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 JANUARY 22, 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.

  • Mark Fox (California)
    • This was kind of an odd hire for Cal, as Fox had just been fired after nine unremarkable seasons at Georgia. He had some experience out West (mostly at Nevada), but his name was not floating around much during the hiring process. The Bears are 35-58 overall under Fox (with a particular ugly double-digit home loss to UC San Diego last year). Fox’s buyout dropped from $1.3M to $900k after he was retained this offseason. UPDATE: The Bears have a won a few, including one over rival Stanford, but are still just 3-16 (2-6). It’s hard to fathom how things are this bad in year four of the Fox Era, but equally hard to understand how two teams are below Cal in the Pac-12 table.
  • 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 his second NIT title and two years out from a Sweet Sixteen, so if that’s the bar then Haase is on thin ice. UPDATE: Haase was lucky that Cal started so bad because it took the attention of of him, but now the Cardinal are in second-to-last place (7-12, 2-7). Haase’s seat is engulfed in flames at this point.
  • Matt Lottich (Valparaiso)
    • Six years ago, Lottich became the first Valpo head coach from outside the Drew family since 1988. But after winning the 2017 Horizon title, the program moved to the MVC and have finished above .500 just once since. There are different standards for mid-majors but Valpo has a strong track record that includes nine NCAA Tournament bids since 1996. Last year’s team started by losing two exhibition games to D-II’s at home and finished in 7th at 6-12 (13-17 overall). That brings Lottich’s record since joining the MVC to 72-77 (35-55). UPDATE: The Beacons are 9-12 (3-7) and on a three-game winning streak, but it’s too little too late for Lottich.
  • 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 member for any power conference team: 3-28 (1-19). A winning season for Tinkle is probably enough to cool things down, but THREE WINS is tough to reconcile. UPDATE: The Beavers are 7-12 (1-7), went 0-3 in the Phil Knight Legacy and have two losses to Portland State. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Tinkle stays in Corvallis.




THIS SEAT IS RATHER WARM

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, 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 Boston College by 20 points in the ACC Tournament. UPDATE: Pitt is 13-7 (6-3) and towards the top of a weak ACC field; it’s their best season under Capel but still not up to what the fanbase expects
  • Kermit Davis (Ole Miss)
    • This is year five for the 63-year old Davis in Oxford, coming off a second sub-.500 record in three seasons and far removed from the NCAA appearance in 2019. The Rebs have trended in the wrong direction throughout this tenure, the opposite of how things went for Davis at Middle Tennessee. Ole Miss had been giving Davis one-year extensions each offseason, but AD Keith Carter confirmed in April 2022 that they did not extend the deal after last year’s 13th place SEC finish. UPDATE: Ole Miss is 9-10 overall and alone at the bottom of the SEC after a 1-6 start.
  • Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) 
    • One of the biggest stars in Georgetown’s illustrious history has not had nearly the same success as a coach, coming off his worst season at the helm: 6-25 overall and a staggering 0-19 in Big East play. The Hall-of-Famer took the Hoyas to the NIT in 2019 and made a surprise NCAA appearance in 2021, but 2022 was an all-time backslide. His initial six-year deal ran through this year, but according to Hilltop Hoops the school signed Ewing to a three-year extension this offseason and kept it quiet. Per that report, firing Ewing this year or next year would cost three years of base salary (close to $12M). UPDATE: The Hoyas are in danger of going winless in the Big East again, starting 0-9 and looking the part of last place.
  • 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: With confounding losses to Texas Southern and San Francisco in the non-conference, ASU is 15-5 (6-3) but could still finish Top 3 in the Pac-12.
  • Kevin Keatts (NC State)
    • This hire was widely praised back in 2017 but the Kevin Keatts Era at NC State has not gone well, thus far. The Pack won 20+ games in each of his first three seasons but never really contended in the ACC and had just one NCAA Tournament appearance during that span. So while his seat was just warm heading into 2021-22, it’s now a raging fire after finishing in dead last place in the ACC. A quirk in Keatts’ contract allowed him to exercise an extension through 2025-26 and his buyout is reportedly $1.1M per remaining season. UPDATE: The Wolfpack are 15-5 (5-4 ACC) and just lost to UNC for the 9th time in 11 tries under Keatts.
  • 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: St. Joe’s is 9-10 (3-4) and has missed out on several quality win opportunities.
  • Chris Mooney (Richmond)
    • Last season, Mooney’s 18th, the Spiders ended an eleven-year NCAA Tournament drought by winning the A-10 Tournament and then scored a first-round upset over 5-seed Iowa. But that was actually a disappointment, as Richmond was expected to compete for a regular season title but barely finished in the top half. Nonetheless, Mooney was given a five-year extension this summer and the hot seat dance continues in Richmond. UPDATE: The Spiders have a couple decent wins but are just 11-9 (4-3), well on the way to another disappointing 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 have started Big South play 3-5 (7-12 overall) and not far from the 300s in KenPom.
  • Reggie Witherspoon (Canisius)
    • Witherspoon is entering year seven at Canisius and is on a five-year postseason drought. After a CIT and CBI in his first two seasons, respectively, the Griffs are a combined 45-64 (32-38 MAAC) over that stretch. UPDATE: The Griffins are 5-13 (36) and already had a ten-game losing streak against D-I opponents this season. Witherspoon is now 50-77 over the last 4+ seasons.




