What hoops coach should Bulldogs target now?

Wow, what a day was Tuesday. It started out well, with me thinking Georgia was moving quickly toward settling on a new basketball coach. It ended very late, with John Calipari going to Kentucky for an obscene amount of money (later confirmed to be 8 years for $31.65 million), Mike Anderson deciding to stay at Missouri and Georgia left sitting there red-faced without a coach.

Based on the information I’m getting, I don’t think Wednesday is going to be a very productive day for the Bulldogs either. Not a lot of moving and shaking planned is my understanding. In the meantime, Georgia AD Damon Evans is set to leave for Detroit and the Final Four on Thursday morning. So if anything is going to happen on the coaching search, I’d bet now it’s going to come down up there.

So the million-dollar question is — maybe that should be $2 million — who IS going to be the Bulldogs’ new coach. It’s a good question, and a hard one.

I honestly don’t think even Evans even knows at this point. I think he has been very deliberate and methodical to date, an approach you may or may not agree with. Anderson didn’t work out, so now he merely moves on to the next guy on his list. You’d figure that to be Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel, but the silence and lack of buzz surrounding that particular name has been perplexing. I can say this with some certainty: Anthony Grant would have been up soon thereafter. But he got snatched by Alabama well before the Dogs got around to him. A difference in evaluations, it would seem.

In the meantime, don’t discount the possibility that some of Georgia’s potential candidates could still be playing games. No, I’m not talking about those guys in Detroit. But you may want to glance up toward New York City where Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears are still playing in the NIT. And the guy he’ll face in Thursday’s finals, Penn State’s Ed DeChellis, isn’t bad either.

Some other coaches the Bulldogs may be considering: Southern Cal’s Tim Floyd, Clemson’s Oliver Purnell, UNLV’s Lon Kruger, Butler’s Brad Stevens and Dayton’s Brian Gregory. Some they aren’t: Miami’s Frank Haith and FSU’s Leonard Hamilton. And there’s at least a couple of possibilities with no current team affiliation: Billy Gillispie, no longer of Kentucky, and Russ Pennell, no longer of Arizona. Dare we even bring up again the biggest name of all? You know, BOB KNIGHT?

So it would seem there are plenty of viable possibilities still out there for Georgia. But are there any that will get the Bulldog Nation excited? Have I missed some possibilities? And how would you rate Evans’ coaching search so far?

I’ll leave you with some links:

Reaction to Kentucky’s hiring of Calipari has been all over the board. Lexington-Herald columnist John Clay writes that the Big Blue Nation is dancing in the streets over it. Then there’s column by ESPN’s Pat Forde. Personally I like the take on it by Ryan Parker. For him it’s all about  “Caliparication.” . . .

Indications are that quarterback Matthew Stafford blew away a private workout Tuesday for the Detroit Loins. . . .

The No. 1-ranked Diamond Dawgs won again. It was their fourth win in a row, 6-5 over Clemson. The two teams will play again Wednesday night over on the other side of Lake Hartwell.

196 comments Add your comment


April 1st, 2009
2:58 am

Ed DeChellis? For goodness sake. He’s one game under .500 for his career. One trip to the NCAA tournament in 13yrs with ZERO victories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_DeChellis

Nice work, Chip, you found the worse guy possible. Take a bow.


April 1st, 2009
3:01 am

You missed Billy C. Gillispie Chip. He’s a great fit for the dogs.


April 1st, 2009
4:22 am

I’m just glad to hear (and I hope you are right) that Haith isn’t under consideration. A Foxsports story said he was next in line after Capel. I was starting to worry….

I think Drew and Stevens are my top 2 guys, not necessarily in that order…


April 1st, 2009
6:31 am

the braves had to suffer through years of the inept john mullen….finding such talent as bob walk and len barker…

the falcons had to suffer through years of ownership by the smiths – nicknamed “the clampetts” of the NFL, and their great decisions…Jerry Glanville, Dan Henning, etc.

and now we in athens have damon and mike (a former wide reciever and a man who thought jim harrick was just what we needed)……with a geologic pace they march toward making the “right” decision about their basketball coach while the rest of the conference jumps on their coaching choices.

i can’t wait to see what the dynamic duo comes up with. and how much money is uga paying this search firm to find people who DONT WANT TO COACH AT GEORGIA? hmm….maybe I am in the wrong line of work.

the ineptitude continues…………

UGA Mumm-Ra

April 1st, 2009
6:40 am

I’m confused Chip. How did Georgia miss out on Anderson if, according to you, he was never offered the job ;-)

Mr. Skynyrd

April 1st, 2009
6:45 am

Take Paul Hewitt…….PLEASE!


