Story: Adam Nelson (@HD_DirtKing)
It’s definitely starting to get busy out there – especially at the small college level. Here are few things that are going on…
It sounds like Illinois State has already begun first round interviews in their quest to replace Dan Muller, who they parted ways with in mid-February. Some of the names that I have heard are former Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm, Gonzaga assistant Roger Powell, and Northwest Missouri head coach Ben McCollum. Sounds like as many as two additional high major assistants involved as well. More on this as I hear it.
A lot of chatter out there today about Maryland’s pursuit of Rick Pitino. I’m not sure that will be the landing spot for him, but there will be plenty of schools chasing him over the next few weeks. He can say all he wants about being happy at Iona, but the lure of a high major will prevail, unless his alma mater UMass can lure him back (he’s throwing people off that scent with his tweet today hyping St. Peter’s head coach Shaheen Holloway for the job at UMass).
With Fran O’Hanlon officially coaching his last game at Lafayette last night, the search there has heated up. I’ve heard some D1 assistant coach names, but a lot of high academic D3 head coaches as well. Also, Multiple people have confirmed that this will not be an internal hire. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
A report this morning from Stadium’s Jeff Goodman indicates that Jackson State head coach Wayne Brent intends to retire at the end of the season. Brent has been the head coach at JSU for the past nine seasons (117-155 -.430). More on this one when it becomes official.
D2 Quincy University (IL) is moving quickly in their search. I can confirm that the finalists will interview on campus starting this week. It sounds like 3-4 candidates will be on campus, with interviews taking place Friday through Tuesday. Sounds like at least one JUCO coach from the area is in the mix. I hope to have more names shortly.
There is one Midwest D3 that has opened, and two NAIA’s on the West Coast (in addition to the ones that I’ve already reported over the past few days in the DIRT SECTION). I should be able to run with these in the next day or so – stay tuned. UPDATE: This is the D3 I was talking about -> HERE.
I mentioned in my 60 Second Update yesterday how busy the small college level will be this off season. Keep an eye on this – there will be a lot of turnover this spring with coaches who have actually had better records this season than they have over the past two. The pandemic isn’t saving jobs anymore. It’s going to be nuts.
The HoopDirt.com Coaching Changes Tracker is updated in real time. You can see the updated tracker HERE, and follow along as changes roll in.