College basketball coaching changes: Alabama reportedly negotiating a buyout for Avery Johnson
Unexpectedly, a major-conference job is reportedly set to open -- and more big ones may well follow
A surprising piece of news surfaced on Thursday night, amid the din of the NCAA Tournament: Alabama reportedly is in the process of parting ways with Avery Johnson.
AL.com broke the news, which makes sure to specify that the apparent impending divorce for Johnson and Alabama is a mutual deal. This comes a day after Alabama took an 80-79 home loss to Norfolk State in the NIT which, statistically, was one of the most unlikely outcomes of the 2018-19 season.
Johnson's past four seasons with Alabama: 75 wins, 62 losses. He took the Tide to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, his only appearance there in his tenure. The move is a surprise in part because Alabama has the 19th-rated recruiting class for 2019, according to 247 Sports.
The move potentially could create big waves in the coaching industry if and when it happens. Steve Prohm's name will buzz for that Alabama job (he's an alumnus and highly qualified for the gig), even as his team plays in the NCAA Tournament. From there, questions about Iowa State will surface. If Prohm were to leave, well, Fred Hoiberg returning home would make for one heck of a story. (Hoiberg has also reportedly been connected to the Nebraska job.)
There are 29 jobs that have gone or will undergo changeover at this point. More are certain to open in the next few days. The biggest gigs available as of now: UCLA, Texas A&M, Temple, UNLV, Saint Joe's and Washington State. Nebraska is expected to formally open as soon as the Cornhuskers play their final game of the season. And now there's Alabama.
This is the latest look at the coaching carousel.
|Team||Out||In||What to know|
|Steve Alford||TBD||The job is no longer considered top-10 in college basketball (though UCLA as a program on the whole, historically, still is, of course), but it's unquestionably a top-20 gig in the sport. Tony Bennett, Chris Beard and Luke Walton are among the buzziest names that have been mentioned as candidates. Those are men with four different styles -- and it's possible if not likely that someone else outside that group winds up in Westwood. |
|Billy Kennedy||TBD||Kennedy's time in College Station ends after eight season. The Aggies went to the Sweet 16 in 2018 and 2016, but never made the NCAA tourney in the six other years under Kennedy. He finishes with a record of 151-116. Sources told CBS Sports that A&M has been targeting Buzz Williams to be Kennedy's successor. The Virginia Tech coach is in his fifth season with the Hokies and will be taking that program to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season -- which has never been done before in school history. |
Buying out Kennedy and his staff will cost A&M close to $5 million.
|Avery Johnson||TBD||Multiple reports indicate that Alabama and Avery Johnson will officially terminate their business partnership on Friday. From there, an interesting pool of candidates could arise. In addition to Steve Prohm getting a look, remember, Gregg Marshall turned the job last time.|
|Fran Dunphy||Aaron McKie||McKie, who played at Temple , was named the successor to Dunphy when the news came out in 2018 that the 2018-19 season would be Dunphy's last at TU. The Owls are closing in on an NCAA Tournament bid, and if they get there, it will be the school's eighth appearance in 13 seasons under Dunphy.|
|Marvin Menzies||TBD||The UNLV opening is guaranteed to bring in a wide array of candidates. With the shine off the program, yet another rebuild is under way. Menzies previously had success at New Mexico State and figures to get another shot a mid-major coaching job down the road.|
|Phil Martelli||TBD||Martelli is a coaching legend in Philadelphia. It remains unknown if he'll seek more coaching opportunities at this stage or will retire from the profession. Recruiting in Philadelphia takes a certain kind of coach with a lot of connections in the area. I don't expect Saint Joe's too have its process last more than two weeks. Robert Morris coach Andy Toole would be an ideal candidate.|
|Ernie Kent||TBD||Kent is out after five years in Pullman. Most in the industry consider this to be the toughest job in a BCS conference. To start, Washington State brass would be smart to inquire on Boise State's Leon Rice , Montana's Travis DeCuire, UC Irvine's Russell Turner and Seattle's Jim Hayford.|
|Barry Hinson||TBD||Hinson announced his resignation on March 8 after Southern Illinois lost in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. He spent seven seasons with the Salukis and did not make an NCAA Tournament. Former SIU point guard Bryan Mullins, who is the associate head coach at Loyola-Chicago , is considered a runaway favorite to get the job.|
|Maurice Joseph||Jamion Christian||The George Washington job is an interesting one because it's in a good location but is almost always going to fall behind Georgetown , Maryland , Virginia Tech, VCU and other regional powers in the recruiting pecking order. Miami assistant Chris Caputo could be a candidate. The question is whether GW insists upon hiring a sitting or former head coach.|
|Mike Dunleavy||TBD||This moved was made Saturday morning and was inevitable. Dunleavy was never the right fit for college hoops; he won just 24 games in three seasons with the Green Wave. Andy Kennedy's name has been rumored to this job for a few weeks now, but might Billy Kennedy be possible? He's from the area, and if he wants to stay in coaching, this would be a good landing spot.|
|Saul Phillips||Jeff Boals|
Ohio agreed to terms with Jeff Boals on Sunday. Boals heads back to Ohio -- he was previously on staff at Ohio State under Thad Matta -- and spent the past three seasons coaching Stony Brook, going 55-41.
