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Let’s Speculate! Potential Marquette 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 Marquette, coached by Steve Wojciechowski for the last seven seasons (fired on March 19).

  • Porter Moser – Loyola (IL) head coach
    • Mentioned for all the P5 jobs in the Midwest, someone is going to hire Porter Moser in the next year or two. There is a Jesuit school connection, as Moser has spent plenty of time at two already (Loyola currently and Saint Louis before that), and of course the fact that Moser is in the Rick Majerus coaching tree. Moser would be a slam dunk hire for Marquette.
  • Dennis Gates – Cleveland State head coach
    • The Vikings were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament on Friday so now the buzz around Gates’ for coaching jobs across the country will really pick up steam. Mentioned for the Boston College and Penn State jobs (now both filled), Marquette is in position to hire one of the hottest young coaches available. Gates started off as a graduate assistant at Marquette under Tom Crean (2003-04) and while his career has taken him all over the US, he is now back in the Midwest just a few states over.
  • Darian DeVries – Drake head coach
    • Another up-and-coming head coach currently working in the Midwest, DeVries is an Iowa-native who is poised to make the move to a Power Five sooner rather than later. He’s only been a head coach for three years, but in that time he already has a MVC title and a NCAA Tournament bid under his belt. He might be a flight risk for whenever the Creighton job opens (he worked there for 20 years), but we’re not expecting that to happen in the foreseeable future.
  • Brian Wardle – Bradley head coach
    • Wardle took the Braves to the NCAA Tournament back in 2019 and would have gone back last year if it hadn’t been cancelled. Before that, he spent ten years (including five as head coach) at Green Bay. The biggest connection though is that Wardle is a Marquette grad who played for the Eagles from 1997-2001 and spent two years as DBO (2003-05) earlier on his career.
  • Tod Kowalczyk – Toledo head coach
    • Kowalczyk has built a solid program at Toledo, winning the MAC this year for the second time since his hiring in 2010. He is a Wisconsin-native who was previously an assistant at Marquette and the head coach at Green Bay. The biggest knock is that he has never been to the NCAA Tournament despite having been a D-I head coach for nearly 20 years.
  • Shaka Smart – Texas head coach
    • There is growing speculation that Smart may be looking to leave Texas on his own terms, rather than spend the next year on the hot seat as UT waits for his buyout number to decrease. Smart grew up in Madison, WI and Marquette provides a nice soft landing for someone who is a fantastic coach but just seems to be in the wrong situation. The move would certainly be a win for both Marquette and Texas, also.
  • Tom Crean – Georgia head coach
    • All this talk about former Crean assistants and players, let’s not forget that Crean himself could be a candidate to return to Marquette. He took the Golden Eagles to the Final Four in 2003 and is certainly one of the better recruiters and talent developers in the game (Anthony Edwards, OG Anunoby, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Dwayne Wade, etc). Left for Indiana in 2008, lots of things happened including two Big Ten titles and three Sweet Sixteens, and now he is at Georgia, where landing Edwards has been the highlight through three seasons. Surely he wouldn’t mind heading back to the Midwest into a situation where he was already successful once before. But does Marquette want a retread?
  • John Beilein – former Michigan head coach
    • Credentials are obvious here and there seems to be a desire on Beilein’s end to get back into coaching – surely he doesn’t want the Cleveland debacle to be his final rodeo. Beilein is a program builder and the current state of Marquette basketball is not unlike what he inherited when he was hired by Michigan in 2007. Six years later, the Wolverines were NCAA Runner-up.
  • Thad Matta – former Ohio State head coach
    • Another former Big Ten coach currently out of work, Matta has reportedly fielding calls for head coaching jobs the last several years but has yet to find a situation that suits him. Is Marquette that situation? Only he knows. But when you have a guy who’s been to two Final Fours actively looking for a new job, you have got to make some calls.