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 MAY 23, 2023**
YOUR CHAIR IS ON FIRE, SIR
Coaches at the end of the line at their current school. You should be seeing them here soon enough.
- Dwayne Killings (Albany)
- Killings has only been at Albany since 2021, hired after three seasons at Marquette, but off-the-court problems have landed him on this 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. UPDATE: Killings was suspended for the first five games of this season and then the Great Danes finished in last place at 8-23 (3-13).
- 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 a T-4 in the Pac-12 and just last year helmed one of the worst seasons in recent history for any power conference team: 3-28 (1-19). UPDATE: OSU went 11-21 (5-15) but Tinkle received a vote of confidence from his AD after the season and will return for 2023-24.
THIS SEAT IS RATHER WARM
These coaches need to start winning right now, but that may not even be enough…
- Jerod Haase (Stanford)
- Haase is entering his seventh year at Stanford and has just one NIT berth to his credit (would have at least gotten a second NIT in 2020). He’s just eight games over .500 through six seasons – despite an impressive run of recruiting wins – and the Cardinal have been 6th or worse in the Pac-12 in all but one of those. In March, AD Bernard Muir used the non-specific “continued partnership” to announce that Haase would be back for this year. Johnny Dawkins got fired in 2016 one year removed from a second NIT title and two years out from a Sweet Sixteen, so if that’s the bar then Haase is on thin ice. UPDATE: Stanford finished 14-19 (7-13); AD Bernard Muir says Haase will return as head coach in 2023-24.
- Steve Henson (UTSA)
- This was Henson’s seventh season at UTSA and will likely be his worst record yet, as the Roadrunners are just 9-21 overall and have locked in the last place at 3-16 in C-USA play. The program had some positive momentum a few years back, with a nine win improvement during Henson’s first year (2016-17) and a 20-15 record and 2018 CIT appearance in his second. But this will be their third sub-.500 record in the last four years with momentum going the complete opposite way. UPDATE: The Roadrunners finished in last place at 10-22 (4-16); UTSA confirmed that Henson will return for the 2023-24 season.
- Mike Hopkins (Washington)
- Hopkins led the Huskies back to the NCAA Tournament in 2019, his second year there, and was rewarded with a lucrative deal that keeps him at Washington through the 2024-25 season. But in the three years since the NCAA bid, the team is 37-53 and just one year removed from an abysmal 5-21 (4-16) campaign. The buyout is still high: the bigger concern when UW wrote up the contract was Hopkins leaving for another job (like Syracuse), but it seems that if they fire him they will owe him his full remaining salary of $6.3M (plus $3M for 2022-23). UPDATE: The Huskies finished 16-16 (8-12); AD Jen Cohen confirms that Hopkins will be back for the 2023-24 season.
- Barclay Radebaugh (Charleston Southern)
- Radebaugh has been at Charleston Southern since 2005, leading the Bucs to relatively consistent middle-of-the-road finishes throughout his tenure. Save for a couple division titles and NIT berths (2013 and 2015), CSU has been out of the conversation as a true Big South contender. But even with the bar so low, Radebaugh has underperformed the last two years – 9-43 (3-30). It’s time to make a change. UPDATE: The Bucs finished 10-21 (5-13) and in the 300s in KenPom; CSU confirmed Radebaugh will be back for next season.
- Mark Slessinger (New Orleans)
- It’s year twelve at New Orleans for Slessinger, who took over in 2011 when the program was still recovering from a temporary drop from D-I competition following Hurricane Katrina. After some rebuilding, he led the Privateers to the 2017 NCAA Tournament after winning both the Southland regular season and Tournament titles. But with just two winning records in the six years since, things are trending in the wrong direction for the program. After 19 wins combined in 2019-20 and 2020-21, Slessinger led the team to an 18-13 record last year. But things regressed this season and UNO found itself in the bottom half of the Southland standings yet again. UPDATE: AD Tim Duncan has said that Slessinger will return next season.
WE’VE GOT OUR EYE ON YOU, COACH
Here are those guys that are having a rough year (or two… or three…) but aren’t in total danger. Yet.
- Brad Brownell (Clemson)
- The 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 to be fully secure in his job, bouncing back-and-forth between NCAA at-large bids and 10th place ACC finishes with ease. 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 the hot seat. UPDATE: Brownell is heading into year 14 at Clemson and his recently signed extension will entitle him to $85k per remaining month if he is fired before 4/30/24 (so ~$2M if they do it in March or April).
- Jeff Capel III (Pittsburgh)
- Capel’s deal runs through the 2026-27 season, but he’s yet to have a winning record in four seasons at Pitt. It was a rebuilding job when he took it so the first couple years are excused, but now in year five he has done nothing to show he can win games with this program. Pitt finished tied for 11th in the ACC last year at 6-14 (11-21 overall), which was actually their best finish under Capel, and ended it by losing to BC by 20 points in the ACC Tournament. UPDATE: Pitt blew their chance at a share of the ACC title, but it looks like they will finally reach the NCAA Tournament under Capel – though they are probably headed to Dayton for the First Four.
