Mid-major jobs are coming open nearly by the day as we continue the first week of March. They're also starting to close.
Saturday morning brought the first full-time mid-major hiring of this year's cycle: Northern Illinois and Rashon Burno. The Arizona State assistant is leaving the desert after six years to take his first college head coaching job. Burno, 43, formerly played at DePaul.
"I am extremely excited about this opportunity," Burno said Saturday. "I believe I am aligned with what their vision is for the future, not only for men's basketball but also for the entire student body. I was very impressed with the overall vision and that made it easy for me to want to be at NIU."
Here's what else has happened as of late. On Friday, Central Connecticut announced five-year coach Donyell Marshall -- an in-state legend from his UConn playing days -- would be stepping down. The CCSU opening comes after Eastern Illinois, UAlbany, Denver and Binghamton all severed ties with their coaches earlier in the week. At Binghamton, Tommy Dempsey's contract was not renewed after nine seasons, so assistant Levell Sanders is taking over on an interim basis for the 2021-22 season.
Industry sources tell CBS Sports that at least a dozen mid-major jobs should come open in the next two weeks. With small conference tournaments ongoing, there will be more movement over the weekend as well.
In bigger news, New Mexico and Paul Weir will make an amicable split at the end of the season. Weir has two years left on his contract but will move on in light of a bumpy four-year run. The Lobos are 58-62 since he got the job.
"This is the perfect time for a transition in Lobo Basketball," Weir said in a statement. "I can't imagine a more optimal epoch than now for all of us to embrace a fresh start."
Elsewhere, Wichita State promoted Isaac Brown, making him. Brown signed a five-year deal and, as the school noted, is "the first Black men's basketball coach ever to lead a Division I program in the state of Kansas." A source confirmed the contract is worth $6 million before incentives.
Brown, 51, has the Shockers widely overshooting preseason expectations. The program was previously roiled in controversy, as former coach Gregg Marshall -- the most accomplished coach by a wide margin in Wichita State history -- resigned in November after media reports and an internal investigation revealed numerous allegations of physical, verbal and racially insensitive behavior from previous seasons. Brown steadied the school and, on Saturday, clinched the American Athletic Conference regular season championship.
As we do every hiring cycle, CBS Sports will keep you updated with the latest news, intel and movement on the college coaching carousel. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a much slower turnover process a year ago; the only change in a Major Seven conference was Wake Forest splitting with Danny Manning and hiring Steve Forbes. Three major coaching jobs have already come open (with Wichita State now closed) and there's potential for another half-dozen to join the fold in the next five weeks.
Every time there is movement, this story will update. Bookmark and check back often.
|Team||Former coach||New coach||What to know|
|Gregg Marshall||Isaac Brown||Marshall's resignation in November allowed Brown to step in on an interim basis. After putting the Shockers into the NCAA Tournament picture and guiding them to the top of the AAC standings by mid-February, the school announced a promotion for Brown to the full-time position on Feb. 26.|
|Jim Christian||TBD||Christian was fired Feb. 15 after six and a half seasons. He went 78-132 and did not make an NCAA Tournament. Boston College has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2009. There is a wide candidate pool available for what is objectively a bottom-two job in the ACC. This is an early offering, and by no means a surefire list, but some names that I'd expect to get an inquiry: Loyola Chicago's Porter Moser, St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt, Vermont's John Becker, Yale's James Jones, Northeastern's Bill Coen, Michigan assistant Howard Eisley and former Georgetown coach John Thompson III.|
|Pat Chambers||TBD||Chambers resigned from Penn State last October following an internal investigation that examined inappropriate conduct and racially insensitive remarks toward one of his former players. Jim Ferry has coached the team on an interim basis for 2020-21, but there will clearly be a changing of the guard at some point in March. Expect Schmidt to be as involved with this search as he will at his alma mater, Boston College.|
