Oregon State will move on to a new candidate as they continue to search for a new head coach as multiple reports on Monday night indicated that former UCLA head coach Ben Howland has taken his name out of the running for the job. The news was first reported by ESPN‘s Andy Katz.
The Beavers fired former head coach Craig Robinson on May 5th after six seasons and Howland’s name was quickly among the rumored candidates that the struggling Pac-12 program would target for the job.
Howland made three consecutive Final Fours at UCLA from 2006 through 2008 but failed to meet expectations in his last few seasons for the Bruins as he was fired following the 2012-13 season and replaced by Steve Alford. Howland has a career record of 398-205 during a career that includes stops at UCLA, Pitt and Northern Arizona and is known for his ability to rebuild programs that are in a tough spot.
Oregon State hasn’t made a NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990 and only has five postseason appearances since its last trip to the Big Dance.
Now that Howland has moved on, Arizona assistant coach and Portland native Damon Stoudamire is believed to be the leading candidate for the job, according to Katz and other reports. The former 1996 NBA Rookie of the Year was the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1995 at Arizona and has extensive NBA ties after a 13-year NBA career that included stops in Toronto, Portland, Memphis and San Antonio.