Neal, Price as package deal at Tech?

Craig Neal and Mark Price have interviewed for the men’s basketball coaching job at Georgia Tech.

Neal, a guard at Tech in the mid-1980s, has served as an assistant coach for the past seven seasons at Iowa and New Mexico. Neal hasn’t campaigned for the job, but he did express an interest. He told colleague Mark Bradley, “That’s my dream job. That’s my school.” Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports first reported Neal and Price’s interview.

Price, an All-American point guard at Tech in the mid-80s, expressed an interest last weekend, according to former Tech player Dennis Scott. Price, a Yellow Jackets legend, led the team to its first ACC championship and regular-season title as a junior in 1985. His jersey was retired by the school.

According to Goodman, if Neal were hired, he and Price would come as a package deal, with his former teammate as his associate head coach.

Georgia Tech is declining to comment on the search.

Reports yesterday had Tulsa’s Doug Wojcik also interviewing for the job as well. He denied the reports, saying he hadn’t been contacted. That doesn’t mean, of course, that his agent or attorney weren’t contacted.

After Paul Hewitt was let go almost two weeks ago, Cuonzo Martin’s name was floated as a possible replacement. Martin, the coach at Missouri State, is 61-40 with the Bears. With Mike Anderson’s decision to leave Missouri for Arkansas, I’ll be curious to see if Martin becomes the front-runner for the Tigers.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

144 comments Add your comment

GT45

March 24th, 2011
8:10 am

That is our man!

GT Letterman

March 24th, 2011
8:25 am

Really? Craig Neal? He used to hang around the locker room, cutting up with the coaches, but I’d never see him come back as the Head Coach. Really?

GT in CT

March 24th, 2011
8:35 am

Shouldn’t the headline match the text?

Hewitt fan

March 24th, 2011
8:36 am

I thought so!…GT is not crazy..Either restore the relationship with the CELTICS or lose..If Neal gets the job, Cullen would also come…Neal would be a great hire for the Jackets..

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
8:37 am

Neal has a resume in coaching. Would like to see maybe an older coach with Neal being the assistant for maybe 3 years before becoming the HC. Price can be an assistant and Shooting coach but not a HC.

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
8:44 am

Hewitt Fan
Please name the Atl Celtics that have degrees, the college they graduated from, and the degree if you know.

GT hulk

March 24th, 2011
8:58 am

I’d love Noodles, but my choices always are bummers–I wanted Bill Lewis and Didn’t want O’Leary–glad its not up to me.

Techman78

March 24th, 2011
9:11 am

Man I would love to see the combination of Neal and Price on that bench. I truly believe that would be a great situation for the Jackets. I also believe that would energize the fan base. Nothing against any of the other candidates but…I think DRAD should give it a chance. Go Jackets!!

Bernadette

March 24th, 2011
9:13 am

Price and Scott were never teammates…

Jack Daniels Terrier

March 24th, 2011
9:15 am

Don’t know Goodman but the package deal idea sounds unlikely at best. It might be a good idea, but while we don’t even have clear info on who is being considered, Goodman is suggesting two of the interviewees are working collectively to both get hired together?

DawginLex

March 24th, 2011
9:16 am

Be careful hiring alumni.

Ray Goff said “it’s bad to know that you are no longer welcome at your own school”

Not saying it wouldn’t work and for me, as a college basketball fan, I like then idea.

If it blows up though, watch out.

Jack Daniels Terrier

March 24th, 2011
9:18 am

Hewitt Fan, I actually appreciate some of your insights and contrarian perspectives on this site, but you overstate the case for your youth league. No one alliance of that nature will make or break the next coach. It didn’t seem to serve Hewitt very well.

Doug Roberson

March 24th, 2011
9:20 am

Sorry about the Price/Scott teammate. I was using teammate loosely, as in they both played at Tech.

GT65

March 24th, 2011
9:24 am

I hope not. Please no x-players. Still believe its Mooney are someone still playing.

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
9:30 am

Doug no problem the Men understood what you were saying. I am sure Price and Scott have talked many times in the NBA and at Tech basketball functions.

Hewitt fan

March 24th, 2011
9:32 am

@5150 UOAD Why does it matter, when i can name 20 who have went on to make millions playing Basketball and are model citizens!.Other than Crittenton, and Mike Mercer, Atlanta Celtic Alumni never get into trouble….Do you consider playing PRO basketball a career?. Two Celtics got DEGREES from GT….
BJ Elder Management GT dean’s list, Ismail Muhammahad..Management GT..

Paul in RDU

March 24th, 2011
9:32 am

POAD
To be fair to Hewitt Fan, there are definitely 2 ex-Celtics who have degrees – BJ Elder and Ishmael Mohammed both graduated from GT.

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
9:37 am

Hewitt Fan I read the Celtics Alumni page and I didn’t see 20 that are NBA players. I do know the 2 GT grads that isn’t very many for how you seem to think these players will make or break TECH. Kenny Anderson went on to make millions in the NBA and is now BROKE. Nobody can take your DEGREE from you, but those kids sure can blow through money fast.

john

March 24th, 2011
9:45 am

Agg, stop with the past player rumors. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Assistants, maybe, but GT is too good a job to give to someone who has so little experience the head coaching gig. If Mark Price and Craig Neal are really serios about being GTs coach then they need to get the experience so they can seriously interview next time. Craig Neal is doing it the right way, I just don’t think he has the resume yet.

