College basketball coaching carousel: Georgia hires Tom Crean, UConn the top job open
Crean's hiring was announced Thursday night by Georgia
Tom Crean has been hired by Georgia as the school's next men's basketball coach. An official announcement was made Thursday night. The news came on the first day of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Coincidentally, Crean was fired from Indiana on the first day of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Crean won the Big Ten in 2013 and 2016. His time as a head coach dates back to 1999 when he got the job at Marquette. He spent the 2017-18 season working for ESPN.
"Make no mistake, this is a basketball program inside of a great university that can compete for championships doing it the right way," Crean said. "We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with the University of Georgia very proud of our efforts. We're going to need everyone in the Bulldog Nation to help us to create the energy and excitement that will take Georgia to the highest levels of success."
College basketball has a lot of turnover every year with its head coaches. Because there are 351 schools, anywhere from 40 to 60 changes are made annually. There are now 24 jobs that need filling as of Thursday, and 29 schools total have decided to make a change.
Be sure to bookmark/favorite this page as it will get updated often with the latest hirings, firings or resignations in college basketball -- even as the NCAA Tournament is on the main stage.
Out: Kevin Ollie. Four years after winning a national title as a No. 7 seed, Ollie is now out. It's a rare fall from the top of the sport in terms of how fast all of this happened. Ollie's name was linked to potential NBA openings as recently as two years ago. It remains to be seen if UConn will have to pay him more than $9 million to buy out his contract. A legal battle could very well ensue. As for the opening, Rhode Island's Dan Hurley is considered an obvious choice to step in there. Hurley would certainly listen to offers -- but he's in the midst of his best season yet.
Out: Mark Fox. Georgia's made a change after nine seasons under Fox. The Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament twice (2011, 2015), each time as a 10 seed. Fox should have a shot at a mid-major job going forward if he so chooses. This is a job with a high ceiling. Atlanta is rich with talent annually.
In: Tom Crean. Crean has a 356-231 career record in 18 seasons at Marquette and Indiana. He coached Marquette to a Final Four with Dwyane Wade in 2004. He won the Big Ten twice while at Indiana. The hire puts Georgia in a position where it will try to get to the top of the SEC with a veteran coach who's been in major-conference college basketball for decades.
"Tom Crean is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball over the past two decades," school AD Greg McGarity said. "His teams have consistently been participants in postseason play, and his players have been extremely successful in the classroom. He's going to be a great fit for the University of Georgia. I'm extremely excited to have him leading Georgia Basketball into the future and to welcome his family into the Bulldog Nation."
Out: Kevin Stallings. Pitt's disastrous hire from just two years is now complete, though the school is likely going to have to shell out $9.4 million to Stallings to make him go away. It goes down as one of the biggest coaching-hire busts in college hoops history. Pitt went 8-24 this season, including 0-19 against ACC teams. In two years, Stallings was 24-41. The Pitt job has promise, but the question becomes how much can it pay and who can it lure in? Crean could be a potential fit. Rhode Island's Dan Hurley will probably get a call too.
Out: Reggie Theus. The former NBA player and coach could not find success in the Big West, bottoming out after five seasons with a 6-24 record. Theus, 60, went 53-105 at CSUN.
In: Mark Gottfried. ESPN reported on March 12 that Gottfried would take over. It's certainly a big-name hire for a Big West school, but Gottfried left behind a situation at NC State that wound up having the Department of Justice.
Out: Marty Wilson. The school announced on Feb. 14 that this season would be Wilson's last. The Waves went 6-26 this season, including nearly upsetting Saint Mary's in the WCC quarterfinals on March 3. The school last earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 2002 under Paul Westphal.
In: Lorenzo Romar. The school announced on March 12 that Romar would take over for the Waves. He'll move from his one-year gig as associated head coach at Arizona and stay on the West Coast. Romar, with a top-level mid-major staff, might put Pepperdine in position to compete for the league title within three years.
Out: Bob Walsh. After four seasons, Walsh decided to walk away from one of the toughest jobs in college basketball. Walsh texted CBS Sports on March 5: "I have decided not to pursue a contract extension at Maine. Looking forward to pursuing new challenges." Walsh is wired differently than a lot of other coaches. He could opt to stay on as an assistant in D-I, or he could coach at a lower level, or he could get out of the business altogether.
