The long, strange search at Chicago State seems to finally be making progress. HoopDirt.com first reported that CSU and former head coach Tracy Dildy had parted ways back on March 12th (DI DIRT). There has still been no official statement from the school since our original report, but the job was officially posted on 3/23, and then re-posted last month. Finally, on May 8th, CSU hired former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich as their athletic director, replacing Dildy who also served in that role. Now that Zorich is on board, the search has been moving, and it sounds like the final group is starting to take shape.
I have heard that candidates were on campus last week for the job that will reportedly only pay in the $70,000-$90,000 range. Some of the names that I’ve heard are:
- Al Bruehl – Former head coach at Robert Morris University-Illinois. CCAC and IBCA Hall of Famer who won 609 games during his 20-year tenure as the men’s coach at RMU.
- Rick Carter – Former associate head coach at DePaul. Resigned to enter the private sector following the 2017 season. Had been on the DePaul staff for two seasons, and also worked assistant at Xavier, Missouri, Western Michigan, and Fairfield.
- Steve Christiansen – Head Coach Triton College (IL). Captured the NJCAA DII National Championship this past season, and was named as the NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. Has gone 367-96 in 14-seasons as the Trojans head coach.
- Lance Irvin – Former assistant at Southern Illinois, DePaul, Loyola-Chicago, Iowa State, Illinois State, Texas A&M, Missouri, and SMU. Son of the late Mac Irvin who was known as the “Godfather” of Chicago basketball, and was the founder of Mac Irvin Fire AAU.
- John Pigatti – Head Coach South Suburban College. Has compiled a 353-71 record in 12-seasons at SSC. Went 28-7 this past season, and won the NJCAA Region IV Championship.
I have also heard that Chicago State reached out to Chicago native and former DePaul standout Mark Aguirre, but sounds like he has not been on campus yet. There may be two additional DI assistants involved here.
Chicago State is one of only three remaining DI schools still looking to hire a coach. Detroit and Delaware State are both still on the hunt as well.
It sounds like this one could be wrapped up with in the week.