2014 Coaching Carousel

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Report: a former NBA veteran is considered the frontrunner for College of Charleston job

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After several investigations, the College of Charleston fired head coach Doug Wojcik, who had been accused of verbally and physically abusing players during his two years at the school.

According to a report on Thursday from Andrew Miller of the Post and Courier, an eight-person search committee is looking to have a candidate to present to College of Charleston president Glenn F. McConnell by Aug. 19, the day classes are set to begin. It is believed that Anthony Johnson, who a member of the CofC Athletics Hall of Fame, is the frontrunner.

From the Post and Courier:

“There’s a lot of support for Anthony and a lot of people who want to see Anthony get the job,” the source said. “There’s no question that he’s a very strong candidate, but the committee does not want to rush to a decision. They want it to be a thorough process so they can get the right person in place.”

Johnson set the school record for assists with 520 while leading the Cougars to an appearance in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. He went onto become an NBA journeyman, playing for seven different teams in his 13-year career.

Miller also mentioned four other candidates for the position. Among them are Wofford head coach Mike Young, Clemson assistant Earl Grant, Tulane assistant Shammond Williams and former Boston College head coach and current Bryant associate head coach Al Skinner.

Wojcik was initially investigated for verbal abuse in early July. After five weeks, a detailed 50-page report of the allegations and a second investigation, Wojcik was fired for just cause on August 5. In two seasons, he was 38-29.

At the start of the month, assistant Antonio Reynolds Dean was named acting head coach.

Scottie Wilbekin can’t see Billy Donovan leaving Florida

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In four years at Florida, Scottie Wilbekin may have had his bumps in the road, but the Gators point guard was part of teams that reached three Elite Eights, and this past season made it to the Final Four after running the table in the SEC.

The 2014 SEC Player of the Year is hoping his success in college translates to the next level. As he tries to find a spot on a roster, will his coach, Billy Donovan, find a spot on an NBA sideline?

That’s been a consistent storyline this offseason as Donovan, along with several other college coaches, have been targeted for NBA vacancies. The Cleveland Cavaliers pushed for hard for UConn’s Kevin Ollie, were in “deep talks” with Kentucky’s John Calipari and reached out to Donovan in recent months.

Despite the rumors, and Donovan’s refusal to guarantee his future at the University of Florida, Wilbekin believes Donovan won’t leave Gainesville. The former Gator appeared on The Jim Rome Show on Friday to discuss the topic.

“I could definitely see him being a coach [in the NBA], but I don’t think he’ll leave just because I know how much he loves Florida and Gainesville,” Wilbekin said. “It’s such a great atmosphere in Gainesville that I can’t see him leaving.”

In 2007, Donovan briefly left Florida for the Orlando Magic. In the past week, reports stated that the Cavaliers had offered Calipari a seven-year, $60 million deal while other reported that the proposed offer was longer and worth more money. Not saying that would have been the same deal Donovan would have received, but it’s clear that NBA teams will be willing to do what it takes to try and uproot coaches from college campuses.

In March, Donovan signed an extension with the university through 2019.

The entire Wilbekin interview can be heard here.

[h/t @OnlyGators]

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello completes degree at Kentucky

Steve Masiello
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Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has completed the necessary coursework and will receive his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in August, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Masiello, one of the rising stars in the college coaching ranks, led Manhattan to the NCAA tournament — its first since 2004 — in only his third season. He had agreed to a deal with South Florida, though, it was later called off after a discrepancy was found during a background check.

On his resume, Masiello claimed he had graduated from Kentucky when in fact he had not. Manhattan allowed Masiello to remain as the head coach, but was put on an unpaid leave until he completed his degree at Kentucky.

“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College,” Masiello said in the release back in April. “I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.”

In three seasons with the Jaspers, Masiello is 60-39. Masiello led his Jaspers into the NCAA tournament against his former coach Rick Pitino. Louisville avoided the upset with a 71-64 win in the Round of 64.

Billy Donovan not guaranteeing a return to Florida

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Florida head coach Billy Donovan, along with UConn’s Kevin Ollie and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, is on a short list of college coaches who are being targeted for NBA coaching vacancies this offseason.

Last Thursday, it was reported that Donovan, who for agreed to coach the Orlando Magic in 2007 before reversing his decision and returning to UF, had been contacted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with the top pick in next month’s NBA Draft. With SEC Spring Meetings taking place this week, Donovan explained to reporters on Tuesday why he hasn’t ruled out a possible jump to the NBA, offering no guarantee about his future in Gainesville.

From the Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel:

“I think when you start making guarantees about life and start making guarantees about where you’re going to be, that’s not good,” he said. “If for some reason I ever change my mind and did something, I wouldn’t want (people) saying, ‘Well, he promised, he guaranteed, he said this on record.’ I just think when you start doing that, that’s a mistake.

“I’ve seen a lot of coaches over the years come out and say, ‘No, no, no, no, I’m not going anywere, I’m not going anywhere,’ and then all of a sudden they go somewhere and it’s like, ‘Well, this guy is a complete liar.’ I don’t want to get into that situation. There’s been some teams that have called, but that’s really it.”

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning (video above), mainly to discuss his column on Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera. But in the final minute of the interview, Patrick asked Mannix to provide a coaching update for teams around the NBA. Cleveland is looking for a college coach, said Mannix, and based on what Cleveland can offer Donovan, Mannix believes the longtime Gators coach could still head to the NBA.

Donovan has won 451 games in his 18 seasons at Florida. In March, he signed an extension through 2019. The Gators are projected to finish at the top of the SEC once again, along with likely preseason No. 1 Kentucky.

Oregon State names assistant Doug Stewart interim head coach

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The Oregon State men’s basketball team has been without a head coach for 10 days.

The Beavers whiffed on trying to lure Ben Howland to Corvallis, who withdrew from consideration on Monday night. Oregon State announced some stability on Thursday night, promoting assistant Doug Stewart to interim head coach.

Stewart has served as an assistant to Craig Robinson at both Brown (2006-2008) and Oregon State (2008-2014). Robinson was relieved of his duties on May 5, following a 93-104 (39-69 Pac-12) record in his six seasons.

Stewart does have head coaching experience, spending two years on the sidelines at Casper College, a junior college in Wyoming.

Gina Mizell and Connor Letourneau of The Oregonian reported that Arizona assistant coach Damon Stoudamire is still considered the top candidate for the coaching vacancy, though, there is no timetable for a hire.

Report: Southern Miss has offered Stephen F. Austin’s Brad Underwood

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Southern Miss has been in search for a new coach for more than a week, and according to a report on Tuesday night, the university has extended an offer to a potential successor.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports is reporting that Stephen F. Austin head coach Brad Underwood has been offered the position. And while nothing has been even agreed upon, an announcement could be made as early as Wednesday, a source told Parrish.

After spending seven seasons as a Division I assistant coach at Kansas State and South Carolina, Underwood took over the Stephen F. Austin program in 2013. In his first season as a D1 head coach, he led the Lumberjacks to the Round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, upsetting Shaka Smart and VCU in the South Region. Stephen F. Austin finished 32-3 (18-0 Southland), riding a 29-game winning streak that spanned almost four months.

Last Thursday, Parrish reported that Underwood was being targeted by Southern Miss, while Wichita State assistant Greg Heiar and Rick Stansbury, who coached Mississippi State from 1998-2012, were also viewed as possible candidates.

The Golden Eagles were the top team, in a four-way tie for first place, in Conference USA this past season with a 29-7 (13-3 CUSA) mark. On April 21, Donnie Tyndall accepted the Tennessee vacancy after Cuonzo Martin left to take over Cal.