A head coach leaving one job for another in the same conference doesn’t happen all too often, but that is the case at Marist. Tuesday afternoon the school announced that it has hired John Dunne to be the new men’s basketball head coach, with Dunne making the move from Saint Peters.
Dunne spent 12 years at Saint Peter’s, where he led the Peacocks to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2011 and a CIT tournament title in 2017. Dunne’s teams were known primarily for their work on the defensive end of the floor, with this year’s team leading the MAAC in adjusted defensive efficiency. And while the overall record during Dunne’s time at Saint Peter’s (153-225) won’t jump off the page, many regard the Saint Peter’s job as the toughest in the MAAC.
Dunne takes over a Marist program that’s in need of a boost, as the Red Foxes won just six games in 2017-18. There were no seniors amongst Marist’s top eight scorers this season, with juniors Brian Parker and Ryan Funk leading the way with averages of 17.1 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.
Marist hasn’t finished a season at or above .500 since the 2007-08 campaign, with that team finishing the year 18-14 in Matt Brady’s final season at the helm.
Loyola University Maryland names Tavaras Hardy head coach
Another college basketball head coaching vacancy was filled Wednesday, as Loyola University Maryland announced that it has hired Georgia Tech assistant Tavaras Hardy to lead its program. Hardy the last two seasons on Josh Pastner’s staff at Georgia Tech, and prior to his move to Atlanta had stints as an assistant at both Georgetown and Northwestern.
“Our success will be defined not only on the court, but by our impact on the lives of our student-athletes, the university community, our fans, our city and our future generation,” Hardy said in the release announcing his hiring. “I am looking forward to getting in the gym with our guys, learning their games and establishing the culture of work ethic that will produce championship level basketball.”
Hardy replaces G.G. Smith, whose teams went a combined 56-98 during his five-year tenure as head coach. Loyola’s most successful season under Smith was the 2016-17 season, in which the Greyhounds went 16-17 and finished tied for sixth in the Patriot League with an 8-10 league record.
Loyola won just nine games in 2017-18, and with Andre Walker and Cam Gregory both out of eligibility Hardy will have to account for the loss of two key contributors as he begins the rebuild. That being said, three of Loyola’s five double-digits scorers from this season have eligibility remaining, freshman guard Isaiah Hart and sophomore guards Chuck Champion and Andrew Kostecka.
Kostecka, who led Loyola in both steals and blocked shots while also averaging 10.6 points per game, was selected to the Patriot League’s All-Defensive Team.
Pepperdine to replace Marty Wilson at season’s end
Tuesday afternoon it was announced by Pepperdine athletic director Dr. Steve Potts that the school has decided to part ways with head coach Marty Wilson at season’s end. Currently in his seventh season as the head coach of his alma mater, Wilson currently has a record of 86 wins and 125 losses.
“It has been decided that terminating the current contract at the end of this season is in the best interests of the program,” Dr. Potts said in the release. “Marty Wilson will always be a Pepperdine Wave. He has worked tirelessly for our men’s basketball program for many years and we sincerely thank him for his commitment and contributions to our program. We wish great success for Marty in the future. We all wish that we had experienced more success in our men’s basketball program and we are committed to identifying new leadership that can help bring us that success.”
After making noticeable strides during Wilson’s first five seasons at the helm, going from ten wins in his debut season to consecutive 18-win seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Pepperdine program has struggled over the last two seasons. After going 9-22 last season, Pepperdine is currently 4-22 with a 1-13 record in WCC play.
Three of Pepperdine’s top five scorers this season have missed at least nine games due to injury, with Kameron Edwards missing time due to a concussion and Eric Cooper and Nolan Taylor being sidelined due to shoulder injuries.
Per a source of NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster, the name of current Arizona assistant and former Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar is one that could emerge in the search. Romar spent the first three seasons (1997 through 1999) of his head coaching career at Pepperdine, going 42-44 before leaving to take the Saint Louis job in 1999.
Study shows troubling data on minority coaching hires
Over the years, hiring practices within collegiate athletics have been a point of conversation especially when considering the job possibilities for minority candidates. According to a study done by Athletic Director U on coaching changes in Division I college basketball over a ten-year period beginning in 2008, there is still a lot of work to be done in both the men’s and women’s games.
Not only can that be said for the hiring of minority candidates, but also the lack of second chances for those candidates down the line.
The study was focused on 30 Division I college basketball conferences, with the MEAC and SWAC not included so as not to potentially skew the data given the fact that both are comprised entirely of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Per Athletic Director U’s numbers, 72.4 percent of minority Division I men’s basketball coaches are fired or forced to resign compared to 59.9 percent of Caucasian coaches.
In the women’s game, 84.3 percent of the changes involving minority coaches coming as a result of a firing or forced resignation. And according to the data compiled, it’s extremely rare that a coaching job previously held by a minority coach is filled by another. In men’s college basketball only 7.2 percent of the changes were from one minority coach to another, with the number dropping to 4.8 percent in the women’s game.
By comparison, 66.7 percent of the hires in men’s college basketball and 75.4 percent of the hires in women’s college basketball were one Caucasian replacing another. Just over 26 percent of the coaches who were fired or forced to resign were replaced by the opposite in men’s basketball, with the number dropping to 19.8 percent in women’s basketball.
