Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Coaching possibilites

June 19, 2008 Note: This is a post that originally appeared on Golden's Football Rankings and is reproduced here for posterity.

Since we have previously called for Tommy Amaker’s dismissal in this space, it is time to discuss some possibilities to replace him.

There are a number of things that might make a college basketball coaching position desirable: money, facilities, tradition, potential for growth in a program, and proximity to talent. The Michigan job is probably fairly mediocre in the first three categories, but scores high marks in the last two categories.

The first list is of big names that probably would not come to Michigan, but will get mentioned often by fans on message boards, kinda the way John Gruden’s name comes up whenever a major college football program has an opening.
(In no particular order)
1)Billy Gillespie, Texas A&M – He has done wonders resurrecting a moribund program in a major conference. But A&M has a lot of resources, and has demonstrated in the past they are willing to break the bank for a coach.

2)Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech – The Hokies were supposed to flounder at the bottom of the ACC when they joined the league. But he’s got them tied for the league lead

3)Jaime Dixon, Pitt – His fire and intensity would be a welcome change to Amaker’s stoic demeanor. As a Howland disciple, he can certainly get the most out of his players.

4)Randy Wright, Villanova – Daper, young, media savvy, everything you’d want to help grow a program.

5)Tom Crean, Marquette – A good X and O guy, he is a former MSU assistant who has been rumored as the heir apparent to Izzo when he retires. But his wife is Jim Harbaugh’s sister, and she grew up in Ann Arbor, so he could possibly consider a position here. Hiring him would infuriate the Spartan coaching staff and fan base and would ignite that rivalry

6)John Beilein, West Virginia – He’s a little older, but has a very established track record of making players and teams better. After losing most of his team from last year, the Mountaineers were picked for the bottom of the Big East this year. He has them flirting with the Top 25, and they just beat #1 UCLA.

The second list is some of the more attainable names, coaches at smaller schools who would consider Michigan a good step up in prestige.
(In no particular order)
1)Mark Turgeon, Wichita State – A Kansas native, he has guided the Shockers to four straight post season bids

2)Travis Ford, Umass – The former Kentucky guard has Umass on the verge of their second straight 20-win season after taking Eastern Kentucky to the Big Dance.

3)John Pelphrey, South Alabama -- Another former Wildcat who has won 20 or more games two years in a row at a place that does not have a great basketball tradition. Both Ford and Pelphrey might be waiting for Tubby Smith to leave UK.

4)Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois – 49-14 in his third year with the Salukis with two conference championships, with another one on the way. He is an SIU alum, so he might want to stay there. He was an assistant with Bruce Webber at Illinois before he took the job at SIU.

5)Tony Bennett, Washington State – In his first year at one the hardest places to recruit in the country, Dick Bennett’s kid has the Cougars 21-4 and on their way to the school’s first NCAA bid in 13 years.

6)Reggie Theus, New Mexico State – The former NBA player has the Aggies playing way above their heads. He is a UNLVslum, so he might hold out for that job.

7)Jeff Bzdelik, Air Force – The former coach of the Denver Nuggets has the falcons at the top of the Mountain West