SCDee

March 24th, 2011
9:50 am

I’d take Neal, a man who would “crawl to Atlanta on bloody knees” for the job, any day. Nix to one-shot wonders like Bill Lewis (remember him?).

Jackette

March 24th, 2011
9:52 am

when I graduated from school I wanted to be a flight attendant and travel and so therefore that is what I did initially and was based in Pittsburgh. The Cavaliers were going to play a preseason game in Pittsburgh one night and I bought tickets so that I could see Mark Price play. That morning I was coming off a flight at the Pittsburgh airport and ran into the Cavaliers team who also just arrived in Pittsburgh. I saw Lenny Wilkens and then Mark Price and called out to him. I told him I was a GT fan and he talked to me a good while. Price then pointed out Craig Neal who also was there. It seemed Neal was given a tryout by the Cavs and I am sure Price helped arranged that. Both were talkative and very kind. I loved watching them play at GT. Those two are close and would make a good team.

GTJACKETS

March 24th, 2011
9:53 am

I think a move like this would energize the fan base. And I would be behind it. Price has High School HC exp, so he knows what it takes to coach. And Neal’s 7 years as Assoc HC are good enough for me. Plus they would have a passion to bring back the magic to GT bball.

Buzz Me

March 24th, 2011
9:56 am

Neal. Price, D Ccott and Kenny A now that’s a staff and man would they recruit. The new arena would be packed!

Buzz Me

March 24th, 2011
9:56 am

D Scott, sorry computer went nuts

rob

March 24th, 2011
10:04 am

Boy this is a tough one. Price? Neal? The old memories. Energized fan base. Sounds good! BUT neither has head coaching experience. The AD is making a decision the impact of which will be felt for years to come and and will involve millions of dollars and the middle to long-term fortunes of an ACC beasketball program. Do you roll the dice on a guy who has been a college head coach?
It didn’t work with Jeff Jones at Uva. ,Brad Daughtery at NC, Sidney Lowe at NC State. And I could go on and on. Man, glad I don’t have to make this decision.

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
10:04 am

GTJACKETS
So being a Private High School basketball coach is somehow equivalent to being a Head Basketball Coach in the ACC? Man I guess a High School Math Teacher could be the Head Engineer at NASA too.

rob

March 24th, 2011
10:05 am

I meant NEVER been a head coach

rob

March 24th, 2011
10:05 am

I meant NEVER been a head coach

rob

March 24th, 2011
10:05 am

I meant NEVER been a head coach

Hewitt fan

March 24th, 2011
10:07 am

@5150 UOAD I not going there with you, all i am going to say is Neal and Price would be great for GT basketball..don’t know a lot about Price, but i was a fan,Craig, is a guy that i do know personally, and is a great guy who cares about the community..Cullen, will be an all American in 3 years…Me and my wife have watched the kid grow up…he puts a smile on my face every time i see him..and the kid can ball…GT should keep it in the family..Neal will repair the damage done by GT fans in the AAU circuit.

rob

March 24th, 2011
10:10 am

Sorry about the multiple posts. I am an old man. Keep it in the family? I love my family but if I need a pro to do a pros job I don’t default to family.

Rochester Jacket

March 24th, 2011
10:12 am

As an AD, Rad can not go wrong with hiring Noodles and Price. They could lose for 3-4 years and they would still have full GT support. This is a no brainer to me. The real question is who will we hire after Noodles and Price don’t work out? At least we would have money to hire an experienced coach by then.

what about...

March 24th, 2011
10:12 am

what about roy williams and gary williams, two guys coaching at their alma maters? i think it worked out ok for each of them. id rather have someone who wants to stay and coach than someone we have to lockdown with an airtight contract only to have it blow up.

Tech Forever

March 24th, 2011
10:15 am

Hewitt fan

I’ll tell you why one-and-dones are a big deal. Because at a school like Tech it is almost impossible to recruit the same calibre of athlete year after year after year in order to fill that void that’s created. At Kentucky it’s ridiculously easy.

Plus, those programs never…..NEVER….win championships. Calipari once said (last year actually) he’d take talent over experience every time. Big words…..from a historical one-and-done recruiter who’s never won a championship.

The Anti-BuzzDraft

March 24th, 2011
10:16 am

Darryl LaBarrie played and coached for the Atlanta Celtics. He graduated from Tech.

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
10:16 am

@what about
Roy Williams was an assistant for years. Went to Kansas as a HC and proved how good he was before he returned to UNC.

Rodney Kent

March 24th, 2011
10:17 am

It does not matter whom is selected, it is always a throw of the dice. The administration thought Hewitt would be the savior and put GT in an economical hole with his contract.

There is no way GT can go wrong with offering Price or Neal the job, as long as it is not a high paying contract and it is a short term contract of two years with renewable contents after the second year depending on the record and the attendance.