April 1st, 2009
7:03 am

UGA basketball …… what do those words bring to mind? Dominique Wilkins, Hugh Durham and Tubby Smith? Or Jim Harrick, Ron Jirsa and the recently departed Dennis Felton, and don’t forget the worst excuse for a colliseum this side of Rome, Italy! Why do Damon Evans and the jerk f/k/a Michael Adams think we can just pluck a coach who is already coaching a highly successful D-1 program away and drop him in Athens? To not realistically assess where your program ranks on the list of desirable places to coach and weigh that against the other available coaching jobs and the incumbent schools involved with these proven, successful head coaches is naivety at its ignorant best! Anthony Grant should have been our #1 candidate because he was the most talented head coaching prospect that we had a reasonable chance to get. We are now going to find ourselves settling for someone that Memphis and UVA (and perhaps Oklahoma) don’t want.


April 1st, 2009
7:03 am

Sean Miller of Xavier!!


April 1st, 2009
7:13 am

Nobody wants the UGA job and Evans overestimated how attractive the job would be. UGA will end up with another Felton while everybody else gets their #1 picks or locks their current coaches down with long term contracts. Capel isn’t coming to UGA either — why would he? Kentucky, Bama and UVA moved swiftly and got their coaches. Hows that search firm working out for ya Damon? What a joke…


April 1st, 2009
7:22 am

I’m sure everyone can figure out that UGA basketball has a check mark by it. That is if you go there and win get out and get out quick or you become a coach with a shovel in his hand. That is he might as well start digging his own career grave after the first year there. Why? A history of being the round ball beat downs of the SEC. No first class facility (I remember when Stegeman was built. They had to repaint the roof after some students painted in large letters “GO TO HELL TECH”.) and a school president that says win for a few years and we’ll consider it. It seems UGA will never get that basketball prestige it wants so much. On a personal note I really enjoy this time of year. From the time the major conferences start their tournaments to the first Monday in April when the two teams make it to through the round of 65. It’s great basketball watching these guys play their hearts out just to win and get one more chance to play again. Evans best bet is to find that one assistant coach that’s willing to take a chance to come here and build a winner. These colleges such as American, Morehead St, Sienna and Dayton do a great job of getting these guys that not only can coach but can recruit their butts off to get the talent for invitations to the round of 65. Good luck to AD Evans and his search for that elusive basketball coach that will get UGA those rabid fans like they have at Duke and UNC.

Dawg Tired

April 1st, 2009
7:24 am

Why am I not surprised that other schools take all of a few days to hire a new coach and, yet, we still do not have one? Good gracious Batman! Did our AD really think he could get Mike Anderson? What’s he thinking? Is he thinking? Is he in charge? This is a fiasco. Am I the only one finidng this to be embarrassing?


April 1st, 2009
7:30 am

After the news of MA staying at Missouri, my knee-jerk reaction is disappointment with Damon. This is Damon’s first major hire as the AD for UGA and he has the opportunity to make his mark on the university with his coaching selection. We have not had a head coach since the end of January, we hire a search firm, and we wait until the week of the Final Four to strongly go after someone??? Better yet, we wait until numerous appealing coaching positions open up before we strongly pursuit someone. I do not understand it.


April 1st, 2009
7:38 am

That search firm, the obvious belief that the UGA basketball program could attract a tournament coach shows a lack of leadership and a lack of understanding by Evans and others.

Grant would have been great. Now we are left with…..


April 1st, 2009
7:58 am

Edgar you just described the situation at GT when it comes to football coaches. Tech stands alone as the graveyard of college football coaching.


April 1st, 2009
8:00 am

Can you say REJECTED? We was used by Anderson but I don’t blame him for getting a better deal. Capel would be a great hire but is probably untouchable. I say move on to Sean Miller. By the way, the UGA job is a great coaching job. Georgia is one of the most fertile states for high school basketball, UGA has one of the richest athletic departments and Athens is a great college town.


