Daily Dirt – 3/15/21

A bunch of search updates…

I’ve heard Albany is getting closer to being done. Marquette’s Dwayne Killings is the hot name here right now. Keep an eye on this one.

Adding Stephen F. Austin head coach Kyle Keller to the list at New Mexico, joining Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and former Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. Interviews start this week.

It sounds like former Samford head coach Scott Padgett should be added to the list at Tennessee Martin. He was an assistant at New Mexico last season. UTM interim head coach Montez Robinson is now off the list, as he will not be considered for the position. See full list below.

Two more names that I’ve heard at Jacksonville: former UAB head coach Rob Eshan, and Rice assistant Vince Alexander. Ehsan went 76–57 in 4-seasons at UAB, Alexander has won 341 games as a D2 head coach at St. Leo (FL), USC Aiken, and Mansfield.

Adding St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY) head coach Tobin Anderson to the list at Central Connecticut. He has compiled a 181-56 (.764) record in his 8 seasons at STAC. His Spartans are currently 14-1 and still alive in the D2 tourney. Full list below.

I mentioned last week that Denver seemed to be focusing on guys with head coaching experience. Some names that I’ve heard are D2 Northern State head coach Saul Phillips (former head coach at Ohio), D2 Belmont Abbey head coach Dan Ficke (former Denver assistant), and D2 Colorado Mines head coach Pryor Orser.

I’ve heard that Georgia assistant Chad Dollar is in the mix at D2 Clayton State (GA). The Atlanta native has been on Tom Crean’s staff at UGA since 2018.


Central Connecticut: Early names making the rounds here – Jim Ferry (interim head coach Penn State), Mike Donnelly (head coach Florida Southern / former head coach Southern Connecticut), Steve Curran (associate head coach St. Bonaventure), Ted Hotaling (head coach New Haven), Will Brown (former head coach Albany), Tom Moore (assistant coach UConn / former head coach Quinnipiac), Patrick Sellers (assistant coach Fairfield / Central Connecticut alum), Scott Burrell (head coach Southern Connecticut), and Chris Casey (assistant coach Fairfield / former CCSU assistant).

Tennessee-Martin: In addition to Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks (who I mentioned yesterday), other names I’ve heard: Luke Gore (associate head coach Valpo / Tennessee native), Stephen Gentry (assistant coach Illinois), Linc Darner (former head coach UWGB), and current UTM interim head coach Montez Robinson (*3/15 note: Robinson no longer involved).

Jacksonville: Zoom interviews are starting here in the next few days. Dr. Richard Sander from TopConnect is advising on the search. It sounds like NC State assistant Mike Summey is involved, as well as at least 1 SEC assistant. Most of the names that I have heard so far come from this LIST. Will narrow them down shortly when I confirm more.

Albany: See list from yesterday below. I’ve also been told to add Providence assistant Ivan Thomas here as well.

Denver: Multiple people now believe they are focused on candidates with head coaching experience. Two current D2 head coaches are believed to be involved, and may have already interviewed. Salary here will be $180,000-$200,000. More on this one soon.


Boston College: Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates (his wife is the senior associate AD at BC) is the leader. Purdue’s Micah Shrewsberry (former Celtics assistant) in the hunt. Current non-power 6 head coach with big time pedigree is lurking. Nothing will happen until Cleveland State’s tourney run is over.

Penn State: Gates and Shrewsberry here. too. Other names to keep an eye on – Montana’s Travis DeCuire (was at Cal when PSU AD Sandy Barbour was there) and Ohio head coach Jeff Boals (former Ohio State assistant).

Albany: Sounds like top 3 (in order) – Desmond Oliver (assistant coach Tennessee), Kyle Neptune (assistant coach Vilanova), and Dwayne Killings (associate head coach Marquette). Siena’s Antoni Wyche lurking in the next group with other potential candidates Tobin Anderson (head coach St. Thomas Aquinas), and Gerry McNamara further down the list.

New Mexico: Tim Miles (former Nebraska & Colorado State head coach), and Richard Pitino (Minnesota head coach) making pushes here. New Mexico AD Eddie Nunez is a basketball guy – was a GA under Billy the Kid at Florida (hence the Pitino connection), and an administrative guy with Tom Crean at Marquette.

Eastern Illinois: Very early names here – Paul Lusk (Creighton assistant – former head coach at Missouri State), Marty Simmons (Clemson – former head coach Evansville), Jamal Walker (assistant coach Grand Canyon – former assistant Illinois), and Chris Hollender (assistant coach Missouri).

Indiana State: D2 Lincoln Memorial (TN) head coach Josh Schertz is the leader here (and apparently has been for a while). 334-68 (.831) in 13-seasons at LMU is pretty impressive.

Tennessee-Martin: Most interesting name I’ve heard here so far is Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks. Former Missouri Western AD is now at UTM – Wicks spent time as the head coach at Missouri Western (although they missed each other by a year).

Fordham: Not much new here. Still thinking that Jared Grasso (head coach Bryant), Shaheen (head coach St. Peter’s), and Pat Chambers (former head coach Penn State) are the top 3. Apparently former St. John’s / UCLA head coach Steve Lavin is higher on the list than people think…

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