Commentary

Catching up on the coaching carousel

Originally Published: April 8, 2011
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

As far as we know, the coaching carousel is nearly complete. Did you even notice?

The usually far-reaching dominoes haven't fallen as much with plenty of positions being filled by out-of-work coaches, mid-major coaches and assistant coaches. There hasn't been a whole lot of poaching from one major school to the next, or at least not as much as usual. One high-profile move to the NBA, though, and that could all change.

With that said, here is a quick breakdown of what has occurred so far, with 30 positions having been filled and 13 still to go as of Friday morning:

Alcorn State

Out: Larry Smith
In: Luther Riley

Smith was booted after a 12-78 record in three seasons at Alcorn State. The Braves went for a successful instate high school coach in Jackson Provine High's Riley, who previously worked at Alcorn under longtime head coach Dave Whitney. Alcorn clearly needed a change, and the administration is going with a fresh face that has a link to a strong past.

Arkansas

Out: John Pelphrey
In: Mike Anderson

It's safe to say Pelphrey wasn't pleased that he didn't get a chance to coach the heralded, top-10 recruiting class he had lined up for next season. So if athletic director Jeff Long was going to make this move, he had to land Anderson. And he did. Had he failed and had Anderson stayed at Missouri, it may have been looked at as a failure. Razorbacks fans desperately wanted to bring back a link to its most successful run: the Nolan Richardson era. Arkansas probably should have hired Anderson -- an assistant for two decades under Richardson -- years ago, instead of going through the Stan Heath-Pelphrey era. There's no reason to believe Anderson won't reenergize the Hogs' program and get Bud Walton rocking again.

Bradley

Out: Jim Les
In: Geno Ford

Frankly, Les should have probably bolted after reaching the Sweet 16 in 2006. He didn't and eventually got run out of his alma mater after nine seasons. The Braves have one of the more passionate fan bases in the Missouri Valley, and Ford is a solid hire who had done well at Kent State, keeping the Golden Flashes at or near the top of the MAC. The Valley has failed to garner any at-large bids the last few years, but it's still a step up from the struggling MAC. This is a step up for Ford.

Cal State Bakersfield

Out: Keith Brown
In: Rod Barnes

This hire came out of left field but, nonetheless, is a major coup for new Division I program Bakersfield. Barnes was let go at Georgia State after four seasons but did have some success at Ole Miss, where he led the Rebels to three NCAA tourney appearances and all the way to the Sweet 16 in 2001. Barnes' teams have always struggled a bit offensively, but he's one of the better defensive coaches and a high-character guy.

Dayton

Out: Brian Gregory
In: Archie Miller

Gregory was a surprise choice at Georgia Tech, leaving one of the top jobs outside a power-six conference available. Dayton is behind only Xavier as the second-best job in the Atlantic 10. The fan base is passionate about its team, the facilities are strong and the talent is abundant in the region. Miller, who comes to UD from the Arizona staff, has had plenty of proper training with brother Sean, Thad Matta and Herb Sendek as mentors. That's not a guarantee of success for the former NC State point guard, but he's surely been prepped well.

Eastern Washington

Out: Kirk Earlywine
In: Jim Hayford

Earlywine's four-year tenure ended without much fanfare. Hayford was a successful coach at Division III Whitworth, so this may work for Eastern in the Big Sky to go with something different -- a quality coach from a lower level. This move is akin to Iona hiring C.W. Post's Tim Cluess, who led the Gaels to the MAAC title game and the CIT title game in his first season.

Fairfield

Out: Ed Cooley
In: Sydney Johnson

Cooley went to Providence after leading the Stags to the MAAC regular-season title. Fairfield has consistently been one of the top jobs in the MAAC, with funding, proximity to players in the tri-state area and the ability to lure interest from significant candidates. Johnson cried when Princeton beat Harvard. He cried again when Princeton narrowly lost to Kentucky. He is a Princeton alumnus who was overwhelmed with what the Tigers did this past season. He took over a program that had bottomed out under Joe Scott and built back up the tradition. And then he took the money when Princeton wouldn't pay a market price. He should be a success at Fairfield, especially early, with Derek Needham and transfer Rakim Sanders. But it'll be tough to maintain the same emotional zeal he had at Princeton since he has no ties to his new school.

Florida Gulf Coast

Out: Dave Balza
In: Andy Enfield

By plucking Enfield off Florida State's bench, Florida Gulf Coast went for a coach who knows the state well. FGCU doesn't have much of a national or regional footprint because it is a fairly new Div. I program, but nabbing Enfield gives it a chance for more recognition within the state. He also has experience as an NBA assistant, which can't hurt while out recruiting.