April 1st, 2009
8:01 am

Lefty Friezell


April 1st, 2009
8:13 am

I don’t think that georgia is red faced over Anderson staying at Mizzou. It is common for coaches who want a better contract to aquire them at the expence of other interested programs. It’s a shame but a fact. Capel will never come to Georgia so throwing his name out there is ludacris. Some of the other names you threw out are nothing short of horrendous. The Butler or Xavier coaches would be good and viable candidates for Georgia.I thought from the start that Brad Stevens would be the best guy. I think Damon should go after someone and commit to it now and this search firm he hired…. what a joke! I like Damon but if he can’t do his job without hiring someone to advise him he may not be the AD for us. I beleive this search firm restricted our ability to go get Grant. What do you think Chip?


April 1st, 2009
8:15 am

Nobody wants this job. LOL!!!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

April 1st, 2009
8:19 am

Sloan, couldn’t agree more. Georgia is rich in talent but with the facilities UGA has without a tradition then you can never expect to get top players or guys like Capel to coach. What makes UGA more attractive than Oklahoma? Your next options are those that are using UGA as a stepping stone. If they are successful (Tubby) they find a better job. If they are note (Felton) they are fired.


April 1st, 2009
8:29 am

Here’s what a high profile coach looks when UGA comes sniffing.
1. spotty or little to no winning history.
2. Old arena that seats 8 -9k people.
3. A Football School.
4. Produces some of the best talent in the Country within 100 miles or so of Campus, and NO COACH HAS EVER GOTTEN THEM TO ATHENS.
5. President runs the athletic Dept.
6. State paper (AJC) very tough on program.
7. Any breath of success leads to a job offer from a Basketball School.
8. playing in the SEC with Div 2 talent.
9. Result: Ms. Smith, if Damon Evans calls…..Tell him I’m out of Town…..
10. End of story !


April 1st, 2009
8:35 am

Go for Jay Wright at ‘Nova


April 1st, 2009
8:35 am

We got a coach here in union sc that coaches at the local high school that told me he would love to coach at georgia.He won alot of games man!!!!!!


April 1st, 2009
8:36 am

Hey Ramble On……. That Sheriff from the Blazing Saddles movie coaching your team ain’t so hot himself. Better crawl back over to your blog and comment on the 2 to 3 entries about your program.


April 1st, 2009
8:40 am

Lets see….Anderson was offered over twice the amount to come to UGA where he had “fertile” recruiting ground and a job that offered him a chance to move up to a higher profile school? Tell me agian why he chose to stay in that basketball hotbed of Missouri.UGA greatly and grossly overestimated their appeal to Anderson.Even the UGA fans think too highly of their basketball program. They will eventually get a coach and then the spin will begin of “this is the guy we wanted all along”, “Anderson wasn’t a good fit” “We didn’t really try to get Capel” etc. etc etc.


April 1st, 2009
8:53 am

I had a dream last night that Damon had dinner with Rick Pitino. Of course, during this same dream, I had Antlers………..I love me some mushroom pizza.


April 1st, 2009
9:00 am

I love Damon but think he screwed up in hiring a search firm and then not offering Anthony Grant when he had the chance. If it’s not Capel now, then perhaps Stevens or Hamilton. Whoever it is I want the coach to come to Georgia with the idea of staying long-term and not as a stepping stone to a better job a few years down the road. Despite my obvious bias Georgia (as Tubby showed when he was here) has the potential to field a competitive team every year. But it’s going to take a good coach with excellent recruiting credentials. If Tubby would come I’d offer him the job again but if he leaves Minnesota he’s probably headed to Arizona. But no matter who we eventually get, I think the money spent on the search service was money wasted.


April 1st, 2009
9:03 am

If you aim high, you run the risk of being shot down. That’s part of the deal. But what’s also part of the deal is that if you don’t hit your primary target, you will still likely land some place nice if you’re persistent.

I was hoping against hope that the Kentucky and Arizona jobs would remain filled, and now Memphis. Those are high profile basketball schools. It’s not like we’re just competing with Alabama or Virginia now.

So it’s going to be tough. But I’d rather have an AD that aims high and fails than one that accepts the status quo.

red face dog

April 1st, 2009
9:04 am

2.1 vs 1.3….and he still did not come?


April 1st, 2009
9:05 am

Chip, There’s a sense of frustration that no one know what’s going on in this search which has been evidenced by the beat writers covering it, throwing out educated guesses. We’re over 2 months now, do you have any strong inkling where this is going? This is big time hire for DE and Adams to get this right.


April 1st, 2009
9:14 am

Dominique Wilkins back in Stegeman Autotorium. Call it the “NiqueDome.”

Sorry ga. missed out on Anderson,if any.


