College Basketball Hot Seat Report

College Basketball Hot Seat Report

Welcome to the Coaches Database Hot Seat Report, an updating list of college basketball head coaches with low job security. With each update, coaches will be added, removed and shuffled around based on their performance (note: coaches are listed alphabetically). To see the list of coaching changes that have already happened, head over to the Coaching Carousel page.

** UPDATED APRIL 2, 2024 **




Coaches at the end of the line at their current school. You should be seeing them here soon enough.

  • Kyle Neptune (Villanova)
    • Neptune was never going to be Jay Wright, but that doesn’t stop Villanova fans from being quick to turn on the former assistant who has yet to show that he can lead a competitive team as head coach. This is only his second year at the helm – and third year overall as a head coach – so we think he deserves some grace and time in filling the massive shoes of his predecessor and mentor. But Villanova fans are not interested in middle-of-the-pack Big East squads and certainly won’t tolerate missing the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons (which is a very real possibility right now). This past offseason, Villanova hired Baker Dunleavy to be GM of men’s and women’s basketball, something that also probably needs more time to start paying off. We don’t think Neptune will get fired but because this is Villanova we are talking about, we are still keeping an eye on the situation.
  • Wayne Tinkle (Oregon State)
    • Oregon State is a tough job, so when Tinkle led the Beavers on their improbable Elite Eight run in 2021 he bought himself a ton of goodwill in Corvallis. But the reality of the situation is that Tinkle has never finished better than 4th in the Pac-12 and in 2021-22 helmed one of the worst seasons in recent history for any power conference team at 3-28 (1-19 Pac-12). The Beavs were less bad last year, going 11-21 (5-15), and Tinkle received a vote of confidence from his AD in the offseason. UPDATE: The future of Oregon State athletics is murky and with the program at risk of falling into mid-major territory, the uncertainty might buy Tinkle an extra year or two. He certainly hasn’t earned it on the court, as the Beavs again came in last at 5-15 (13-18 overall).


These coaches need to start winning right now, but that may not even be enough…

  • Jeff Capel III (Pittsburgh)
    • Capel’s deal runs through the 2026-27 season and he’s coming off his first winning record at Pitt (in year five). It was a rebuild when he took over so the first couple years are excused, but now he needs to show sustained success in order to keep his job. Pitt blew their chance at a share of the 2023 ACC title but finished tied for third (Capel was named ACC COY), finally returning to the NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed. One good year out of five is definitely better than zero, but keeping that momentum is the key for this season. UPDATE: At 21-10 overall and 12-8 in the ACC, Capel and Pitt ended up having a decent season but will need to make a run in the ACC Tournament to get anywhere near the Big Dance.
  • Johnny Dawkins (UCF)
    • Dawkins’ tenure at UCF has gone a lot like his time at Stanford – consistently winning games but never really getting over the hump. He’s been to the postseason three times but hasn’t made much impact there. The Knights were never really a serious contender for an AAC title, and now they move to the more competitive Big 12 this year. Dawkins’ squad was 19-15 (8-10) last year against AAC competition (no disrespect intended), so it will be interesting to see how things go with Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, etc on the slate. We will be withholding judgement for now until the season really gets going. UPDATE: The Knights are 16-14 (7-11) in their first season of Big 12 action and while the win over Kansas was cool, the season has been a dud and could very well be Dawkins’ last.
  • Jim Engles (Columbia)
    • Columbia has been the worst team in the Ivy for the last three seasons, winning just four combined league games (against 38 losses). Engles has been there since 2016, hired after an impressive rebuild at NJIT, but things have gone the opposite way during his tenure with the Lions. It’s hard to imagine Engles getting another chance after this year if things don’t drastically improve. But Columbia hasn’t been in the NCAA Tournament since 1968 (also their last Ivy title) and Engles kept his job after a last place finish three years in a row, so who knows. UPDATE: The Lions again finished in the bottom half of the Ivy League table at 4-10 (13-14 overall).
  • Dwayne Killings (Albany)
    • Killings has only been at Albany since 2021, hired after three seasons at Marquette, but on- and off-the-court problems have him on the list. He was put on leave for several weeks in March 2022 after allegedly making contact with a player, but the story blew up more in November when he was sued by a former player who alleged that Killings threw him against a locker and drew blood after striking him in the face (the coach was ordered into anger management from a 4th degree assault charge). Killings was suspended for the first five games of last season and the Great Danes went on to finish in last place at 8-23 (3-13). The school is standing by him but another stinker of a season – or another step out of line – could get him canned. UPDATE: The Danes went 13-19 (5-11) and were non-factors in the America East.
  • Andrew Toole (Robert Morris)
    • Toole was a popular name on the coaching carousel 5+ years ago after leading the Colonials to two NCAA Tournaments, two NITs and two CITs in ten seasons at RMU. However, after the program moved to the Horizon League for the 2020-21 season, things have really fallen off. The team won just 12 games combined through their first two seasons in the Horizon and while things improved last year (16-17, 10-10), the projections for this year are pretty bad once again. UPDATE: The team has regressed back to the (almost) bottom of the Horizon standings at 6-14, finishing ahead of just IUPUI and Detroit Mercy (who both parted with their head coaches last week). 