Fresno State

Out: Steve Cleveland
In: Rodney Terry

Cleveland left BYU to come home to Fresno, where he had successfully coached Fresno City College before his days with the Cougars. He recruited well at Fresno State, at least nabbing a few stars along the way, such as Paul George and Greg Smith. But Fresno State was never able to crack the upper tier of the WAC in Cleveland's six seasons. Terry has had a long run under Rick Barnes, helping him keep Texas at a high level for the past nine seasons. He is ready for an opportunity like this one as the Bulldogs move to the Mountain West. Terry doesn't have any ties to California so he will have a learning curve. But he deserves a shot to make his mark.

Georgia State

Out: Rod Barnes
In: Ron Hunter

Any job in the Colonial Athletic Association is now suddenly coveted. The stakes have been raised in the league with two Final Four teams in the past five seasons. Hunter said the reason he wanted to go to Georgia State was the league affiliation. At IUPUI, he had a hard time passing up Summit League power Oakland and at times Oral Roberts. But he is as high-class a person as there is in the business, with his charitable work with Samaritan's Feet. Hunter deserves a chance in a better conference. Let's see if he can make it work.

Georgia Tech

Out: Paul Hewitt
In: Brian Gregory

This was an intriguing decision by Georgia Tech. The school needed a change and was willing to pay an estimated $7 million to get rid of Hewitt, which means it couldn't pay at a high level for a new coach. Gregory had been a hot name earlier in his Dayton career and he will work his tail off. He's known to burn the candle 24/7, and his teams will play hard. But his teams were also erratic at Dayton, unable to be a consistent NCAA tourney squad out of the A-10 like rival Xavier. The good news is that the ACC has never been more wide-open beyond Duke and North Carolina. With that said, stability seems to have arrived at Clemson and Maryland will always be a tough out and Florida State isn't going anywhere. So Tech has a chore to move up to the upper half.

Kent State

Out: Geno Ford
In: Rob Senderoff

Ford went for a more consistently paying gig at Bradley, but he leaves a school that has had one of the best programs and fan bases in the MAC for quite some time. Senderoff is proof that a show-cause penalty by the NCAA Committee on Infractions doesn't necessarily have to be a death sentence to your coaching career. He survived the Kelvin Sampson mess at Indiana and came out of it with a head-coaching job. Credit former athletic director Laing Kennedy giving Senderoff a chance and current AD Joel Neilsen for taking the next step.

Lamar

Out: Steve Roccaforte
In: Pat Knight

Knight is getting a second chance at Lamar after he was sacked by Texas Tech, which showed no real progress this past season despite having a team full of upperclassmen. Looking back, this is probably the sort of gig Knight should have taken to start his career instead of following his father, Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, to the Red Raiders. Pat may be more at home starting at Lamar's level and working his way back up the coaching tree.

Louisiana Tech

Out: Kerry Rupp
In: Michael White

White is the son of Duke athletic director Kevin White and has been in the game for a while now, after playing for and working under Rob Evans and then Andy Kennedy. Louisiana Tech's program is in a precarious position as it desperately wants to be in Conference USA instead of a Western Athletic Conference that is crumbling. White also has to compete against a giant of a coach in Stew Morrill at Utah State. That's no easy task.

Loyola (Illinois)

Out: Jim Whitesell
In: Porter Moser

Loyola athletic director Grace Calhoun wants Loyola to compete at the top of the Horizon League against Butler, Cleveland State, Milwaukee and Valparaiso. Moser was pushed out after four seasons at Illinois State and had been a trusted aid to Rick Majerus at Saint Louis for the previous three. He's always recruited his native Chicago well and now he'll have another chance. But he has quite a chore to keep Loyola in the upper half of what has become one of the tougher mid-major conferences.

Missouri

Out: Mike Anderson
In: Frank Haith

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden tried to lure Purdue's Matt Painter to no avail. So he turned to Haith, who was an assistant at Texas under Barnes before moving to Miami. There's no debating that the Hurricanes were wildly inconsistent under Haith, reaching the NCAAs just once in his six seasons and never attaining a winning record in the ACC. He recruited exceptionally well, but his teams weren't able to win close games. Haith is a high-character individual who will recruit well at Missouri. Now the chore is to win consistently. The team returning is ready-made to be in the Big Dance next season. Anything less would be a disappointment and would be fuel to the fire for the many critics of this hire.