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. 

  • Mike Anderson (St. John’s)
    • This is now year four for Anderson at St. John’s and it is looking like the Johnnies will miss the NCAA Tournament once again. The school parted with one of its most decorated players Chris Mullin in 2019 despite reaching the Big Dance that year, and things have actually gotten worse since then under Anderson. There is still a chance this year’s team can make a run and get one of the last at-large bids, but they continue to miss opportunities for quality wins. UPDATE: The Johnnies blew a shot at home against Villanova and now sit at 13-7 (3-6), firmly on the outside looking in.
  • Mike Brey (Notre Dame)
    • Brey has been in South Bend since 2000 and his overall accomplishments are undeniable, but his back-to-back Elite Eights seem like a lifetime ago. Last year’s team was a nice turnaround, as the Irish finished 24-11 and tied for 2nd in the ACC, getting back in the NCAA Tournament after a four-year drought. Basketball is a distant second to football on the Notre Dame campus and the uncertainty on the gridiron will likely overshadow Brey’s group for the foreseeable future. But a regression to 2018-21 levels may change that. UPDATE: Brey announced that he is stepping away (retiring?) at the end of the season; meanwhile the Irish are 9-11 (1-8 ACC). We will be removing Brey from the Hot Seat Report on the next update (he’s already listed here).
  • 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 had some decent wins early on but also have some ugly losses and again sit near the bottom of the Pac-12 at 12-9 (4-6).
  • 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, but is currently coaching the (6-15) Great Danes. 
  • Fran McCaffery (Iowa)
    • The Hawkeyes have been one of the better teams in the Big Ten over the last five years, largely thanks to stars like Luka Garza, Keegan Murray, and now Kris Murray. But they (and Fran) still cannot get over the hump. McCaffery has been at Iowa since 2010 and is now in his 27th year as a D-I head coach, but for all his accomplishments he has yet to reach a single Sweet Sixteen (in 11 NCAA appearances). It’s easier to overlook when Iowa is putting guys in the NBA and competing for Big Ten titles (though they haven’t won it since 1979), but now that things are regressing are the cracks are more evident than ever before. UPDATE: The Hawkeyes lost at home to Eastern Illinois in what was the worst loss in D-I history by point spread (Iowa was favored by 31.5) and now sit at 12-7 (4-4). 
  • Brett Nelson (Holy Cross)
    • Nelson enters year four at Holy Cross with a 17-62 overall record and just 14 total Patriot League victories. It was a somewhat odd hire in 2019, as Nelson is a WV-native who had never coached in the Northeast. He had just spent five years at Marquette, during which time the Eagles consistently under-performed. The hiring was the first for then-AD Marcus Blossom, who had only been on the job for about a month and two years later left to become the AD at Creighton. New AD Kit Hughes was hired in December and has now been on the job long enough to shake things up. UPDATE: Holy Cross is 7-14 (4-4) and played poorly throughout the OOC.
  • Josh Pastner (Georgia Tech)
    • We’re back on the roller coaster with Pastner and Georgia Tech this year. Things cooled off after the NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021, but another ACC basement finish last year (12-20, 5-15) has the 7th-year head coach right back on the hot seat. There is a new AD in place (J Blatt from Alabama) who has a coaching search on his hands already with the football program. Pastner’s new contract runs through the 2025-26 season. UPDATE: GT is 8-11 (1-8) with just two high-major wins and their rough season is no longer being overshadowed by the other ACC underachievers.
  • Will Ryan (Green Bay)
    • Ryan was hired in 2020 after one season as the head coach D-II Wheeling (he went 14-13). A somewhat unexpected move at the time, the son of long-time coach Bo Ryan was viewed as an up-and-comer with a strong pedigree. That has not come to fruition thus far, as Green Bay won just 13 games combined in his Ryan’s first two years and finished second-to-last in the Horizon last season at 4-16. His predecessor Linc Darner was fired after five years despite only having one losing season and going to the postseason three times (including the 2016 NCAA Tournament). If that is the bar, Ryan can’t possibly be there much longer. UPDATE 1/24: Green Bay has parted ways with Will Ryan; Phoenix are 2-19 this year and 15-61 overall under Ryan.




