Last month I offered a list of possible replacements if Georgia Tech fired Paul Hewitt. Today, with Tech actively seeking a head coach, I offer a slightly amended list.
Mike Anderson of Missouri has been dropped because I don’t think the Jackets can afford him. (Having to pay its former coach $7 million doesn’t help in the effort to find a successor.) Scott Drew of Baylor has been dropped because his program just had a player ruled ineligible by the NCAA. And Craig Neal, the Tech alum and New Mexico assistant, isn’t on the list because I’ve discussed him elsewhere. And with that, I give you another six-pack:
Tommy Amaker, Harvard: Has rebounded from his Michigan misfire — he was dumped after six non-NCAA seasons — to make the Crimson an Ivy League power. (Harvard missed the NCAA tournament because Princeton hit a last-second shot in a tiebreaker game.) Played and coached at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski. Did nice work at Seton Hall, his first stop as a head coach. If not atop Tech’s in-house list, he’s probably near it.
Brian Gregory, Dayton: Caused a slew of bubble teams to break into a sweat when his Flyers crashed the Atlantic 10 final. Has had five 20-win seasons in eight years at Dayton but only two NCAA tournament appearances. If he’s on Tech’s list, it’s probably as a fallback.
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State: Did a masterful job at Winthrop, leading that program to six NCAA appearances in eight seasons. Pulled a Bobby Cremins when he accepted the College of Charleston job in 2006 only to recant after the introductory press conference. (Whereupon Charleston hired Cremins, who had in 1993 done a similar thing at South Carolina only to return to Georgia Tech 3 1/2 days later.) Has worked at Wichita for four seasons but hasn’t lifted the Shockers to the Big Dance. Figures to be high on Tech’s list.
Cuonzo Martin, Missouri State: Hot young coach might have cooled because his Bears lost the Missouri Valley Conference final to Indiana State by four points and missed the Big Dance despite an RPI of 44. (Life at a mid-major can be, er, a bear.) Remains an attractive candidate for any opening, though. As noted, former Gene Keady assistants — Kevin Stallings, Bruce Weber, Matt Painter, even Steve Lavin — fare rather well.
Chris Mooney, Richmond: His Spiders have reached the NCAA for the second year running. Played under Pete Carril at Princeton. (Fun fact: Carril told me he thought my description of Princeton — “moves like a glacier” — was hilarious.) Runs the Princeton offense. Surely near the top of Tech’s list.
Mark Turgeon, Texas A&M: Not really sure he’d be interested in the Tech job, having played and worked at Kansas and spent most of his professional life in the Midwest. But he’s a fine coach — his Aggies are a No. 7 NCAA seed — and it would be worth giving him a call.
And that’s it: No Cremins, no Mark Price, no Tubby Smith. (And no Jeff Capel. You can’t hire a guy Oklahoma just canned.) Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich has said he’s open to anything, but financial considerations could leave Tech fishing from the mid-major pond. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
By Mark Bradley