Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball [Print without images]

Thursday, April 5, 2012
The latest from the coaching carousel

By Andy Katz
ESPN.com

It's become apparent this spring that getting fired will get you hired somewhere else.

Getting a pink slip from your former school is no longer considered a negative because it gets you an interview -- and potentially a new job.

Athletic directors are seeking experience, regardless of what occurred with the previous employer.

This year's coaching carousel has operated without much fanfare so far. The blue blood jobs aren't open, and a number of the high-profile schools outside the power six (VCU and Butler) kept their coaches.

Few dominoes have fallen, and even though there are still four intriguing jobs remaining (Duquesne, TCU, SMU and Colorado State), none should create much coaching movement across the nation.

Here is our assessment of what has occurred so far:

Air Force
Out: Jeff Reynolds
In: Dave Pilipovich

Reynolds was bounced in February because AD Hans Mueh said the team wasn't having any fun. February firings aren't a good practice as a rule, but Pilipovich led the Falcons to wins at Wyoming and over San Diego State.

Brown
Out: Jesse Agel
In: TBD

Brown may go with interim coach T.J. Sorrentine, whom Agel and Tom Brennan coached at Vermont. But if the Bears want to look outside the staff, Oregon State assistant Doug Stewart is the logical choice since he played at Brown and coached there as an assistant.

Keno Davis
Keno Davis hopes to move Central Michigan in the right direction.

Canisius
Out: Tom Parrotta
In: Jim Baron

Baron has a knack for turning programs around -- from St. Francis to St. Bonaventure to Rhode Island. His lone problem with the Rams was that he didn't get them to the NCAAs. Now he faces the Herculean task of moving Canisius to the top of the MAAC.

Central Michigan
Out: Ernie Zeigler
In: Keno Davis

Davis knows how to coach an offense. No one has ever doubted that ability. His teams at Drake and Providence put up points and made 3s. But he has to get his players to defend, which was a glaring issue at Providence. Broadcasting on the Big Ten Network this past season certainly helped his profile in the Midwest.

Charleston
Out: Bobby Cremins
In: Doug Wojcik

Cremins retired, and assistant and interim coach Mark Byington wasn't retained. Bruce Weber and Fran Fraschilla were two of the original targets, but Charleston did well by landing Wojcik. He's a solid individual, and his program was getting better at Tulsa, but he just couldn't get the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tournament. Give him a chance in the Southern Conference and he just might do that.

Colorado State
Out: Tim Miles
In: TBD

Miles put the Rams in the NCAA tournament. Duplicating that feat for the program's next coach will be a chore, but it's not implausible considering most of the roster returns. This is a critical hire for CSU as it transitions into some sort of hybrid MWC/C-USA league. Southern Miss' Larry Eustachy is a candidate. The Rams are also looking at Weber State head coach Randy Rahe, a former CSU assistant, as well as former Oregon coach Ernie Kent. Long Beach State's Dan Monson wasn't interested.

Duquesne
Out: Ron Everhart
In: TBD

The Dukes must make an intelligent hire to stay relevant in the A-10. They can go with a person who has strong Pittsburgh ties, such as former Pitt player/Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, or they can try someone with head coaching experience. The Dukes should look at former Boston College coach Al Skinner. But this one appears wide open.

Eastern Illinois
Out: Mike Miller
In: TBD

Eastern Illinois announced it was interviewing three candidates last week: Moberly Area CC coach Jay Spoonhour, Oregon assistant Brian Fish and Xavier assistant Kareem Richardson. Spoonhour would be a solid hire with his vast array of contacts and experience.

Grambling
Out: Bobby Washington
In: TBD

Washington won just 23 games in three years and the Tigers finished 4-24 in 2011-12. They had just four active scholarship players this past season because of APR problems, which caused a postseason ban. Grambling has never played in the NCAA tournament and is obviously more of a football school. Safe to say this is not an easy job.

Idaho State
Out: Joe O'Brien
In: Bill Evans

Idaho State went with a veteran presence in hiring former Southern Utah head coach Bill Evans. He was most recently an assistant at Montana under Wayne Tinkle. This is a job where the coach must know the terrain. Evans certainly does in Pocatello.