Missouri State

Out: Cuonzo Martin
In: Paul Lusk

Martin took a better job and a higher-paying gig at Tennessee. He led the Bears to the conference regular-season title but lost to Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. As for his replacement, Lusk is from the same family tree at Purdue and has a good reputation. Missouri State is assuming that its upward trajectory will continue by keeping things in house and continuing with the Gene Keady coaching offspring.

Monmouth

Out: Dave Calloway
In: King Rice

Talk to coaches in the NEC and they'll all say Monmouth is one of the better jobs in the league. Calloway lasted 14 seasons but couldn't survive the program's recent tailspin (48-105 over the last five seasons) and was forced to resign. Rice has been interviewing for a number of jobs in recent years and finally landed one. He was a visible assistant for Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt and, the former North Carolina point guard has some name recognition in his native tri-state area. The odds are in Rice's favor to be a success with the Hawks.

NC State

Out: Sidney Lowe
In: Mark Gottfried

Lowe was given five years at his alma mater but couldn't get the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament. NC State athletic director Debbie Yow tried to go for high-profile names for this job and whiffed. She then danced with the idea of other coaches who stayed put in Shaka Smart, Chris Mooney, Gregg Marshall and Mick Cronin. And then, with the help of Dan Parker's search firm, she decided on ESPN analyst Mark Gottfried, a former longtime coach at Alabama. Gottfried, who did carry the Crimson Tide all the way to the Elite Eight at one point, has the personality to invade the triangle. He should recruit well, and now the test will be to see if he can take a mediocre program and elevate it out of the muddled middle in the ACC.

Northern Illinois

Out: Ricardo Patton
In: Mark Montgomery

Patton had been recycled from Colorado to NIU and was never able to produce a footprint in the MAC. Montgomery has been a trusted assistant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State and knows the Chicago area well. Montgomery deserved to get a shot at a Division I school and he has a legit shot of making this one work with his strong ties in the upper Midwest. Solid hire.

Oklahoma

Out: Jeff Capel
In: Lon Kruger

I was a bit surprised that OU athletic director Joe Castiglione didn't give Capel one more season, even though he had struggled in two seasons since the Blake Griffin-led Elite Eight. His recruiting looked good on paper, but guys such as Willie Warren and Tiny Gallon eventually flamed out with an eye on the NBA. An NCAA investigation didn't help. Castiglione had to find a coach who could settle things and was well-respected in the Big 12. He found one in former Kansas State coach Kruger, who adds a statesman-like quality to the program. Kruger won't add too much flash (Capel wasn't outspoken, either) but should settle things down. The key will be landing the type of talent necessary to compete with the upper echelon of the Big 12. He had been successful at UNLV in landing four-year transfers and junior college players. He'll likely to follow a similar model at Oklahoma.

Pepperdine

Out: Tom Asbury
In: Marty Wilson

Asbury was planning on retiring for quite some time, and the plan all along was to smoothly transition to Wilson. The problem is that Pepperdine, a once-regular contender for the WCC title, is now way down the pecking order behind Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and BYU. Santa Clara, San Francisco and Portland have passed the Waves as well. Wilson has a beautiful campus to work with but he has his hands full.

Providence

Out: Keno Davis
In: Ed Cooley

Davis had three years to prove he belonged at Providence. He failed. The Friars didn't play defense and had numerous off-court issues. But athletic director Bob Driscoll should also feel heat for hiring Davis and giving him an extension that caused a huge buyout. As for Cooley, he is a home-state success story, having been born into poverty and rising all the way to a Division I head coach at Fairfield after an assistant gig at Boston College. Cooley will recruit well but he faces an immense challenge to get the Friars out of the bottom of the Big East. Losing mega-scorer Marshon Brooks will make it an even tougher for the first year on the job. But PC certainly found someone who loves the state and is driven to succeed against heavy odds.

Tennessee

Out: Bruce Pearl
In: Cuonzo Martin

Tennessee completely mismanaged the entire season. If Pearl was going to be fired, it should have happened in September. The sanctions against him and then his eight-game league suspension contributed to a chaotic season. The assumption was that the Vols would wait for Smart, but AD Mike Hamilton acted quickly in landing Martin. He has a great story with his rise from the streets of East St. Louis to battling back from cancer, succeeding as a player and assistant at Purdue, to winning the Missouri Valley title while at Missouri State. For whatever reason, SEC schools tend to hire from mid-major conferences, so this is no surprise, but it will be interesting to see how Martin transitions to the South since his roots have always been in the Midwest. It's also hard to project what kind of restrictions Martin will be under going forward at UT since the NCAA sanctions aren't yet known.

