Scratch Chris Mooney off the list of possible candidates to be Georgia Tech’s next basketball coach.
Tech and Mooney met on Sunday, but later in the day he signed a 10-year contract extension with Richmond. He told his team about the contract at a 6 p.m. meeting. Mooney, who led Richmond to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, is now tied to the Spiders until 2020-21.
It’s unknown if Mooney was Tech’s top choice because athletic director Dan Radakovich has declined to comment in order to try and protect the integrity of process. There was a report on Friday that the job had been offered to Dayton’s Brian Gregory. Tech associate athletic director Wayne Hogan issued a statement later in the day that said the search is ongoing. Tech has also interviewed Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik and former alums Craig Neal, who is an assistant coach at New Mexico, and Mark Price. Another candidate that Tech had an interest in, Missouri State’s Cuonzo Martin, accepted the job at Tennessee on Sunday.
Tech has been looking for a coach since it let go of Paul Hewitt more than two weeks ago. Hewitt led the Jackets to a 190-162 record in 11 seasons. Tech did reach the 2004 national championship game as part of five NCAA tournament appearances. However, Tech didn’t win the ACC’s regular-season or tournament titles under Hewitt.
Eventually, attendance at Alexander Memorial Coliseum began to decline. Paid attendance dropped to a few more than 6,000 this season, its lowest figure in more than a decade. However, that many rarely attended games.
Tech will likely play its home games at Philips Arena and Gwinnett Arena next season while the $45 million McCamish Pavilion is constructed. It will replace AMC.
Radakovich said during the press conference to announce Tech’s new direction that he wants a coach that can excite the fan base and compete in the ACC.
He also said that the $7.2 million owed to Hewitt won’t affect the search for the next coach.
– Doug Roberson, AJC