- Mike Davis (Detroit Mercy)
- Davis signed a five-year deal when he was hired at Detroit Mercy in 2018, so with no report extensions it seems that this is a contract year for the head coach. The Titans finished above .500 just once in four full seasons under Davis (12-10 in 2020-21) and did get a postseason invitation last year (TBC), but the tenure has been extremely underwhelming. The Titans’ star player is Mike’s son, Antoine Davis, who is also in his fifth (and definitely final) year there. The younger Davis is one of the most prolific scorers and three-point shooters in D-I history but only had a 45-69 career record coming into this season. UPDATE: Antoine Davis fell just shy of the record and the Titans finished 14-19 (9-11), in the bottom half of the one-bid Horizon.
- Jeff Jones (Old Dominion)
- Now in his tenth season at Old Dominion, Jones is heading towards a fourth-straight March without a postseason invite. The Monarchs won the C-USA title and went to the NCAA Tournament back in 2019 but have finished 13-19 in two of the three year since. He got a contract extension that spring so his current deal runs through next year (2023-24). The program moved to the Sun Belt in 2022 and they have been middle of the pack all season. UPDATE: The Monarchs finished 19-12 (11-7), an improvement over last year but they still missed the postseason once again.
- 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 was just 11-41 through his first two seasons before showing some minor improvement last year (11-19). His contract is not publicly available, but it is likely a five-year deal which means he has this year and next to turn things around and earn an extension. UPDATE: The Hawks finished 16-17 (8-10); AD Jill Bodensteiner says she is “optimistic” about the future and hopes Lange is at St. Joe’s “for a long time.”
- Reggie Witherspoon (Canisius)
- Witherspoon is entering year seven at Canisius and is on a five-year postseason drought. After aCIT and CBI bids in his first two seasons, respectively, the Griffs went 45-64 (32-38 MAAC) over the next four years. UPDATE: Canisius has confirmed that Witherspoon is being retained as head coach.
MAYBE IT’S TIME TO RETIRE?
Here are some head coaches who could be (or maybe should be) looking at retirement at the end of the season.
- Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina)
- The second-oldest coach in D-I, Ellis has had an impressive career spanning more than five decades. He has been at Coastal Carolina since 2007 and has ten postseason appearances with the program, including NCAA bids in 2014 and 2015. The Chants are the fourth team he had led to the NCAA Tournament, after going there with South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn. Ellis’ CCU teams have only finished below .500 six times, but this year had their worst finish (12th) since joining the Sun Belt.
- Keith Richard (Louisiana-Monroe)
- Richard has been the Louisiana-Monroe head coach since 2010 but has never gotten the Warhawks into the NCAA Tournament or NIT. In fact, his teams have finished 6th or worse in the Sun Belt each year since 2017 and have had just three winning seasons during his tenure. Richard just turned 63 years old and should really be on the hot seat, with a combined 29-56 over the three full seasons and heading towards a fourth losing record in 2023. UPDATE: ULM finished 11-21 (7-11), keeping Richard’s overall winning percentage there under 38%.
- Lorenzo Romar (Pepperdine)
- This is the second stint at Pepperdine for Romar, and things are decidedly worse than they were the first time around. Romar went 19-13 with the Waves back in 1998-99, which earned him the Saint Louis job (1999-2002) and later the Washington job (2002-17). He was rehired at Pepperdine back in 2018 and went 47-46 through his first three seasons, including a CBI Championship in 2021. But the Waves have now finished in last place in each of the past two years, with a combined record of 16-46 (3-29 WCC). Romar will turn 65 later this year and it may be time to hang it up after a long and accomplished coaching career.
COACHES THAT ARE SAFE (FOR NOW)
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.
- 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 Fred Hoiberg Era in Lincoln. College basketball fans expected Iowa State Fred but instead got something worse than Chicago Bulls Fred. The Huskers lost 20+ games in each of Hoiberg’s first three seasons at the helm and this past offseason AD Trev Alberts worked out some contract “revisions” with the coach. Hoiberg’s salary dropped, some bonuses were removed from his contract and most importantly, his buyout dropped. Nebraska did the same thing with Scott Frost before last football season and ended up firing him after three games and committing to massive buyout, anyways. That buyout is what we think will save Hoiberg this offseason, as the athletic department must be a bit strapped for cash. UPDATE: Nebraska has shown some improvement, enough for the athletic department to justify the money they are spending on Hoiberg.
- 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. The last two seasons have been awful, with ASU going a combined 25-41. Hurley’s deal runs through 2023-24 and he is making too much money to consistently miss or early exit from the NCAAs. Getting some tournament wins is the only thing that can save his job at this point. UPDATE 3/21: ASU snuck into thee NCAA Tournament, won their First Four game and nearly beat 6-seed TCU; Hurley was given a contract extension, keeping him in Temple through 2025-26