Confused by the coaching moves? Here's the scoop

Trying to understand the new coaching landscape? Andy Katz breaks down all 36 D-I coaching changes thus far.

Originally Published: April 12, 2007
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

The coaching carousel will continue to spin for a few more weeks, maybe even a month or two. As of Thursday, there were still 11 jobs to fill (Air Force, Chicago State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Princeton, Robert Morris, South Alabama, South Carolina State, UC Riverside, UMKC and Wichita State). More likely will follow off those still pending.

Of the 36 filled so far, here is one take on the impact of the hires:

Arkansas: Got rid of Stan Heath after two NCAA berths. The goal was to get Billy Gillispie or Bill Self. That failed. The Hogs hired Creighton's Dana Altman, only to have him go back home. So, they went for South Alabama's John Pelphrey, who has the reputation of being a solid coach and makes sense with his SEC pedigree. But take a step back -- does it makes sense to fire Heath to hire Pelphrey? This is one example of making a change just to make a change.

Stan Heath
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesStan Heath was fired from Arkansas but landed on his feet at South Florida.

Binghamton: Al Walker's out. Kevin Broadus is in. Clearly, there is a hope that Georgetown's magic can rub off of Broadus and surface in the America East.

Bowling Green: Dan Dakich chose not to pursue a contract extension. The choice to replace him was former Seton Hall coach Louis Orr, who was sacked after getting to the NCAAs in 2006. Was there some other reason for his being fired? He has proved to be a solid coach, having led the Pirates to two NCAA bids.

Butler: Todd Lickliter went to Iowa, and the Bulldogs hired Brad Stevens. It's hard to argue with the same plan that has worked in the past -- top assistants Thad Matta and Lickliter were the previous two hires.

Colorado: Ricardo Patton made the decision easier for the Buffs by announcing at the beginning of the season that he would be out at the end. CU waited all season and through the postseason to get Air Force's Jeff Bzdelik, and it got its man. The question remains, though, about how he will recruit in a traditional setting. He was successful coaching players who were already in the program when he arrived.

Colorado State: Dale Layer was out, and the school made one of the smartest hires this spring by landing North Dakota State's Tim Miles. This shows CSU was paying attention to the whole landscape. Miles' Bison won at Wisconsin and at Marquette in the past two seasons, and he built a program from non-D-I to being a tough out in Division I.

Denver: Terry Carroll was sacked, and Denver showed it is committed to basketball by hiring Joe Scott away from Princeton. Scott failed with the Tigers but is the architect of the current Air Force phenomenon. Clearly, Denver wants to mimic what is working in Colorado Springs for itself in the Sun Belt.

Drake: Tom Davis essentially left the job for his son, Keano. Last season was a good one for sons coaching their fathers' programs, with Tony Bennett (Washington State), John Thompson III (Georgetown) and, at least early in the season, Sean Sutton (Oklahoma State). We'll see if the trend continues.

Evansville: This is similar to the Miles hire at CSU. Steve Merfeld was replaced by Marty Simmons, a successful coach at SIU-Edwardsville. We'll see whether that translates in the Valley.

Georgia State: This might go down as one of the best hires of the 2007 coaching carousel. Rod Barnes was a defensive specialist at Ole Miss but simply didn't have enough talent to compete at a high level in the SEC. That shouldn't be as hard a hill to climb in the CAA with his ties to the region. Barnes should help turn Georgia State around as he replaces Michael Perry.

Harvard: Quick, did anyone outside New England know the previous Harvard coach? Frank Sullivan was well-respected, but he wasn't able to get Harvard into the Ivy League's top two spots, which isn't an easy task with Penn and Princeton around. More than anything, Harvard put its basketball program on the map nationally. Tommy Amaker will offer class to Harvard and, without the big-time pressures of recruiting, he has a shot to flourish in the Ivy League because the Crimson should be able to get anyone they want among the highly educated pool of players.

Illinois State: This was one of those changes that didn't make a lot of sense. Porter Moser was forced out right as he was about to have his best team. Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich had been a success as an assistant but has yet to hit a home run as a head coach (when at North Texas). This is a much better situation, and it's all set up for him to be a hit.

Indiana State: Royce Waltman was out, and the Sycamores tapped into one of the most consistent programs in the league in Creighton. That's where Kevin McKenna comes from, and the hope is that the Bluejays' success will transfer to Indiana State.

Tommy Amaker
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesTommy Amaker moves from Michigan to Harvard.

Iona: You knew Jeff Ruland's tenure was heading for a rocky ending. He was let go, although paid off well, in favor of a Rick Pitino student. Kevin Willard will work his tail off at Iona, and the Gaels, who should be much improved, are poised to move up in the MAAC standings.

Iowa: Hard to question this hire because Todd Lickliter went to two Sweet 16s, and the last time I checked, a Butler head coach is doing quite well in the Big Ten (see: Thad Matta at Ohio State). The Steve Alford era had essentially run its course in Iowa City.

Kansas State: Frank Martin was direct in his news conference. He definitely comes across from a position of authority. But this does look like a quick-fix hire to keep the players and the assistant coaches (see: Dalonte Hill). This can work in the short term, but the pressure will be on in the long term for Martin and Hill to land players without selling Bob Huggins. Coaching during the season also will be a test because Martin hasn't been put in the type of pressure-packed situation when the decision is at his feet.

Kentucky: Billy Donovan was the first choice. You can debate whether Rick Barnes was second. Either way, Kentucky hit a home run in hiring Billy Gillispie. He will be married to the job. He will make practice worth watching -- or even selling tickets for -- on a regular basis. He will be beloved by the Kentucky faithful. Hard to find a single fault in Gillispie-to-Kentucky because he just seems to be such a fit.

