2015 Coaching Carousel

Murray State has decided on a successor to Steve Prohm

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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?

Fred Hoiberg’s final press conference at Iowa State (VIDEO)

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On Friday, Fred Hoiberg held his final press conference at Iowa State.

After much speculation, Hoiberg became the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls earlier this week, agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal. While he inherits a championship-caliber team, Hoiberg leaves behind a preseason top-5 team back in his hometown of Ames, Iowa.

“Obviously, I would have been very happy being here my entire career and I wasn’t lying about that,” Hoiberg said. “I really would have. I’ve counted. Eleven teams have called me over the last three years and I’ve never really let them get anywhere, except for this last one.”

With Georges Niang, Monte Morris, Naz Long and Jameel McKay back, Iowa State is considered the No. 4 overall team in College Basketball Talk‘s Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings. The focus now shifts to who will coach a team with such lofty expectations for the 2015-16 season. Many have speculated that Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger, who rejoined the coaching staff in April, would be Hoiberg’s successor, although, Hoiberg is leaving the decision-making process up to athletic director Jamie Pollard.

“There’s been rumors that T.J. was brought back to be my successor, that’s not true. That’s absolutely not the case,” Hoiberg said. “I brought T.J. back because of a great amount of success I have for him and the great job that he did for me in my early years here. I think T.J. will be a terrific coach, there’s no doubt in my mind. But again, Jamie is the guy I am confident will make the right hire.

Fred Hoiberg had a  115–56 (49–39 Big 12) record in five seasons with the Cyclones.

Report: Fred Hoiberg ‘top choice’ if Bulls part ways with Tom Thibodeau

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The Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoffs on Thursday night, falling to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 94-73.

After months of reports, it’s likely that Tom Thibodeau will be out as head coach after five successful seasons. It won’t be an easy divorce, as the Bulls reportedly owe him $9 million over two years. But if and when the two sides split, Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg will be among the top candidates to fill the vacancy, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Hoiberg has been at Iowa State the past five seasons, going 115-56 with a Big 12 Tournament title in his stint at his alma mater. But he’s often been rumored for NBA head coaching positions given his experience as both a player and a front office executive.

With Georges Niang, Monte’ Morris, Naz Long Jameel McKay — and adding Deonte Burton midway through the year — the Cyclones are considered a top-5 team entering next season.

Hoiberg is less than a month removed from open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.

Louisiana Tech players petitioning on Twitter for Dusty May to get head coaching job

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The coaching carousel has turned its focus to Ruston, Louisiana.

On Thursday night, Louisiana Tech’s Michael White agreed to become the next head coach at Florida, replacing future Hall of Famer Billy Donovan. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported on Friday that White will bring assistants Jordan Mincy and Darris Nichols with him to Gainesville.

That leaves one spot left on White’s staff for Louisiana Tech associate head coach Dusty May. Although, current and former players have made it clear that they want May to be promoted and take over the Louisiana Tech program.

Even though players like Kenneth ‘Speedy’ Smith, the 2015 Conference USA Player of the Year, have exhausted their eligibility, that hasn’t stopped them from voicing their support via Twitter.

May joined Kerry Rupp’s staff in 2009 and stayed on during White’s tenure. The Bulldogs won three consecutive regular season conference titles — one in the WAC, two in C-USA — going 83-24 in that span. According to Sean Isabella of the News Star, Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said he would “consider an internal hire.”

Florida announces hiring of Louisiana Tech’s Michael White as head coach

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After stating earlier this week that his search for a new head coach may not be completed until “sometime in June,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has found Billy Donovan’s replacement.

Michael White, who won more than 71 percent of his games in four seasons as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (101-40 record), has been hired as the new head coach at Florida. The school announced the news Thursday evening. White has experience in the SEC as both a player and a coach, as he played four years at Ole Miss and was also a member of the coaching staff for seven seasons before being hired at Louisiana Tech.

“Michael White is someone who came to the top of our list very quickly and he checks all of the boxes we were looking for,” Foley said in the release. “He is a winner who has a high level of integrity, plays an up-tempo style of play and has the respect of his peers and the basketball community.

“He has experience in coaching, recruiting and playing in the Southeastern Conference and has a strong pedigree. He has a certain authenticity with people and is not afraid of challenges.”

While White did not lead Louisiana Tech to an NCAA tournament during his four seasons in Ruston, he did preside over one of the most successful three-year stretches in program history. Louisiana Tech made three NIT appearances, winning regular season titles in two different conferences (WAC and Conference USA), and won 27 games or more in each of the last three seasons.

White’s teams at Louisiana Tech looked to speed things up defensively, using full-court pressure to force turnovers on 23.7 percent of their opponents’ possessions in conference play last season. He’ll have some work to do in regards to the roster, including making sure that the recruits who have signed to attend Florida remain on board, but this is a step many believed White capable of making after his success at Louisiana Tech.

A native of Dunedin, Florida, White has plenty of connections throughout the state and region, and that will help recruiting-wise moving forward. According to the school, White has agreed to a six-year deal that will pay him a base salary of $2 million per season.

Alcorn State announces hiring of Montez Robinson as head coach

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The final vacancy on the college basketball head coaching carousel has been filled.

Sunday evening Alcorn State announced the hiring of Montez Robinson as head coach according to News Channel 12 in Jackson, Mississippi. Robinson replaces Luther Riley, whose contract was not renewed at the end of the 2014-15 season, and he spent the last four seasons on the coaching staff at Bethune-Cookman.

Prior to that spent six seasons at Kennesaw State as the Owls made their transition from Division II to Division I.

“It’s extremely exciting to become the head men’s basketball coach at Alcorn State University where knowledge and character is the emphasis both on the court and in the classroom,” Robinson said in a release. “Alcorn has an impressive vision for the basketball program and I am looking forward to building a foundation of success. I cannot wait to start working with current players and incoming freshmen.”

Alcorn State’s top four scorers from last season have eligibility remaining, including guard LeAntwan Luckett who would be a senior next season. Of course with coaching changes the roster can be a bit of a fluid situation, so Robinson will have some work to do in that regard.

Alcorn State finished the 2014-15 season with a 6-26 record, going 4-14 in SWAC play.