Tennessee Tech

Out: Mike Sutton
In: Steve Payne

Sutton has had a heroic battle against a muscular disease that has limited his mobility since 2005. He told me recently he wanted to start a new life outside of coaching and give Payne a chance. Sutton is all class and throughout his difficulties, with the help of Payne, has kept Tennessee Tech relevant in the Ohio Valley. Payne should be able to do the same thing in replacing his mentor on a full-time basis.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Out: Perry Clark
In: Willis Wilson

Clark resigned, telling me last month that the job was more difficult than he imagined after being at a higher level for most of his career. Wilson had one of the tougher jobs for years at Rice. He tried to get other higher-profile gigs, such as Illinois, but to no avail. He served as Josh Pastner's assistant the past two seasons as an elder statesman on the Memphis staff. But Wilson has taken on another tough gig in TAMU-CC, which always seems to be battling uphill in the Southland.

Texas Tech

Out: Pat Knight
In: Billy Gillispie

Knight had a veteran squad last season and should have had the Red Raiders at a more competitive level. They weren't, and the time for a change was right, especially with athletic director Gerald Myers retiring. Gillispie was ready to get back into coaching after his tenure at Kentucky ended poorly. He is perfect for Lubbock. He is Texas through and through and had his best years in the biz at UTEP and Texas A&M. Gillispie will do well in recruiting, and soon the Red Raiders will be one of the toughest, most defensive-sound units in the Big 12. Like the Cooley hire at Providence, this one made the most sense from the start, and the school got it done.

Towson

Out: Pat Kennedy
In: Pat Skerry

Kennedy floundered at Towson and finished his final season 0-18 in the CAA. As for Skerry, he owes this job to Pitt's Jamie Dixon, who is now suddenly the hot coach to land a head-coaching gig. (See: Mike Rice and Tom Herrion.) Skerry spent one season at Pitt after years in Rhode Island. He is well-connected in recruiting but has quite a task ahead of him in securing talent and winning against coaches such as Mason's Jim Larranaga, ODU's Blaine Taylor, VCU's Smart and Drexel's Bruiser Flint.

Utah

Out: Jim Boylen
In: Larry Krystkowiak

Like Ray Giacoletti before him, Boylen -- a former assistant in the NBA and under Izzo -- was in a tough spot trying to recover the magic that occurred under Rick Majerus. Apathy settled in as recruiting faltered and losing started to become the norm. Utah used to have one of the toughest home courts in the West. That intimidation is gone now. Krystkowiak has to recapture that, especially with the move to the Pac-12. He had tremendous success in his two years at Montana, leading the Grizzlies to consecutive NCAA appearances. He went to the NBA after that, coaching the Milwaukee Bucks and assisting the New Jersey Nets. He is a likeable fellow who should fit in well in Salt Lake. But he has to win to get the folks excited again.

Wyoming

Out: Heath Schroyer
In: Larry Shyatt

Wyoming somehow bailed itself out of a bad situation with the hiring of Shyatt. Schroyer was sacked in February, a move that didn't make much sense since the Cowboys were just finishing out the string. The school struggled to find a replacement, but Shyatt swooped in and decided to return to UW, where he was once head coach before taking the Clemson job. It's rare that a coach would be willing to return to the chilly plains of Laramie, but Shyatt's children are grown and he's ready for a head-coaching gig again after serving as Billy Donovan's top assistant at Florida. Nabbing his good friend, Scott Duncan, off UCLA's staff was a major coup. Getting talent to Wyoming is not easy, but know this about Shyatt and Duncan: They will recruit and work as hard as anyone.

Still to be filled

Alabama A&M: Can't predict a new head coach here. Vann Pettaway resigned after 25 seasons at his alma mater, where he turned A&M into a Division II power and enjoyed some success while in Division I, including a 2005 NCAA tourney appearance. At a SWAC school, or any school, that's a resume that will be hard to match.

Colgate: Emmett Davis is out at one of the more remote Patriot League gigs. Northeastern assistant Pat Duquette (formerly at Boston College) and Connecticut director of basketball operations Glen Miller are two of the candidates for the Raiders. Either one would be a win for the school.