Nobody could bring in any more enthusiasm than these two except possibly coach K, Roy Williams, etal, and those coaches would cost more than Tech could ever pay. The first two years of attendance would fill the arena because of Price and Neal. Since any coach is going to be a gamble, a good CEO should jump at the chance of getting any one of these two on low cost, short term contracts.

Neither Price, nor Neal need the money at this time of their lives, so they would be completing a dream by coaching at Tech and taking their chances at the job. If I was Price, Neal, and/or the AD, it would be a no-brainer.

Father Time

K

March 24th, 2011
10:18 am

Bring it on, DRAD!!!!!!!!
Just what GT needs!

RamblinRed

March 24th, 2011
10:27 am

Nice that they got these interviews out of the way before their main cnadidates are interviewed. This hire is very unlikely. The top candidates are still coaching so DRad has to wait until they are finished (which is all but what he said in his Good Word column this morning)

5150 UOAD

March 24th, 2011
10:32 am

From what DRad said in The Good Word I don’t think Price will be the choice. The PROVEN track record think kinds drops Price’s name from much consideration.

ormewood

March 24th, 2011
10:34 am

Roy and Gary Willams were highly successful college coaches before they returned to their alma maters. Not a valid comparison. More apt comparisons would be Sidney Lowe, Jeff Jones, and Matt Doherty(not Brad Daugherty).

Hiring Neal and Price could work, but it probably would not. The ACC is not a league for on-the-job training. It would be a cheap hire, though.

collegeballfan

March 24th, 2011
10:34 am

From the New Mexico website:

“Craig Neal is entering his third season on Steve Alford’s staff at New Mexico. He was named the Lobos’ Associate Head Coach on March 27, 2007. Neal, 45, spent the previous three seasons working for Alford at the University of Iowa. Prior to Iowa, Neal spent eight seasons with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors from 1996-2004. He joined the Iowa staff in August of 2004.”

OK so he has NBA and college coaching experience.

But he has never been a head coach.

Same with Price, never been a head coach at the college or pro level.

This move would energize the fan base. But that is not the question. The question is would it energize the recruiting base?

Who will coach the big men? They gonna bring in John Salley or Yvon Joseph to coach the front line?

Maybe the package should include the entire staff?

Tech Man

March 24th, 2011
10:37 am

Didn’t Mark Price coach a professional team in Australia a couple years ago? May not compare favorably with US college teams but, if accurate, would give him ’some’ head coaching experience above the high school level. Another issue, however, is whether Price and Neal could be successful recruiters for the GT program against the likes of their potential peers in the ACC …. and other conferences.

Phil mcgroin

March 24th, 2011
10:37 am

If anyone really thinks GT will hire these two, you are simply delusional! It’s not going to happen and price will never get a HC gig in the ACC or any big conference until he takes an assistant job first and he turned that down to hewitt. Being a consultant for a short time is not being an assistant either. He has shown no desire to be an assistant and thinks he can just run out and land a HC job because of his name? I can run down many names that were NBA players or great college players who have failed at being a HC!! Price has 0 HC ability as he has never done it people!

Hewitt ran us into the gutter and we need a proven HC not a fart in the wind that we HOPE doesn’t reach its destination. The HOPE factor is in play when you gamble on a guy who has not won 1 game as a HC! This seems like common sense to me but some of you have a low basketball IQ in my opinion. Price and neal to GT? Not as a HC!!!

We don’t need that and DRAD is smart enough to realize this. He gave this interview out of respect. I can promise you, that is all that this was. Neither will be the HC at GT. Bank on it

ga tech 92

March 24th, 2011
10:38 am

Personally, I absolutely love the idea of having either or both of these guys back on the flats. I would rather see them as assistant coaches, at least at first, though. Get a super x’s and o’s guy, let the famous guys help recruit and learn x’s and o’s and head coaching along the way…then one day in the future who knows.

PureEvil

March 24th, 2011
10:48 am

Neal. Price, D Ccott and Kenny A now that’s a staff and man would they recruit. The new arena would be packed!

Until we realized what a huge mistake DRad has made! This is not a good idea at all. GT should be a top 25 job and were hiring Craig freakin Neal / Mark Price as the head coach. If it happens I really hope it works I would never pull against GT just because I don’t agree. I just think were capable of hiring someone who’s had success at a smaller school as a head coach.

GTBob

March 24th, 2011
10:48 am

Hiring these two guys really seems like a project and thats not what we need at this point. We need a proven head coach, not a couple of guys who have been assistants and think they can do the job.

Tech Forever

March 24th, 2011
10:49 am

I know one option, albeit a long shot, is now off the table as Anderson has agreed to terms with Arkansas; http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=ap-arkansas-anderson

PureEvil

March 24th, 2011
10:51 am

DRad ignore the allumi they’ll get over not having Neal or Price when the man you hire wins.

PureEvil

March 24th, 2011
10:55 am

Arkansas did what GT should do hire a proven coach.

If the goal is pack the house next year then hire Neal/Price.

If the goal is to WIN next year and the next and the next…….hire a proven head coach.