April 1st, 2009
9:16 am

Tennessee was not a basketball school 5 years ago. Today they are both basketball and football. The difference is Tennessee has a better future and are willing to step up, pay and bring the quality coaches in to take them where they want to be. There is NO coach outside of Bobby Knight that wants the Georgia job (they play in a barn). Bob Knight however would at least sell tickets to the point the visiting team doesnt have a home court advantage.


April 1st, 2009
9:18 am

Rumor has it Anderson was all set to take the job…..but Trey Thompkins talked him out of it. LOL!

What’s Clem Haskins doing these days?


April 1st, 2009
9:24 am

What about Mike Davis?


April 1st, 2009
9:27 am

This will be the deal…….We ( they) hire a young upstart, up and coming coach at a very winning small school and try to make a household name out of him ( hello ala Dennis Felton). He’ll be a good coach, but he won’t have the horsepower to get the top guys in the State to Athens. So, we start all over, getting the almost great players to Athens and we end up 8-12 in league play, 3rd or 4th. Same movie, different characters. Anderson left 5 mil on the table NOT to come to Athens. Got Bobby Knights number ?

Big Will

April 1st, 2009
9:32 am

I don’t see how any of these coaches make good decisions when they’re negotiating over a one-day period. But then the media castigates the school if they can’t get the deal done in that amount of time. I think everyone needs to RELAX and let things work their course. What difference does it make whether UGA signs someone today or next week? There are plenty of great coaches out there aside from the one or two media darlings.


April 1st, 2009
9:39 am

Well boys and girls,don’t know about you,but I’m going to open up a search firm.If this is the best that can come from two months and 30k,I can do better job sitting on the sofa with a laptop and cell phone.This is Jerry Green (utk) all over again.When they started on the east coast,was turned down by four coaches till they got to Green at Oregon.WOW !


April 1st, 2009
9:42 am

Clayton – agreed, Sean Miller is the way to go. Let’s be honest with ourselves folks, we are a football school where bball takes a back seat. We will not be able to attract the big names from Missouri, Oklahoma, etc. (schools that have a strong bball tradition). It needs to be a younger name from a smaller school, in my opinion. That being said, I am not sure Miller would accept if offered? Xavier is a good gig that has been building quite a tradition themselves. This comes from a former UGA hoops player, for what it’s worth.

Right On Time

April 1st, 2009
9:46 am


What exactly is the role of Parker Executive Search? Are they paid to just give UGA a list of possible coaches, or are they to gauge interest and advise on the likely signing of a coach? It appears that Evans is going after the same group you writers have reccomended…without the fee.

If you recall Dooley had the ultimate “egg faced” moment with Glenn Mason in 95′. Then he got Donnan who started to pull UGA out of the mess Goff put them in. This kind of thing happens often, it is still not easy though.

Damon will get a good coach and said coach will make improvements. UGA basketball is not a great job, but it could be and will be. Panic is way overrated.


April 1st, 2009
9:49 am

SEAN MILLER OR maybe Brad Stevens!!!!!!!!!!


April 1st, 2009
9:51 am

Look how fast Alabama, Virginia and Kentucky hired their new coaches. This search firm is a good idea but waaayyy too slow in todays hiring process. Contact Tubby or whoever and get it done quickly.Quit being used for raises or being passed over because you are slow.

paul in J-ville

April 1st, 2009
9:54 am

Calculated situation since the Zar,Vince Dooley retired. Just as when he left coaching football in 88, he recommended Ray Goof, a person who would not be either qualified or capable of coaching a D-1 SEC school, so too has the Zar left us in another unqualified, incompetent person as the AD in Damon Evans. Does anybody really understand that perhaps VINCE did not want someone to replace his legacy that would diminish his accomplishments in both coaching and AD??? Yes Vince, you were great in many respects, but you certainly either have an ego a mile wide or your replacement recommendations truly are inept. Damon couldn’t pick his nose without asking permission first. What a joke and a farce in bulldog management.


April 1st, 2009
9:55 am

Search Firm = $70,000, for what? I would have made the phone call for $70! What a joke this search has been and we end up with a little known Mid Major coach that is willing to stick his neck out. I am an avid UGA supporter but we need a major attitude adjustment about how attractive our Basketball job really is.


April 1st, 2009
9:56 am

you will have to google our new coach…..But, Bobby Knight was not famous or known when he first started.


