Saturday, March 27, 2010
Coaching carousel chatter
By Andy Katz
Coaching carousel chatter for a Saturday, culled from a variety of sources close to all the situations:
Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon was approached by Oregon but has decided to stay at Texas A&M after the Aggies were able to work out some compensation issues. Turgeon was once an assistant at Oregon under Jerry Green. Turgeon ultimately wanted to stay at Texas A&M. Oregon has approached Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, but the Gophers expect Smith to stay with them. A source with direct knowledge of the situation said Smith is beloved at the school, and while they have heard for three years that Smith would leave, they are confident he will stay with them.
Once Oregon is done with Smith (after not getting Turgeon), Gonzaga's Mark Few, Florida's Billy Donovan and Pitt's Jamie Dixon, the Ducks will have to refocus the search.
St. John’s interviewed Boston College’s Al Skinner on Friday and met with Siena’s Fran McCaffery on Saturday. The Red Storm is also expected to seek out Temple’s Fran Dunphy and Rhode Island’s Jim Baron for possible interviews over the next two days. On Monday, there is a chance St. John’s will reach out to ESPN analyst and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin.
McCaffery remains one of the two finalists at Seton Hall. The other one is still in question with a number of candidates like Mike Rice of Robert Morris and Kevin Willard of Iona in play. Richmond’s Chris Mooney had one conversation with the Pirates and is expected to get a new deal with the Spiders.
Iowa doesn't t want to wait for Dayton’s Brian Gregory to finish the NIT, and Gregory won't talk to the Hawkeyes until his season is over. Iowa was extremely interested in Gregory, so this move is odd for them if he’s truly the top choice. Iowa has talked to McCaffery and he remains a finalist with the Hawkeyes. Tulsa’s Doug Wojcik talked to Iowa and could be one of the other finalists. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall turned down an interview request. Murray State’s Billy Kennedy talked to Iowa as well.
DePaul wanted Tony Barbee of UTEP. He went to Auburn. The Blue Demons have tried to generate interest from Dixon and UCLA’s Ben Howland. They could be starting over.
UTEP is serious about Tim Floyd. The Miners can get over the USC issues as the school and Floyd wait for the committee on infractions to issue penalties. Houston is close to getting Billy Gillispie, the former Kentucky, Texas A&M and UTEP coach. But both of these C-USA jobs could still hit a snag due to the nature of both candidates.
Central Florida is said to be high on Marshall’s Donnie Jones and Kennedy. But UCF is far from having a deal with either.