Illinois
Out: Bruce Weber
In: John Groce

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas wanted his own coach. Weber knew his days were numbered. He was right. Thomas aimed high with Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens and Buzz Williams. He settled on the hottest coach in the NCAA tournament not named John Calipari. Groce coached Ohio to two NCAA tournaments in three seasons, including wins over Georgetown in 2010 and Michigan this season. Ohio was within a whisker of upsetting North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Groce is a former Ohio State assistant and knows the Big Ten landscape well. Still, he needs to make sure Chicago is on his side as he forges ahead. He makes sense now. Let's see if he does in four years.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber
Former Illinois coach Bruce Weber has found a new home at Kansas State.

Kansas State
Out: Frank Martin
In: Bruce Weber

Martin was the Wildcats' identity. He gave this program an intensity that it didn't have before his hire. But he had a disagreement with AD John Currie, and it couldn't be repaired. He got a significant pay raise to go to South Carolina. The Gamecocks offered him a chance to be closer to his recruiting roots and his hometown of Miami. The Wildcats had to find a coach who could continue the success that Martin developed. Weber has always been a well-respected coach, but the end of his Illinois tenure wasn't good. He needed a change and so did Illinois. This was a win-win for both parties, as Weber gets a fresh start and Kansas State picks up a significant name to replace Martin.

Miami (Ohio)
Out: Charlie Coles
In: TBD

Coles had an exceptional career at Miami (Ohio) and always had the RedHawks in play in the MAC. This has been one of the best jobs in the league. Replacing Coles won't be easy. He was extremely well-respected and well-liked. Staying near the top of the MAC will be a must for the next coach.

Mississippi State
Out: Rick Stansbury
In: Rick Ray

Stansbury officially "retired." But the situation he faced at Mississippi State was getting old. He was winning, but it became a struggle to get through a season without issues. A change was needed. The Bulldogs made a play by going out of the region for Valparaiso's Bryce Drew. There were other attempts to no avail. Then AD Scott Stricklin went off the grid and pulled in Ray, a nationally unknown assistant at Clemson. Ray may end up being a home run. He comes in with low expectations, but -- as of now -- it's extremely hard to judge how this hire will play out.

Mount Saint Mary's
Out: Robert Burke
In: Jamion Christian

Burke, a former Georgetown assistant, was bounced in favor of former captain Christian, who said he'll have the Mount ready to be a factor in the NEC next season. This league has become a conference of haves and have-nots. Trying to crack the upper tier with Long Island, Robert Morris and Quinnipiac has been difficult. Wagner was ready to get there under the Hurleys. It will be tough to see how making another coaching change at the Mount will affect this program's progress.

Nebraska
Out: Doc Sadler
In: Tim Miles

Sadler had the Huskers improving every season in the Big 12. Then they moved to the Big Ten and took a step back. Miles built Colorado State into a tough out in the Mountain West and sent them to the NCAA tournament. Miles has been a builder in his previous stop at North Dakota State too. But this marks a significant jump and will be Miles' toughest test to date. But he has a great personality and the right attitude to be competitive in the Big Ten.

North Carolina A&T
Out: Jerry Eaves
In: TBD

Eaves led A&T to a 7-9 conference record and 12-20 overall record this past season. Norfolk State has raised the game in the MEAC with its NCAA tournament second-round victory over Missouri. That victory may skew the thinking in the MEAC to where an expectation of competing at a higher level may become the norm. Yet the resources aren't always available.

Northern Arizona
Out: Mike Adras
In: Mike Brown (interim)

Adras resigned in December, and Dave Brown replaced Adras on an interim basis as the Lumberjacks finished 1-15 in the Big Sky, 5-24 overall. Northern Arizona will be looking for Brown's replacement in the offseason. NAU has always had an uphill struggle in this conference in trying to stay with traditional powers Montana and Weber State. This is a critical hire as the program transitions from an era that saw Ben Howland pass the position on to Adras.