Eastern Michigan: Charles Ramsey was fired after six years at his alma mater, and a MAC job is suddenly open in a rich-recruiting area. This position has consistently gone to regional assistants, and it would be a decent first job for someone in the Big Ten. With that in mind, instate coaches such as Bacari Alexander (Michigan) and Dwayne Stephens (Michigan State) might be in play here.

Florida A&M: FAMU fired Eugene Harris after he went 46-80 in four seasons. The Rattlers were 7-9 in the MEAC this past season and lost in the opening round of the conference tournament. The job has been open for three-plus weeks as athletic director Derek Horne seeks a replacement for the Tallahassee school.

IUPUI: Ron Hunter left the comfort of Indianapolis for Georgia State in the Colonial. IUPUI is a solid job, but moving up in the Summit is no easy task with Greg Kampe's Oakland machine chugging on. According to reports in the Indy Star, possible candidates include longtime assistant Todd Howard and former Div. I head coaches Todd Lickliter and Jay John.

Kennesaw State: Tony Ingle's squad beat Georgia Tech at home in November, but now he and Hewitt are out of work. Kennesaw is a niche job in which recruiting the South, especially Georgia, is paramount to success. The search was held up while the school sought a new athletic director but should pick up now that former UConn associate AD Vaughn Williams was named to the post earlier this week.

Manhattan: The Jaspers have long fancied themselves as one of the top programs in the MAAC, and Barry Rohrssen was fired after he couldn't get it done in five seasons. Former Manhattan coaches have gone onto top jobs in the Big East, from Steve Lappas to Fran Fraschilla to Bobby Gonzalez. Jim Ferry of Long Island University has been a hot name for this job, and local media outlets report that the hire is imminent. Ferry took over the Blackbirds and eventually built them into a 27-6 NEC champion.

Miami: Haith was a surprise choice at Missouri, leaving behind some serious talent in Reggie Johnson inside and Durand Scott on the perimeter. Miami isn't going to go after hometown coach Frank Martin of Kansas State. Former BC coach Al Skinner makes sense, given his previous success in the ACC, but it's unclear what direction the Canes will go at this juncture. Might Florida Atlantic's Mike Jarvis get another shot in a big-time conference?

Princeton: Once again, athletic director Gary Walters was caught off-guard by an abrupt departure. After Joe Scott bolted for Denver, Walters hit a home run in hiring alumnus Johnson away from Georgetown's staff. If he wants to again stay within the Princeton family, he could go with Mitch Henderson (Northwestern assistant), Brian Earl (Princeton assistant) or Mike Brennan (Georgetown assistant). Whoever gets the job, though, will likely be chasing rival Harvard in his first season. The Crimson return nearly everyone of significance.

Southern: Southern fired coach Rob Spivery, who led the Jaguars to the NCAA tourney in his first year (2006) but plummeted all the way to 4-26 last season. The interesting thing is how this was handled. The university said Spivery was fired on March 18, but his termination is effective on April 21. And the announcement came out on April 2. Then there's the matter of who gets to make the hire. Athletic director Greg LaFleur was fired following his arrest for solicitation of a prostitute in Houston during the Final Four. That means the hiring process could take some time obviously. What a mess.

Stetson: Longtime coach Derek Waugh and athletic director Jeff Altier agreed a change needed to be made after more than a decade of mostly unsuccessful seasons. Waugh had one year remaining on his contract and will remain on as assistant athletic director. The Hatters have been pretty quiet about a potential replacement, but one would expect an announcement will come soon.

UC Davis: Gary Stewart is part of an unsettling trend. If you're on the NABC board, you're apparently going to get bounced. (See: Paul Hewitt, Ernie Kent.) UC Davis is likely to look at a top assistant as it tries to gain footing in a Big West that has been dominated by the SoCal schools lately. And speaking of SoCal, USC associate Bob Cantu is one of the prime candidates for the job.

UNLV: Lon Kruger's abrupt departure opened the door for AD Jim Livengood to go back to the Jerry Tarkanian era. The job will come down to Dave Rice, who played for Tark in the early 1990s, or Reggie Theus, who played for Tark in the late 1970s. Theus is the flashier choice and a former head coach at New Mexico State and with the Sacramento Kings (now an asisstant with the Minnesota Timberwolves). Rice, though, deserves a serious look after serving an apprenticeship under Dave Rose at BYU, following jobs at Utah State and UNLV. Rice has been instrumental in helping the Cougars compete for a league title the past five seasons and is worthy of a job somewhere. Will it be at his alma mater? We'll know soon enough.

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com