In: Richard Barron. What's happening at Maine is a rarity on a couple of fronts. For one, Barron is the former women's coach at Maine. He is taking over the men's program after a medical leave of absence caused him to step away from the women's team previously. Also, it's rare to see a program have its head coach step down -- and then announce that coach's replacement, who was not on the staff, within a matter of hours. Maine is on a slim-pickings, tight budget and is one of the toughest jobs in college basketball.
Out: Rick Pitino. The Cardinals are a bubble team who've been coached all season by David Padgett, tagged with an interim title. He's the only member of Pitino's coaching staff who was kept on after the FBI scandal broke and Pitino was fired in early October. (Pitino is in the process of suing the school.) The Cardinals still await NCAA review regarding illegal activity uncovered in the FBI probe, meaning the program could be subject to another round of sanctions. When that happens no one knows, and so it's tough to gauge how many high-profile candidates for this job would consider passing on it with so much uncertainty. When free of any NCAA restrictions, Louisville is unquestionably considered a top-10 gig in the sport. Reasonable names Louisville should consider include Xavier coach Chris Mack, Wichita State's Gregg Marshall, Providence's Ed Cooley, Cincinnati's Mick Cronin, Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams and former Indiana coach Tom Crean.
Out: Andy Kennedy. Ole Miss and Kennedy officially parted ways on Feb. 18. He went 245-156 in 12 seasons, making the NCAA Tournament twice. The Ole Miss job is considered bottom-three in the SEC, so athletic director Ross Bjork will need to nail the hire in order to upgrade the program in an upgraded SEC. Middle Tennessee's Kermit Davis would be a natural fit for the program.
Out: Larry Eustachy. Resigned on Feb. 26, following being placed on administrative leave for an investigation into how he treated his players. Eustachy left with $750,000 for this season and $250,000 over nearly the next year. Candidates include South Dakota's Craig Smith and Drake's Niko Medved, among others. The job, which is in a desirable spot in the Mountain West, will probably pay around $600,000 in the first year of coach's contract.
Out: Jeff Lebo. Resigned on Nov. 29. This is a bottom-tier AAC job. The Pirates went 10-19 this season. Take a scan at every program in a Major 7 conference, and the only one that might compete with ECU right now in terms of desperate need of a complete overhaul in identity and personnel is Washington State.
Out: Mark Price. Houston Fancher took over after Mark Price and Charlotte severed ties in December. The 49ers, once a program expecting to make the NCAA Tournament nearly every year, went 2-16 in C-USA and seem to be starting a long process of rebuild from the athletic director on down. Charlotte basketball was at one point an unquestionable top-50 program, but we're almost two decades removed from that.
Out: Tim Duryea. A 16-win average over the past three seasons led to an unexpected firing of Duryea. The school's administration is obviously in search of returning to the success from the Stew Morrill era.
Out: Paul Lusk. The industry had murmurs about Lusk's job status in the final weeks of the season. The Bears were the preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley but went 7-11 in league play and finished 18-15 overall. Lusk spent seven seasons with the program and averaged 15 wins per year. Many who do work or have worked in The Valley consider it a top-two job in the conference now that Wichita State has left.
Out: Lamont Smith. On March 7, Smith resigned from his alma mater after three seasons. The 42-year-old was arrested at the airport on suspicion of domestic violence the day after USD's regular season finale at San Francisco. However, Smith was never charged and his lawyer released a statement clarifying that. Legally, the matter is over. Smith was hired at San Diego in 2015. The Toreros' 18-13 season ended in the first round of the WCC tournament.
Out: Tim Floyd. On Nov. 27, Floyd abruptly retired after a 1-5 start. Floyd coached the program for seven full seasons. He never got to the NCAA Tournament at UTEP. The Miners went 11-19 in the regular season.
In: Rodney Terry. This rumor had picked up steam in the week before it happened. UTEP announced Terry as its new coach on March 12. It got him to leave Fresno State. He's familiar with Texas, so it might wind up being a long-term win for the program. The Miners play in C-USA, and this job, although once a place where NCAA Tournaments were attainable, is one of the toughest spots in the league.
Out: Dan McHale. Eastern Kentucky terminated McHale on Feb. 26 after just three seasons. EKU athletic director Stephen Lochumueller made the call, which took some in the industry by surprise. McHale went 38-55 but never made the OVC tournament under his watch.