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.

  • Mike Brennan (American)
    • Brennan has been at American since 2013, with his first season being his lone postseason appearance (they won the Patriot League Tournament to get to the NCAAs for the third-time in program history). However, the Eagles have finished above .500 just twice since then, most recently a 16-14 record in 2019-20. We had Brennan on our list back in 2019 but removed him after the Eagles strong together a couple of stronger seasons. But things have regressed and AU again finished at the bottom of the league last year. UPDATE: The Eagles were on pace for their best season in a decade but are now on a four-game skid, dropping to 12-7 (4-4).
  • Brad Brownell (Clemson)
    • We have been up and down with Brownell, which is pretty much how his tenure at Clemson has gone since he was hired in 2010. Last year’s team is 17-16 (8-12), missing the NCAA and NIT. However, the contract extension Brownell signed in October 2021 will make it VERY expensive to fire him without cause over the next couple of years. UPDATE: The Tigers are 16-4 with some nice OOC wins and have started ACC play 8-1 (!!).
  • Chris Collins (Northwestern)
    • While Collins will be forever remembered in Evanston for leading Northwestern to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2017, that success is nothing but a distant memory. The regression has been stark and rapid, with the Wildcats finishing 10th or worse in the Big Ten every year since. There are few major programs with a history as uneventful as Northwestern’s and now that the folksy NCAA streak is over, the Wildcats are just another bad power conference team. Bill Carmody got 13 years without an NCAA bid, but times have changed. Collins proved that NU can go dancing, changing the perception of the job for coaches across the country who might now be more interested. UPDATE: Cats are 12-5 (3-3) with several quality Big Ten wins. Northwestern might be good?
  • Brian Gregory (South Florida)
    • Gregory has just one winning season in five at USF, winning the CBI in 2019. The Bulls are 17-33 in the last two years and were picked to finish 9th this year. Everything about Gregory’s tenure would indicate a very hot seat, but USF AD Michael Kelly gave him a contract extension in January 2022 that will keep him in Tampa through the 2025-26 season. I guess it’s worth $1.6M/yr to finish at the bottom of the AAC every year? UPDATE: Gregory’s team had some momentum in December but have started AAC play 2-5; we’re just a year removed from the contract extension and the Bulls are 9-11 overall.
  • 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 seems marginally better but is still in the Big Ten basement.




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