Eric Konkol, the longtime assistant for Jim Larranaga, will reportedly take the reins of his own program.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports reported just after midnight on Sunday that Konkol had agreed to terms to become Louisiana Tech’s head coach.
Konkol will replace Michael White, who filled the vacancy at Florida after future Hall of Famer Billy Donovan jumped to the NBA.
Parrish reported that North Florida’s Matt Driscoll, Oklahoma assistant Steve Henson and Baylor assistant Jerome Tang were among the other candidates. Current and former Louisiana Tech players had used social media to push for assistant coach Dusty May to get the job.
Konkol has served as an assistant for Larranaga at both Miami and George Mason.
With former Florida signee Noah Dickerson asking to be released from his National Letter of Intent and KeVaughn Allen undecided in the aftermath of a head coaching change, new head coach Michael White has some work to do on the recruiting front. He was on the receiving end of some good news Wednesday evening, as it was reported by multiple outlets that small forward Keith Stone will remain committed to Florida.
Stone joins forward Kevarrius Hayes as signees who have committed to playing for White, and hanging onto those additions is an important development for Florida as they begin a new era of basketball.
Hayes and Stone will join a program that has some holes to fill due to the departures of Michael Frazier II, Eli Carter and Chris Walker. Guards Chris Chiozza and Kasey Hill return, as will forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Alex Murphy.
The newcomers will have the opportunity to earn minutes under White, who had at least eight players average ten minutes per game in each of his four seasons at Louisiana Tech.
How athletic directors handle head coaching searches is one of the more interesting aspects of collegiate athletics. With the rise of search firms, some lean upon those outlets to not only establish connections but also narrow down the field of possible candidates for the opening.
But not all athletic directors use firms to do the legwork, either doing the work themselves or with the aid of a committee consisting of others within the athletic department and school community. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley had a committee to help him through the process following Billy Donovan’s decision to take the Oklahoma City Thunder job, but this search began to take shape even before Donovan made the move.
Chris Harry of Gatorzone.com (the school’s official athletics website) wrote a story breaking down the entire process that led to Foley offering the job to then-Louisiana Tech head coach Michael White.
Even with season-ending injuries to reigning MVP Kevin Durant and defensive whiz Serge Ibaka, rumors that OKC coach Scott Brooks’ job was in jeopardy had been circulating for months and that Donovan, with his brilliant offensive acumen, would be attractive replacement. Thunder general manager Sam Presti, along with his metrics analyst Oliver Winterbone, who served from 2010-14 as Donovan’s video coordinator, had visited Gainesville in February and attended Gators practices, shoot-arounds and a couple games.
They likely weren’t there four days to scout Chris Walker.
The Thunder’s regular season ended April 15, as the team missed the playoffs via a tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans. Speculation immediately amped regarding Brooks’ job, which meant the Gators further readied their just-in-case list of coaches in the likely event OKC came after Donovan.
The full story of how Florida made its decision can be read here.