|Bob Hoffman||TBD||You beat Duke in a No. 15 over No. 2 game, an all-time March Madness moment, and five years later you're canned. That's the reality for Hoffman, who was terminated on March 11 after 11 seasons. All told, Hoffman was good when it came to winning in the SoCon: he averaged 19 victories per season. Slippage in the Big South and expectations locally forced the change.|
|Tony Shaver||TBD||William & Mary , which has never made the NCAA Tournament, parted ways with Shaver after 16 seasons. The search is only beginning and will have a varied pool of candidates.|
|Corey Williams||TBD||Williams was 58-133 in six seasons with the Hatters. This past season, Stetson was just 7-24 and a change was inevitable. Stetson has never made an NCAA Tournament. |
|Jamion Christian||TBD||Christian getting the George Washington job opens up a top-level job in the MAAC. Christian will have three jobs in three years: he was at Mount Saint Mary's before going to Siena this past season.|
|Sydney Johnson||TBD||Johnson was given one more year in 2018-19, but the former Princeton player and coach couldn't turn what many believe is the MAAC's sleeping power. Johnson lasted eight seasons with the Stags but never had a better year than his first, when FU went 22-15. Louisville assistant Luke Murray is a Fairfield graduate and figures to get a good look here.|
|Jim Fox||TBD||Fox lasted five years with the Mountaineers, going 56-99. This might be one of the better low-major jobs in the country, but the program hasn't been to the NCAAs since 2000.|
|Jeff Boals||TBD||Boals leaves after three seasons in Long Island, heading back. This is a tough but promising job in the America East.|
|Chris Casey||TBD||Casey lasted six seasons at one of the toughest jobs in the MAAC. The Purple Eagles will start over after losing four seniors and potentially even more players now that Casey's been dumped.|
|Phil Cunningham||TBD||Cunningham led Troy to the NCAAs in 2017 as a No. 15 seed, but the school cut ties after a 12-18 season this year. Troy is a middle-of-the-road gig in the wide-open Sun Belt.|
|Al Skinner||TBD||Skinner coached the Owls for four seasons and leaves with a 41-84 record. Kennesaw State has been D-I since 2005-06 and never finished higher than 252nd at KenPom.|
|Matt Matheny||TBD||Matheny is out after a decade and no NCAA Tournament appearances with the Phoenix.|
|Joe Callero||TBD||Callero went 126-182 in his time at Cal Poly . It's a tough job in the Big West. Callero took the Mustangs to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Expect the next coach to come with West Coast ties, as is usually the case with mid-major gigs in California . |
|Todd Bozeman||TBD||After 13 years, Bozeman is done following a 9-21 season. Morgan State made the NCAAs under him in 2009 and 2010.|
|Brian Fish||TBD||Fish loses his job after dealing with the death of his adult-aged daughter less than a month ago, which comes off as harsh on the administrative side at MSU.|
|Steve Payne||TBD||Payne held a 118-134 in eight seasons with the Golden Eagles. After two 19-win seasons in the past three years, an 8-23 run doomed Payne, who was working at one of the toughest low-major jobs in college hoops. The school is going to need to find a diamond in the rough in order to flip the program and get it competing alongside the likes of Belmont , Murray State , Jacksonville State and Austin Peay . |
|Jon Harris||Brian Barrone||A four-year run at another very tough gig ends for Harris, who had his best record in 2018-19 (10-21) of any of his seasons at SIU-E. The school is only a decade into its existence in D-I. On Tuesday the school announced sitting assistant Brian Barrone was upgraded to interim status; he's reportedly set to lead the program for next season.|
|Kareem Richardson||TBD||Richardson spent the past six seasons at UMKC and averaged 12.5 wins. A very tough job but in a good location and can win in the WAC with the right coach. (It also needs a different conference.)|
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