Per the numbers, not only has it remained more difficult for minority coaches to be afforded the opportunity to lead their own programs but it’s also been tough to get another shot should things not work out.
It’s long been stated that collegiate athletics had some issues to address with regards to the hiring of coaches, and based upon the study done by Athletic Director U it’s clear that there’s still a substantial amount of work to be done.
Looking Forward: The eight most intriguing coaching hires of 2015
With the early entry process over and with just about every elite recruit having picked a school, we now have a pretty good idea of what college basketball will look like in 2015-16. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be taking an early look at next season.
Today, we’re Looking Forward at the most intriguing coaching hires:
Shaka Smart, Texas: Texas is one of the most underrated jobs in the country: Great weather, great town, great recruiting base, tons of money, lack of pressure to win. Talk to coaches, and there aren’t ten head coaching gigs that are better. Many will put the Longhorns in their top five jobs. And with Rick Barnes getting ousted, Texas looked past Gregg Marshall and Buzz Williams and hired VCU head coach Shaka Smart. I’ve been critical of Smart’s style of play in the past because I think there’s a ceiling to how successful a team can be employing a full court press full-time, but at Texas he’s going to be able to recruit some of the very best athletes high school basketball has to offer. Can he land those kids? Can he invigorate the fan base? Can he win at Texas?
Will Wade, VCU: The guy that is taking over for Smart is Wade, a former assistant that spent the past two seasons coaching at Chattanooga. Given VCU’s recent success, people may forget that just three years ago they were still a member of the CAA. Can they maintain this level of success, remaining a perennial top 25 program, or will they fall back to the Atlantic 10 pack?
Florida: There’s a lot to talk about with the opening that Billy Donovan left in Gainesville, not the least of which is, you know, who actually gets the job. But there’s more to it than that. Florida has been a top 10-15 program over the course of the last decade, but does that mean that it is a top 10-15 job? Or was Donovan the makeup covering the pockmarks? It’s going to be fascinating to see who the Gators hire and how that person continues to growth of the program.
Ben Howland, Mississippi State: Howland jumped at the first job that he could get this spring, going from sunny Southern California to Starkville, Mississippi. The former UCLA head coach has already landed the best guard in the country — Malik Newman — and while this season probably will not result in an SEC title, with the amount of talent in the deep south in the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes, it shouldn’t take Howland too long to build a winner.
Chris Mullin, St. John’s: A St. John’s legend, Chris Mullin was tapped as the replacement for Steve Lavin. Mullin has spent three decades at the NBA level and has never coached in the college ranks, but he went out and hired a pair of powerful recruiters — assistants from Kentucky and Iowa State — before learning that his two best players would be returning. Will he have the same kind of success in college that Fred Hoiberg had?
Bobby Hurley, Arizona State: The legendary Duke point guard parlayed two seasons of success at Buffalo into a head coaching gig in the Pac-12. It won’t be easy for Hurley this season — even if he does get Thon Maker — but it will be interesting to see what he is able to build in the shadow of Sean Miller’s Arizona program.
Steve Donahue, Penn: Donahue had a ton of success when he was the head coach at Cornell, winning Ivy League titles and taking the Big Red to the 2010 Sweet 16. After a flameout at Boston College, Donahue has returned to the Ivy to takeover arguably the league’s most storied program.
Rick Barnes, Tennessee: Barnes might have been run out of Austin, but it didn’t take him long to land back on his feet. The former Texas head man was quickly scooped up by the Volunteers to try and rebuild from the Donnie Tyndall disaster. Barnes will get players to Knoxville, and he’ll do it without having the NCAA come to town.
Brad Stevens on Indiana speculation: ‘I’m the head coach of the Boston Celtics. This is the job.’
Brad Stevens is going to be continually linked to the Indiana head coaching job. The last rumblings of Stevens’ potential return to the college ranks surfaced in Paul Flannery’s Sunday Shootaround column for SB Nation.
The latest speculation is a product of Boston’s blockbuster trade with the Dallas Mavericks early this week, sending All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Mavs for Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder and draft picks. The trade makes the rebuilding process an even longer one. The Celtics sport one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, and the growing pains are obvious with fourth quarter collapse after fourth quarter collapse this season.
However, an even longer rebuilding effort in the post-Rondo era isn’t enough to lure Stevens back to college coaching.
“I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens told Flannery before Thursday’s practice. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot. I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation.
“I’m the head coach of the Boston Celtics. This is the job. This is where I am. This is what I want to do really well and I’m committed to being as good as I can every single day for the Celtics.”
The Celtics faith in Stevens was evident when they offered him a six-year contract in the summer of 2013. And from the quotes provided by Gregg Popvich and Kevin Love, Stevens is widely-respected by both future Hall of Famers and perennial NBA All-Stars.
Tom Crean is in his seventh season, although, the Hoosier faith have turned sour on him. Indiana has made only two NCAA tournament appearances, being bounced in the Sweet 16 as a No. 1 seed in 2013. The Hoosiers missed the postseason a season ago. The boiling point was this fall, when off-the-court issues, mixed with low expectations entering this year had many in the state calling for his job.
Through 11 games, Indiana is 9-2, fresh off a neutral site win over No. 23 Butler in the Crossroads Classic. While Indiana’s NCAA tournament status is still uncertain, Stevens sounds confident that his only return to the Hoosier state will be when the Celtics travel to Indianapolis to play the Pacers.