After serving as an assistant on Richard Pitino’s staff at Minnesota for the last two seasons, Dan McHale received his first head coaching opportunity this spring when he was hired at Eastern Kentucky. With that comes a change in responsibilities, going from offering suggestions to making decisions as some like to say and also getting to know the new community and vice versa.
Thursday night McHale threw out the first pitch at the Lexington Legends minor league baseball game, and he managed to get the ball over the plate. In an interview with Lexington’s NBC affiliate, McHale stated that he last played baseball as a high school senior in 1997 (he was a second baseman).
The last domino in the 2015 Coaching Carousel has fallen.
Matt McMahon, a former assistant coach at Murray State and currently an assistant at Louisiana Tech, will replace Steve Prohm, according to a release from the school. Prohm left the Racers on Monday to replace Fred Hoiberg as the head coach at Iowa State.
McMahon was hired by new Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol as associate head coach late last month. To get an idea of just how long he lasted in Ruston, McMahon’s most recent tweet — from June 1st — talks about how excited he is to start his first full week with the Bulldogs. He played his college ball at Appalachian State, where he played in the NCAA tournament as was a two-year starter.
“I want to thank Allen Ward and President Davies for giving me the opportunity to return to Murray State as the head basketball coach,” McMahon said in the release. “My family and I have enjoyed our four years in this community and we look forward to many more. I also owe a great deal of thanks to Steve Prohm for bringing me to Murray and serving as a mentor to me. I also want to thank our players past and present for their hard work and commitment to the program. Their success on the court, in the classroom and in the community has allowed me to be in this position today.”
This decision is also important for Iowa State fans, as they wait to find out who will be on the Cyclone staff next season. Will Prohm’s current staff remain with McMahon in Murray, Kentucky, or will they be following Prohm to Ames, Iowa? Will Prohm begin his Cyclone tenure with proven high-major recruiters — T.J. Otzelberger? — on staff?
After two seasons, Tennessee State fires head coach Travis Williams
Williams was 23-40 in his two seasons as the head coach of the Tigers but they struggled this season, losing their first 10 games of the season before finishing 5-25 overall. At one point, Tennessee State was 2-21 this season and they didn’t defeat a Division I opponent in the non-conference portion of the schedule despite senior guard Patrick Miller being the nation’s fourth leading scorer at 23.2 points per game.
“We thank Coach Williams for his hard work both as an assistant and as a head coach, and we wish him the best in all future endeavors,” Tennessee State athletic director Teresa Phillips said in the release. “We want to move in a different direction and believe that this decision is in the best interest of Tennessee State and our Men’s Basketball program.”
Williams also served as an assistant coach for previous Tennessee State head coach John Cooper from 2009 through 2012.