Let’s Speculate! Potential Idaho head basketball coach candidates
Welcome to Let’s Speculate! on Coaches Database, where we go through programs that are or may soon be looking for a new head coach and speculate who they may hire next.
Today’s program is Idaho, coached by Zac Claus since 2019 (fired on Monday).
- Kermit Davis – former Ole Miss (and Idaho) head coach
- Davis has been the head coach at Idaho twice before, having led the Vandals to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and Big Sky titles in 1989 and 1990. He came back to Moscow for another season in 1996 before going back south to take an assistant role at LSU. Davis’ tenure at Ole Miss did not pan out, but he did a great job over his 16 years at Middle Tennessee and may be better suited for another mid-major job. It’s hard to say there is no coincidence that soon after Davis was fired, Gawlik made an earlier-than-necessary move to fire Claus and open the job up quickly.
- Mike Burns – Boise State assistant coach
- The former Eastern Washington and Pacific head coach has been at Boise State since 2016, where he was part of the Broncos’ MWC title and NCAA Tournament team last year. Burns’ career head coaching record is not very impressive, but he has done the job before and there may not be a ton of other candidates for Idaho that have. Hiring a mid-major assistant has worked out for Idaho in the past, and Burns has been coaching and recruiting in the state for years.
- Tim Duryea – Boise State assistant coach
- For all the same reasons that Burns could be a candidate, his fellow Boise assistant Tim Duryea could get a look, too. The last person on the list with actual head coaching experience, Duryea went 47-49 in three years at Utah State and 44-21 in two years at Hutchinson CC (KS). He’s been with the Broncos since 2018 and has been recruiting the Mountain West region for nearly his entire 35-year coaching career.
- Jim Shaw – Washington State assistant coach
- Shaw has been across the border at Wazzu since 2019, following a four-year stint as head coach at Western Oregon. He went 102-30 overall at his alma mater and reached the D-II NCAA Tournament three times. The Washington-native started his coaching career at Idaho State, but has a ton of D-I coaching experience since then. He was on Kelvin Sampson‘s staff at Oklahoma for the Sooners’ Final Four appearance in 2002 and has also worked at Washington, Saint Mary’s, Portland and Oregon State.
- Scott Garson – Santa Clara assistant coach
- Garson is in his fifth year on Herb Sendek‘s staff at Santa Clara after spending five seasons as the head coach at NAIA College of Idaho. He led the Yotes to four NAIA D-II Tournaments and three conference titles, finishing with an overall record of 129-42. Now back in D-I, Garson makes for a great low-major head coaching candidate for Idaho or any other school in that region. Previous career credits include stints on staff at UCLA (2006-13), Utah (1999-2004) and Pepperdine (1998-99).
- Jeremy Cox – UTEP assistant coach
- Cox is in his second year at UTEP, following stints at Stephen F. Austin and Southern Miss. He has some head coaching experience, having gone 27-5 during the 2013-14 season at Southern Idaho and also serving in the head role at Arkansas-Fort Smith and Garden City CC (KS). Other former roles include time on Billy Gillispie‘s staff at Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.
- DeMarlo Slocum – Utah assistant coach
- Looking at current assistants looking for the first head coaching job, Slocum is a name that definitely jumps out for the Idaho job. Back at Utah for his second stint with the Utes (tenth season overall), Slocum was actually an assistant for the Vandals for one season (2006-07). He played high school basketball in Vegas – and also coached AAU in the city for five years – and started his both his playing and coaching careers at Utah Tech (then Dixie State).
- Amorrow Morgan – Loyola (IL) assistant coach
- A former All-Big Sky player at rival Idaho State, Amorrow Morgan is a rising star in mid-major coaching circles. He’s in his second year at Loyola after spending time at South Alabama, Nicholls and Illinois-Springfield. It won’t be long before Morgan gets a head coaching opportunity, and now that his alma mater has locked in their head coach with a contract extension going to the Vandals might be a nice consolation prize.