Ohio
Out: John Groce
In: Jim Christian

Groce had done a wonderful job at Ohio, guiding the Bobcats to two NCAA tournaments in three seasons. He led Ohio to a Sweet 16 appearance, and with the majority of the team returning, it is poised for a repeat trip to the NCAAs next season. Christian is no fool. Coaching at TCU was difficult, to say the least. Interest in the team is spotty, and the Horned Frogs were moving from the Mountain West to the Big 12. Christian made TCU much more competitive this season, especially at home. But he was headed for a rough road in the long term. Leaving for a built-in winner at Ohio made perfect sense. He coached in the MAC at Kent State and knows the landscape of the conference. He will win next season. And he will likely do so again once he starts recruiting on his own. This is a classic move of knowing where you fit.

Dan Hurley
Dan Hurley helped revive Wagner. He'll try and do the same at Rhode Island.

Rhode Island
Out: Jim Baron
In: Dan Hurley

Baron was one of the hardest-working coaches in the country. He was intense and passionate, but his teams never seemed to finish strong. Baron was a consistent 20-game winner until this season, when things went south. The Rams finished a disappointing 7-24 overall and 4-12 in the A-10. They didn't hesitate when figuring out who they wanted to replace Baron, locking in on Hurley from the start. Hurley revived Wagner and turned it into a winner in the NEC. He has strong New York and New Jersey ties, and that should help get players up I-95. This team will likely work just as hard but will need to find that finishing kick.

Samford
Out: Jimmy Tillette
In: Bennie Seltzer

Tillette was the school's all-time winningest coach. He had a definitive style and made sure the Bulldogs were a tough out. But Samford had slipped a bit recently and finished 11-19 overall and 8-10 in the Southern Conference this past season. Seltzer is used to rebuilding programs under Kelvin Sampson and Tom Crean. He finally gets his shot as a head coach and will do so in a conference that has a power team in Davidson.

SMU
Out: Matt Doherty
In: TBD

The Mustangs are facing one of the most crucial times in their program's history. SMU finished 13-19 overall and 4-12 in Conference USA and will head to the Big East after next season. Athletic director Steve Orsini said he's not concerned about winning the news conference. He wants to make sure he's competitive in the Big East in two to three seasons. He also has to land a coach with strong Texas ties. Finding the right coach for this program's future is a necessity.

South Carolina
Out: Darrin Horn
In: Frank Martin

Horn wasn't able to work his Sweet 16 magic from Western Kentucky at South Carolina. The Gamecocks slipped significantly in 2011-12, going 2-14 in the SEC, 10-21 overall. South Carolina needed to make a major splash. And it did. Martin is a coaching star. He gets his players to sacrifice and play with as much intensity as he delivers on the sideline. Martin can recruit the East Coast to South Carolina. He did it at a tougher spot in Kansas State. He was a questionable hire when he took over for Bob Huggins and quickly made everyone look foolish for wondering about the move. He received a significant pay raise and more security with the Gamecocks. But South Carolina was also the big winner with this transaction.

Southern Illinois
Out: Chris Lowery
In: Barry Hinson

Lowery missed out on an opportunity to get a higher-paying gig when he led the Salukis to a Valley title and the Sweet 16. He stayed, and ultimately the program dipped. The low point came this season with an 8-23 season, including 5-13 in the Valley. Lowery's salary was well above $500,000. The Salukis had to come down with this next hire, but they didn't lower the bar in experience. SIU hired former Missouri State head coach Barry Hinson, who had revived his career while working for Bill Self at Kansas. Hinson knows the Valley as well as any coach in the conference. He didn't suddenly forget how to recruit or coach after his absence from the bench. This should be an immediate hit in Carbondale and will help the Salukis get back to being a highly competitive team.

Southern Utah
Out: Roger Reid
In: Nick Robinson

Reid tried to capture the success he had at BYU in the 1990s. The problem? He wasn't at BYU. And he was in the Summit League. SUU found a hidden gem in Robinson, who made one of the most iconic shots in Stanford history when he launched a game winner to beat Arizona. SUU is moving to the Big Sky Conference next season. Robinson should win there. He spent three seasons on Trent Johnson's staff at LSU and knows the landscape in the West. Watch for Robinson to make SUU competitive and a tough out in the Big Sky.

