Who should Virginia Tech target to replace Greenberg? I got a guy in mind

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With Seth Greenberg’s ouster on Monday afternoon, Virginia Tech became arguably the best head coaching position available.

The problem?

It’s really not all that great of a job.

The Hokies play in a conference that is currently dominated by Duke and North Carolina and will be adding both Syracuse and Pitt in the very near future. Their basketball history under Seth Greenberg — five NITs and one NCAA tournament in nine seasons — is as good of a stretch as they’ve had in my lifetime. Virginia Tech is a football school located in rural, southwestern Virginia that could very well lose their best recruit for the class of 2012 and is already way behind the rest of the country going after the class of 2013.

Should I mention they are coming off of a below-.500 season?

The argument against firing Greenberg was that he made the Hokies relevant during his tenure, something that has not always been true about the Virginia Tech program.

So who should they look at to replace him? Well, contrary to what this article from the Washington Post says, Shaka Smart is the wrong place to start. He’s already turned down Illinois this offseason and shot down NC State last year. Both of those programs are much better jobs than Virginia Tech. Richmond’s Chris Mooney is an interesting candidate, but I’m not convinced he would leave, either. The same with Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall.

The Post does offer up a couple of good options, however. Blaine Taylor, Old Dominion’s head coach, has had success recruiting the area (ODU is in Norfolk, VA) and built the Monarchs into a power in the CAA. Murray State’s Steve Prohm and Davidson’s Bob McKillop are two other names that have popped up that could be a decent fit.

If I’m Virginia Tech, I take a long, hard look at Jimmy Patsos of Loyola (MD). He cut his teeth at Maryland under Gary Williams, so he knows the ACC. He’s proven that he can rebuild a program, taking the Greyhounds from a one-win team to the NCAA tournament this past season. He’s got an oversized personality that will keep Virginia Tech in the news and make him popular with the media that help form public opinion.

If I’m athletic director, I think long and hard about Patsos.

But don’t even consider Smart.

Don’t swing for the fences and you won’t be disappointed when you strike out.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.