Liberty: Randy Dunton out, Ritchie McKay in, and even though he's not from the East Coast, McKay is a great fit for this religion-based university. McKay's coaching wasn't a problem at New Mexico, but he never meshed with the masses. That shouldn't be an issue at Liberty.

Long Beach State: Sacking Larry Reynolds after making the NCAAs is difficult to defend, but getting Dan Monson as an alternative is a way to save face for Long Beach State. Monson is a solid coach, was the godfather of the current Gonzaga program, and just had plenty of bad breaks at Minnesota with injuries and early defections.

Marshall: As soon as Ron Jirsa was out at Marshall, hiring Donnie Jones, a native son, away from Donovan's staff at Florida was the only choice. Jones should fit in quite nicely at Marshall, and if recent success stories of Donovan assistants proves anything (Anthony Grant at VCU and Pelphrey now at Arkansas), Jones should be an instant hit.

Michigan : This also is a contender for best hire of the coaching carousel. John Beilein is arguably one of the best coaches in the country, let alone one of the smartest. Michigan will be well-coached, well-schooled and hard to beat from this day forward. It doesn't matter how he recruits Detroit or the state. He will win. You watch.

Minnesota: Credit Joel Maturi for being the most aggressive athletic director. Getting Tubby Smith out of Kentucky was a great hire. He will have Minnesota as one of the toughest teams to beat in the Big Ten. Just check his record. He might not land All-Americans, but when did Minnesota do that on a regular basis if the player wasn't from Minnesota? Smith will make the Gophers a tough defensive team in a conference that already is defined by defense.

New Mexico: The Lobos wanted a splash and got one with Steve Alford. New Mexico is pouring money into the staff, particularly with the big money being thrown at assistant Craig Neal. The expectations are high in Albuquerque, maybe even more so than in Iowa City, so the pressure will be on Alford to produce. The difference is that he has an administration that is fully behind him, building up the Pit and a new practice facility.

Dan Monson
Brian Bahr/Getty ImagesLong Beach State caught a break when it was able to snag Dan Monson.

North Dakota State: Saul Phillips was instrumental in helping Miles build the Bison. There is no indication he can't continue to keep NDSU going strong.

Northern Illinois: Ricardo Patton comes with a name, but does he have the ties to Chicago? That will be his toughest sell. The MAC isn't an easy league in which to climb to the top. NIU certainly was excited to get someone with Patton's name; now the chore will be to see how fast he can be successful.

Quinnipiac: The school was trying to lure big names in the mid- and low-major head coaching ranks. But in the end, the Q went with the man it should have gone with all along -- Tom Moore, a top Connecticut assistant who fully understands the landscape in the Nutmeg State.

Radford: Brad Greenberg wanted a shot as a head coach. He built up a name in the state as a Virginia Tech assistant, so Radford gave him a shot.

San Diego: Like Indiana State, San Diego wanted to copy the standard-bearer in its league. Billy Grier was going to be the next Gonzaga coach if Mark Few left. He had "head coaching material" written on him years ago. No one in the West has ill words to say about Grier, and the consensus is that USD will succeed.

Santa Clara: The Broncos went with the hot, young assistant coach in Kerry Keating. He has the pedigree in the sport with his father serving as an AD at Seton Hall, as an assistant at Kansas and on the NCAA rules committee. Keating has learned how to recruit in the West, and he should land plenty of talent for what is probably the second-best job in the WCC.

South Florida: Stan Heath wasn't the first, second or maybe even third choice, but he wanted the job. That says a lot. And if he wants it, and is working hard to be successful, that's a plus for the Bulls, who can't handle any more hurdles.

Southern Utah: Few coaches know Utah better than Roger Reid. He had many years of quality teams at BYU, but he had a bitter breakup with the Cougs. He has reinvented his career and deserves a second chance.

St. Bonaventure: This is kind of like South Florida -- a job few wanted. Well, Robert Morris' Mark Schmidt did -- and if he wants to be there, that's the first big step. The Bonnies need someone who is passionate about the place to sell it and climb out of this cavernous hole they have dug for themselves.

Texas A&M: Mark Turgeon is a fantastic hire. He recruits Texas well and did it for Wichita State. Now, he should be right in there for A&M. He's coming into the program at maybe its highest point ever. A new practice facility is on the horizon next season. He has a dry, Midwestern, understated personality that will sell well in south Texas. He should lead the Aggies back to the dance next season.

Utah: This looks as if it was a change to make a change as Ray Giacoletti was bounced two years removed from a Sweet 16 run. Chris Hill wanted Larry Krystkowiak, but the Milwaukee Bucks wanted him more. Jim Boylen was a surprise hire because he has no ties to the region, but Tom Izzo's Michigan State assistants have done quite well for themselves, and if Boylen can duplicate what Tom Crean did, the Utes have taken the right gamble.

West Virginia: Bob Huggins always has won, so it's hard to debate the hire. In the short term, it will be interesting to see how he coaches players built for Beilein's style but, long term, he should be a big hit for a program that was given a new identity under Beilein but always is looking for national attention. Beilein put them on the map with his style of play, but Huggins will bring constant attention simply because he is on the sideline. He'll win and likely will defuse some of the added attention on himself.

Wyoming: Steve McClain was a success in Laramie, but for whatever reason, the Pokes felt they needed to make a change. Heath Schroyer was there once; now he's back again, but it will be hard to duplicate what McClain accomplished during his tenure.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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