Here are those guys that are having a rough year (or two… or three…) but aren’t in total danger. Yet. 

  • Shane Burcar (Northern Arizona)
    • After four years at NAU, Burcar is 43-76 overall with one winning record and zero postseason bids. The long-time high school coach was hired in 2018 as an assistant and a little over a year later was named interim head coach following Jack Murphy‘s resignation. The interim tag was removed following a 16-14 first year, but the Lumberjacks went just 27-62 over the next three seasons, finishing 9th or 10th in the Big Sky each year. His current deal runs through 2024-25 and firing him will cost half his remaining base (only about $100K after this season). UPDATE: The 14-19 (7-11) Lumberjacks were one of the weakest teams in the Big Sky and yet again were out of contention and the postseason.
  • Bobby Hurley (Arizona State)
    • A splashy hire in 2015, Hurley was lured away from the East Coast after two successful seasons at Buffalo. The talent level has been strong (Remy Martin, Lu Dort, Josh Christopher, Marcus Bagley, etc) but the Sun Devils have consistently underachieved under Hurley. ASU went a combined 25-41 in 2020-21 and 2021-22 before showing improvement last year. Ultimately, the season still felt like a disappointment though with the Sun Devils sneaking into the NCAA Tournament and winning their First Four game before blowing a lead against 6-seed TCU in the Round of 64. Hurley was given a two-year extension in March (through 2025-26), so while a firing is less likely we are thinking he may look for his own exit route back East sooner rather than later. UPDATE: The Devils are just 14-17 overall and went 8-12 in league play. The program moves to the Big 12 next year and rumblings that Hurley may leave continue to circulate.
  • Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa)
    • Jaconson has been at UNI since 2006 and has coached the team to some incredible highs, with eight postseason appearances including four NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the 2010 Sweet Sixteen. But the last few years have been super inconsistent, with the Panthers oscillating between 19+ wins and losing records almost year-to-year. After going 14-18 last season, fans are (were?) hopeful that this year would be another swing back up. They have started out 2-5, and while some of that is due to the tough competition in Atlantis, a 20-point home loss to Belmont has the cracks showing once again. UPDATE: Jacobson became the winningest head coach in MVC history, and his 19-14 (12-8 MVC) Panthers ended up having a pretty decent season.
  • Ben Johnson (Minnesota)
    • The 2021 hiring of Johnson, a Minnesota-native and former Gopher player, was looked at favorably despite the lack of head coaching experience. But two years later the program is far worse off than before his arrival and it’s hard to see much (if any) light on the horizon. AD Mark Coyle fired Richard Pitino after a mediocre eight-year tenure, which did include two NCAA Tournaments and a NIT title. Pitino was 29-31 (14-26) in his last two seasons, while Johnson is now just 22-39 (6-33) through his first two. The Big Ten is expanding and getting more competitive and Minnesota can very easily get left behind if their current course doesn’t change in 2023-24. UPDATE: The Gophers have definitely improved, going 18-13 overall and finishing in the middle of the Big Ten at 9-11. They won’t go dancing, but it’s a solid foundation for next season, which will be make-or-break for Johnson.
  • Kevin Kruger (UNLV)
    • The UNLV program has been spinning its wheels for the last decade-plus, last reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and the Sweet Sixteen in 2007. The school hired Kevin Kruger, who played on that 2006-07 team and was coached by his father, Lon Kruger, the last guy to have consistent success with the Rebels. He didn’t have any head coaching experience but otherwise had a solid resume for this job in particular. Unfortunately for UNLV fans, Kevin has yet to move the needle through two years – he finished above .500 in each but were never really in the NCAA Tournament picture – and the already restless fanbase is increasingly ready to move on. UPDATE: Kruger and the Rebels have come a long way since getting completely overwhelmed at home by Southern in the season opener. They were legitimately in the MWC title mix in a year where the conference is maybe the strongest it has ever been. Kruger is weathering the storm and has surely silenced some doubters over the last few months.
  • Mike Woodson (Indiana)
    • It’s only year three for Woody at Indiana but fans have already grown tired of his tenure, having regressed significantly this year after losing Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino to the NBA. Roster construction and recruiting are concerns, though the Hoosiers will get some help from 5-star shooter Liam McNeely next year, but the hot-and-cold nature of this year’s team has many fans (and reportedly boosters) feeling very frustrated and pessimistic. Woodson is an IU legend and a direct link to the late Bob Knight, which makes it a difficult situation for AD Scott Dolson (not to mention a huge buyout – which hurts even more after paying big to fire both Archie Miller and Tom Allen in the past few years). UPDATE: There have been reports that Woodson’s job is safe, but the school has not made any announcements. The Hoosiers ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak to finish 6th in the Big Ten.


Here are some head coaches who could (or maybe should) be looking at retirement at the end of the season.