Out: Matthew Graves. Evan Daniels of 247 Sports reported on Thursday that Graves was let go after five seasons with the Jaguars. His team went 14-18 this season; Graves' record with USA was 65-96. He is a disciple of Brad Stevens, having served as associate head coach under Stevens at Butler. Under Graves, the Jags never finished .500 in Sun Belt play.
Out: G.G. Smith. Multiple reports surfaced on Thursday that Smith has been fired after five seasons with the Greyhounds. The program was never above .500 overall or in league play under Smith. The Patriot League-based school last made the NCAAs in 2012 under current Siena coach Jimmy Patsos.
Out: Mike Maker. A bad four-year run led to Maker's end with the Red Foxes. The program totaled only 28 wins in his tenure. When the next hire is made, it will be the sixth coach in 16 seasons at the school. Marist is considered a bottom-third job in the MAAC.
Out: Tim O'Shea. The Bulldogs transitioned to D-I in 2008-09. O'Shea spent a decade with the program, but the team was a miserable 3-28 this season. The job is considered a good one in the Northeast Conference. One potential candidate who Bryant could look at: Jim Ferry. The Penn State assistant coached LIU Brooklyn to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2011 and 2012 -- in the NEC.
Out: Larry Hunter resigned after 13 seasons with the program. Hunter won 193 games, good for second in program history. The SoCon program based out of Cullowhee, North Carolina, will lose five seniors and potentially more players to transfer due to the change in leadership.
Out: Scott Cherry. The school announced March 7 that a "mutual" agreement between Cherry and the administration had been made to sever ties. Cherry was at High Point for nine seasons, and often had a top-two team in the Big South. In five of Cherry's seasons with the program the school won 10 or more games in league play. Injuries to top players prevented the school from reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Out: Wes Flanigan. This was a surprising one. Little Rock won an NCAA Tournament game just two years ago under Chris Beard. Flanigan got the job, dealt with some adversity, but is out only two years later. Flanigan went 22-42.
"I am appreciative to coach Flanigan for his service to the university and our basketball program," school AD Chasse Conque said. "At the conclusion of each season I evaluate each of our programs. Based on where we stand today, we felt our men's basketball program needed a change in leadership."
Out: Dennis Cutts. It was not a nice start to 2018 for Cutts, who was fired Cutts on Jan. 1. The Highlanders went 4-12 in league play under interim Justin Bell. The program has been in Division I since 2001-02 and has never gotten to the NCAA Tournament.
In: David Patrick. The associate head coach at TCU -- and the man responsible for getting Ben Simmons to LSU when he was on staff there -- is taking over the Highlanders' program. Patrick has an extensive basketball background. He played pro in Australia, England and Spain, and has spent time with four college basketball programs. It's a solid hire.
Out: Dave Simmons. He lasted 12 seasons at one of the toughest jobs in the Southland Conference. Simmons' peak came in 2010-11, when the Cowboys went 21-12 and lost in the league title game. The school last made the Big Dance in 2002.
In: Heath Schroyer. Schroyer, who was an assistant at BYU, has previously been a head coach at Portland State, Wyoming and Tennessee-Martin. His career record is 125-143. He has not coached a team to the NCAA Tournament.
Out: Kyle Perry. The university dismissed Perry and school athletic director Julio Freire on March 1. Perry was brought on just last October. The Spartans rated as the worst defensive team in college basketball. This program is moving out of the Atlantic Sun and going to the Big South.
Out: Jayson Gee. Went 7-26 and was there for five seasons. The Lancers started 3-3 in Big South play before losing 12 straight. Gee's team did not win a non-conference game vs. a Division I opponent this season. In five seasons, he never won more than 11 games at the school, which has been in Division I since 2004-05.
Out: Ken Burmeister. It was year No. 5 for the Cardinals in D-I. It was their worst season yet, a 7-21 finish with a 2-16 record in the Southland. The administration needs to make the right kind of hire to replace Burmeister in order to get on track in the Southland. It could be detrimental to D-I transition if the next coach can't bring the program to the top half of the conference in the next three seasons.
Out: Keith Walker. The Hornets ranked 350th out of 351 teams at KenPom this season. Walker lasted four seasons as a head coach in the MEAC. The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2005.
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The second round of the NCAA Tournament begins Saturday