Illinois-Chicago job almost filled

August, 17, 2010
8/17/10
9:20
AM ET
You see, that might not be a big deal to you. If you're the average college hoops fan, you probably don't care about the University of Illinois-Chicago -- more easily written as UIC, so that's what I'm going to go with from here on out -- and whether the Flames have hired someone to replace longtime coach Jimmy Collins, who resigned this summer.

I get that. It's cool. But we have bigger problems than a mere coaching vacancy at a dormant college hoops program in the Horizon League. This chart -- the chart that tells us when the coaching carousel has finally come to an end -- needs to be completed. We're not there yet. But we're getting closer.

UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt has decided on five finalists for the job. According to the Chicago Tribune, those finalists are Wisconsin assistant Howard Moore, Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery, Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor, Memphis assistant Willis Wilson, and University of New Orleans coach Joe Pasternack. The candidates are still meeting and interviewing and getting to know the higher-ups, but sources told the Tribune the hiring could be made within a week.

That's good news for the Flames, obviously. Collins steps down from his 14-year gig on Aug. 31, so it's probably about time to be finding someone to take his place. More than that, though, it's good news for us. The Chart is just begging to be completed. I thought we had it when Chicago State ended its interminable coaching search and hired Tracy Dildy (who, coincidentally, was previously an assistant at UIC).

We were so close. And still, The Chart remains. It's like Isiah Thomas' relationship with the New York Knicks. It refuses to die.

So come on, UIC! Close the gap! If you do, I promise never to write about the coaching carousel chart ever again. Do we have a deal?

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