|Paul Weir||TBD||New Mexico has lofty expectations given its conference and location. The fan base holds its head coaches accountable on the level you'd find at a top-40 program. With Weir out, there will be an eclectic mix of candidates. A few initial names that jump to mind are Tim Miles, Casey Alexander, Dennis Gates, Russell Turner and Damon Stoudamire.|
|Jeff Neubauer||TBD||Jeff Neubauer went 61-104 from the start of the 2015-16 season and was was fired Jan. 26. Fordham remains among the toughest jobs in a multi-bid league. The school joined the Atlantic 10 in 1995; it's failed to make the NCAAs since. In fact, it's had just two seasons above. 500 in that span. The search is fully underway at this point with Ed Kull being promoted recently from interim to full-time athletic director.|
|Jason Gardner||TBD||Byron Rimm II has been the IUPUI interim for nearly two full seasons. Seems like a long shot he will stay on after taking over for Jason Gardner in the summer of 2019. Rimm went 7-25 last season and is 8-9 through 17 games this season.|
|Mark Montgomery||Rashon Burno||Arizona State assistant Rashon Burno is on the way to Northern Illinois. He's a savvy, high-energy hire. Burno replaces Mark Montgomery, who was 125-170 in nine and a half seasons. The school last made the NCAAs in 1996. |
|Terry Porter||TBD||The latest in a long line of examples where a former NBA player of note winds up not clicking with the college grind. To be fair to Porter, the Portland job might be based in a pretty city, but it's a hard WCC assignment. The Pilots went went 43-103 under Porter, who was fired Feb. 5.|
|Danny Kaspar||TBD||A few coaches lost their jobs in recent months due to scandal and subsequent investigations. Kaspar was accused on the record by some former Texas State players of using racially insensitive language. After an investigation that lasted more than three months, Kaspar and TSU split in September. Terrence Johnson stepped in and has done well on an interim basis, coaching the Bobcats to a 16-6 record in the Sun Belt.|
|Rodney Billups||TBD||Denver had been expected to open for months. Billups went 9-43 his final two seasons with the Pioneers. It's viewed as a Summit League job with true potential to be a league power.|
|Will Brown||TBD||Brown lasted 20 seasons at UAlbany, taking the Great Danes to five NCAA Tournaments, with the peak being a 2006 showing in a 1/16 game in which his team led No. 1 overall seed UConn in the second half. Brown's career record: 315-295.|
|David Patrick||TBD||When Eric Musselman called Patrick in the offseason and offered him the top assistant's gig at Arkansas -- not to mention a hefty raise -- Patrick left UC Riverside to return to the sidelines in the SEC. (He was previously at LSU.) In his stead, Mike Magpayo has UC Riverside at 10-6 and respectable in the Big West. He's a candidate to retain the job, should the Highlanders play well into March.|
|Jay Spoonhour||TBD||Spoonhour lasted nine seasons -- he was the longest-tenured coach in the Ohio Valley -- but the school is not renewing his contract. Eastern Illinois went 119-157 in his tenure and was 9-18 this season. |
|Anthony Stewart||TBD||This is a tragic instance of a coaching change, as Anthony Stewart died less than a week before the start of the season when he never woke up from a nap. Stewart led the UT Martin Skyhawks for four seasons and was 53-73. His son, Parker Stewart, was a four-star recruit in high school who played for his dad and has since transferred to Indiana.|
|Lew Hill||TBD||Terribly, two coaching vacancies exist due to coaches dying. Lew Hill died in his sleep the morning of Feb. 7, perishing just hours after he coached what he thought would be his last UTRGV game for an indefinite hiatus. Hill was battling health issues in addition to having contracted COVID-19 in January. |
|Tommy Dempsey||Levell Sanders||Binghamton is one of the toughest jobs in the country, and Dempsey lasted nine seasons despite never finishing above .500. Sanders steps in on an interim basis for the 2021-22 season.|
|Donyell Marshall||TBD||Central Connecticut never found momentum under UConn legend Donyell Marshall, going 40-104 in five seasons. This is maybe the toughest job in the NEC.|