Texas Christian
Out: Jim Christian
In: TBD

Christian appeared to have the Horned Frogs turning the corner with a postseason appearance in the CBI. TCU finished a respectable 7-7 in the Mountain West (18-15 overall), with home wins over New Mexico and UNLV. But Christian knew the transition to the Big 12 for this upcoming season was going to be more difficult, and he saw an opportunity to get back to the Midwest. TCU was planning on moving to the Big East and recruiting was going to shift a bit. Now it has to make sure it's more Texas-centric. That means this hire has to have Texas ties. A commitment to hoops is also a must at this football-crazed school.

Danny Manning
Danny Manning gets a chance to build his own program at Tulsa.

Tulsa
Out: Doug Wojcik
In: Danny Manning

Wojcik did everything at Tulsa but get to the NCAA tournament. That sounds like a failed result, but he had the Golden Hurricane competitive near the top of Conference USA every season. Tulsa finished 17-14 overall and10-6 in the conference this past season, yet he was sacked. Tulsa went for a big-time name in hiring Manning. He has the name recognition in the heart of Big 12 country. He also has learned from one of the best coaches in the country in Bill Self. Will that translate into becoming a star as a head coach, as he was on the court? Manning did the right thing by climbing up the ladder to become a head coach. No one can fault his work ethic. Now he has the chance to make his mark at his own program.

UAB
Out: Mike Davis
In: Jerod Haase

Davis' ousting was a bit of a surprise. He took the Blazers to the NCAA tournament in 2011. That team was gutted, but UAB had always been competitive under Davis in Conference USA. The Blazers still finished with a winning record in Conference USA at 9-7 and were 15-16 overall. Yet somehow Davis was fired. Now the onus is on Haase, a former Kansas player and North Carolina assistant under Roy Williams. Haase played for and learned under a Hall of Fame coach. This is his shot to make a name for himself on his own.

UNC Greensboro
Out: Mike Dement
In: Wes Miller

Miller took over for Dement on Dec. 13 and at the time (pre-Bashir Mason) became the youngest Division I head coach in the country at 29. He led the Spartans to an 11-11 record during his stint as UNCG and finished 13-19 overall, including 10-8 in the Southern Conference. Dement didn't fight the firing, and Miller clearly gave this program a different voice. The former North Carolina walk-on had the name recognition from being at the most talked about team in the state. He was able to relate to the players and get them to play at a higher level. Now, with a full season of recruiting and coaching, he'll have to prove he wasn't a one-hit wonder.

Wagner
Out: Danny Hurley
In: Bashir Mason

The Hurley brothers built a culture of winning at Wagner. The hope is that Mason will continue the climb up the NEC. Mason is only 28 years old, but he knows the Hurley system well. Wagner now has an expectation that it will be a tough out, no matter the competition. Mason doesn't have the name recognition that the Hurley brothers possess, but if he wins, it won't matter.

Western Kentucky
Out: Ken McDonald
In: Ray Harper

I'm not a fan of midseason firings, but clearly this move had to be made. And the Hilltoppers responded. The program was in disarray. Harper helped get it on the right track, and Western Kentucky shocked the Sun Belt and won the conference tournament. Then it won an NCAA tournament First Four game over Mississippi Valley State in Dayton before losing to top seed Kentucky in Louisville. The mood has now changed, and there is renewed hope that the program will thrive again under Harper.

Winthrop
Out: Randy Peele
In: Pat Kelsey

Peele had apparently run his course in the Big South at Winthrop. He had initial success after replacing Gregg Marshall, but his program has slipped recently, finishing 12-20 overall and 8-10 in the league. Kelsey had made a public announcement last season that he was quitting coaching as an assistant at Xavier to spend more time with his family. Kelsey was incredibly affected by the death of his mentor Skip Prosser when he was on Prosser's staff at Wake Forest. Kelsey took time off and found balance in his life. He is well-liked, respected and was a rising star in the business before he took his self-imposed leave of absence. This could turn out to be a home run hire if he has found the life balance he was searching for in the past year.