April 1st, 2009
9:58 am

I agree with Sean Miller or Brad Stevens. The UGA program is not a great move for an already established coach at a big institution. I can see why Anderson stayed, but UGA would be an excellent move for an up and coming young coach at a smaller school that can’t pay the big bucks.

Banker Dog

April 1st, 2009
10:00 am

Sam Mitchell should get this job, it seems so clear to me. He was NBA coach of the year a few years back. He is a Georgia native and early in the process was rumored to be interested. He mentored Kevin Garnett when he entered the league for many years. Look how hard he competes. Surely he could recruit with the assumption these kids want to one day play in the league. From what I hear, he runs a youth program and is a great character guy. What am I missing? He is perfect for the job. One other thing that goes without being said. The arena needs to be updated in order to have any hope of UGA being worth a flip in the future.


April 1st, 2009
10:02 am

let us just admit that Evans has blown the chance to make a great hire and really make a statement about UGA basketball. Instead he makes UGA look like a second rate school which is very hard to do given our resourcesand fan base. Had a business executive botched such an important decision like this he would have already been shown the door. And please before the excuses start,ie., the process is not over and Evans has a plan and knows what he is doing, can we just admit that Evans is a light weight in a heavy weights arena. Fire him now and get somebody than can deal with the big boys.

Larry M

April 1st, 2009
10:03 am

Agree on many of the points already made, but let me sum up.

- This search and the search firm have been a total joke. UGA basically had the first open job in the country yet only now are we getting serious about making an offer? Why were we sitting on our hands when Alabama comes in and grabs Grant? That was the guy for us to hire, we had the opening long before Alabama. We could have been ready as soon as VCU was out of the tourney, yet somehow we blew it.

- I’m not too terribly broken up that Anderson didn’t take the job, but it should function as a cold glass of water to the face of Evans, Adams, and the illustrious search firm that UGA is not a desirable destination for any coach. You’re going to have to make it desirable by not only promising a hefty salary but a commitment to dump the Stegesaurus, invest resources in the program, etc.

- Following up on the last point, those people saying we’re going to target Capel – what are you smoking? Cause I would sure like some. Why in the world would a guy like that leave an established program in a major conference to come to a, frankly, lower-tier program in a football conference? Even guys who coach at Xavier, Baylor, etc – again, why would they leave a program where they are having success to come here and a rebuilding project? As the situation with Anderson proved, money is not the sole motivating factor for a lot of guys.

- We need someone who can recruit the state of Georgia and the southeast. That is what we need to be looking for. The idea that you’re going to steal away a guy who is already successful is stupid. We need an up-and-comer, kind of like Felton was, but a guy who can actually convince some of these guys to stay home. Felton was out there bringing in dudes from New Jersey and then kicking them off the team for every weird look he got. There is PLENTY of talent in the state of Georgia that if we only got 5% of the available guys this team would be competitive. I appreciated that Felton ran a tight ship – it is what we needed after Harrick. But it was too tight. Richt proves that a coach can balance success and discipline.

- Grant was our guy and we blew it. If we can’t have him and can’t find an up-and-comer who can recruit the south, then the answer is obvious: Bob Knight. He will give us immediate stature and currency with recruits, not only here in state, but all over. Even if he only stays 3 or 4 years, at least it will bring the program up to a higher level that hopefully his successor can maintain.


April 1st, 2009
10:07 am

It sounds to me like Evans had Anderson in his cross hairs from the get-go. I wouldn’t be criticizing the search firm just yet. The Firm may have even told Evans that Anderson was a very long shot. But if Evans was just arrogant enough to think he could reel him in to UGA, then this would explain this fiasco.

Unless UGA can lure in Capel I’d say the UGA basketball program is destined for another 4 or more years of less than mediocrity. Or in other words: stay the course.

What if Bobby Knight is all that’s left? Would it really be that bad to have him at the helm for a couple of years?


April 1st, 2009
10:09 am

The only coach who would instantly put UGA on the basketball map is Bobby Knight. Past that, the rest of the remaining coaches bandied about would take years to produce a quality team, if ever. A young no-name from a smaller school won’t have the cache to get the top players to Athens, nor will some retread from another school (insert Gillispie’s name here.)This search firm is a joke and Evans looks like a schmuck in way over his head. Grant was a perfect fit and Evans never even got to first base. How many days left till September?


April 1st, 2009
10:09 am

At best Bobby Knight would stay 3 maybe 4 yrs. But he would pack the house every night and when he does leave we will have a team full of high recruts Where’s the down side I don’t see it.