age: 43 (maybe)

Current Salary: UNKNOWN

Nathan Davis coached at D-III Randolph-Macon for six years before accepting the Bucknell job. While coaching the Yellow Jackets they compiled a 141-39 record making the Division III tournament each year and also reaching the Elite Eight in his last at the school. At Bucknell they’ve made one tournament appearance and clinched another this season while going a solid 68-32 in three years. He’s from Washington D.C. and also coached as an assistant at Emory & Henry, Navy, Bucknell, and Colgate. He’s done a fantastic job there and could get a big upgrade in the near future.

6. Ryan Odom-UMBC

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 73-44, (42-30)

Record at Current School: 44-23, (21-11)

Age: 43

Current Salary: UNKNOWN

Odom is from North Carolina and is the son of former Wake Forest head coach Dave Odom. Ryan was an assistant at Furman, UNC Asheville, American, Virginia Tech, and Charlotte. He also coached Division II Lenoir-Rhyne for a year before landing the UMBC job. In his first year for UMBC they went 21-13 and while he hasn’t made the tournament yet, he was named the top first year D-I coach in the nation in 2017. His record may not be as good as others but he has plenty of ties to ACC territory, and also has the Labradors one win away from going dancing.

5. Nate Oates-Buffalo

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 60-38, (36-18)

Record at Current School: 60-38, (36-18)

Age: 43

Current Salary: $355,500

Oates is currently the head coach of the Buffalo Bulls having already taken them to the NCAA tournament in his first year at the school. He’s from Wisconsin and was an assistant under Bob Hurley at Buffalo before Hurley left for the Arizona State job. He’s done a good job at Buffalo thus far and while he hasn’t stepped into ACC territory yet he has secured a commitment from a 4 star player at Buffalo, which seems like an impressive feat.

4. TJ Otzelberger-South Dakota State University

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 45-23, (21-9)

Record at Current School: 45-23, (21-9)

Age: 40

Current Salary: $325,000

TJ Otzelberger has spent all of his time outside of ACC territory but he has proven to be a solid recruiter and now head coach. He is from Wisconsin and was an assistant at Iowa State and Washington before being hired at South Dakota State. He was Fred Hoiberg’s ace recruiter while at Iowa State and went to Washington for a year to expand his experience. In his first year at South Dakota State he went 18-17 but he’s made it into the NCAA tournament in his first two years as a head coach, improving to 28-6 this season. Although he has little east coast ties it seems he could be a star in the making but would he want to come east and stay or would he use the job as a stepping stone. This would be a potential high risk-high reward hire.

3. Earl Grant-College of Charleston

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 77-55, (39-33)

Record at Current School: 77-55, (39-33)

Age: 41

Current Salary: $309,750

Grant is from South Carolina and has spent the majority of his career in ACC territory. He was an assistant at The Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State, and Clemson before getting the Charleston job. Grant is an interesting choice because of the amazing job he has done turning around Charleston. He had his wins increase each year from 9 to 17 to 25 to 26, showing he’s capable of doing a rebuild if given the time. He made the NIT in his third year and has clinched an NCAA tournament bid this year increasing his recognition. Based on his resume it’s as if he fits the mold of what they need perfectly, but he would need to handle the jump to the ACC fine and have the administration/fan base have complete patience.

2. Dan Hurley-Rhode Island

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 147-103, (82-58)

Record at Current School: 109-80, (57-46)

Age: 45

Current Salary: $300,000

Hurley is the son of the legendary Bob Hurley who coached at St. Anthony. He played at Seton Hall and was an assistant at Rutgers before coaching Wagner and then Rhode Island. Hurley has done an incredible job at Rhode Island having them ranked as high as #16 this year and has the Rams in great position to make the tournament again this year. Hurley is a fan favorite but he has reportedly denied the opportunity the last time around but it can’t hurt to kick the tires again just in case. You never know and he’s proven he’s capable of a rebuild based on what he has done with Rhode Island.

1. Eric Musselman-Nevada

Overall Record, (Conference Record): 78-26, (39-14)

Record at Current School: 78-26, (39-14)

Age: 53

Current Salary: $1,000,000

Musselman has been around the NBA and G-League, coaching the Warriors for two seasons and the Kings for one, he eventually wanted to try the college ranks and landed at Nevada. Since arriving he has posted records of 24-14, 28-7, and 26-5. Nevada won the CBI before making the NCAA tournament last year and then climbing as high as #20 this year in the polls and also a top 15 RPI. Mussleman doesn’t have many east coast ties aside from being born in Ohio, but the record shows that it may be well worth the risk. Despite a $1,000,000 per year salary through 2021-22, the buyout is only $1,000,000, and the remainder of his contract would not have to be paid.

*Records current as of March 7th 2018