  • Tom Izzo (Michigan State)
    • It is an uncharacteristically off-year (so far?) for the Spartans, who started the season ranked #4 and were completely out of the polls by week three thanks to a 3-3 start (that became 4-6). At 68, Izzo is one of the longest-tenured head coaches in college basketball and is facing the same dilemma as his contemporaries that have called it a career of late. The game is changing, recruiting is changing, and it’s hard for guys like Izzo, Boeheim, Krzyzewski, Williams, Kruger, Calhoun, etc to adapt after so many years in coaching.
  • Keith Richard (Louisiana-Monroe)
    • Richard has been the Louisiana-Monroe head coach since 2010 but has never gotten the Warhawks into the NCAAT or NIT. In fact, his teams have finished 6th or worse in the Sun Belt each year since 2017 and he’s had just three winning seasons during his entire tenure there. Richard (64) could just as easily be on the hot seat for firing with a combined 40-77 record over the last four.



This section is comprised of coaches who were previously in one of the above categories this season or are just starting to feel heat but are not yet in any real danger of being fired.

  • Brad Brownell (Clemson)
    • The hot seat dance continues at Clemson, as Brownell’s squad won 20+ games for the first time in four years but ultimately missed the NCAA Tournament and then were upset at home in their first NIT game. Brownell never seems fully secure in his job, bouncing back-and-forth between NCAA at-large bids and 10th place ACC finishes. The Tigers were technically on the upswing in 2022-23 but will need to continue that momentum in 2023-24 if their coach is ever going to get off this list. Brownell’s latest deal entitles him to $85k per remaining month if he’s fired before 4/30/24 (so around $2M if that happens in March or April 2024). UPDATE: The Tigers fell out of ACC title contention but are still projecting as a 5- or 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Greg Gard (Wisconsin)
    • Gard has done an admirable job at Wisconsin, taking over for his mentor Bo Ryan midway through 2015-16 season after spending 22+ years as one of his assistants (14 at UW). He has led the Badgers to the NCAA Tournament five times, but also missed it on two occasions – a hallmark of Ryan’s tenure was that he NEVER missed the NCAAs while head coach. The juggernaut that Ryan built, culminating in back-to-back Final Fours, is gone. What’s left is a solid program that can compete for a Big Ten title one year and finish near the bottom the next. This season will be crucial for Gard, who needs desperately to bounce back from last year in order to regain favor in Madison. UPDATE: The Badgers are one of the better teams in the Big Ten and, despite stumbling a bit in February, have a solid NCAA resume thanks to non-conference wins over Marquette, Virginia, and SMU.
  • Fred Hoiberg (Nebraska)
    • The slam dunk hire that has been anything but, it’s hard to believe this is where we are at with the Hoiberg Era in Lincoln. College basketball fans expected Iowa State Fred but have instead gotten something more like (or even worse than) Chicago Bulls Fred. The Huskers lost 20+ games in each of Hoiberg’s first three seasons at the helm, prompting AD Trev Alberts to work out some contract “revisions” that included a salary decrease, removal of some bonuses and most importantly, a lower buyout. Alberts did the same thing with Scott Frost in 2022 and ended up firing him after three games and committing to a massive buyout, anyways. That buyout may still have the athletic department strapped for cash, but there is plenty of pressure on Alberts for his big bet on men’s basketball to pay off. UPDATE: The Huskers are rolling at 22-9 (12-8), finally turning a corner in year four under Hoiberg.
  • Kevin Keatts (NC State)
    • This is year seven for Keatts, who was a no-brainer hire for NC State back in 2017 but has yet to turn the corner in any way as head coach. The Wolfpack reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time of his tenure last year, but were one of the last teams in and – like the first time – got bounced in their first game. Keatts is under contract through 2027-28 and would be owed over $5M if he were fired this offseason, but this lack of success in a soon-to-be-expanded ACC is not flying with NC State fans and boosters. UPDATE: The Wolfpack ripped off five wins in five days to win the ACC Tournament and steal a NCAA bid, then proceeded to reach the FINAL FOUR for the first time since 1983; these feats are impressive enough to buy Keatts some more time, but the ACC Tourney crown actually triggered a two-year extension per his contract anyways
  • Billy Lange (Saint Joseph’s)
    • Lange was hired in 2019 after six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and tasked with taking over for long-time Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, who led the Hawks for 24 years. Things have not gone great, as Lange is just 38-77 through his first four seasons and without a winning record. The Hawks were close to .500 last year (16-17), while AD Jill Bodensteiner said in March that she is “optimistic” about the future and hopes Lange is at St. Joe’s “for a long time.” Jon Rothstein reported in April that Lange had received a “multi-year” extension but details are not publicly available, nor has SJU announced anything, at the time of this writing. UPDATE: Maybe Bodenseteiner was on to something, as the Hawks have surpassed last year’s win total and are just barely hanging on to their spot in the top half of the A-10. Lange is still not knocking it out of the park though, that’s for sure.