Let’s Speculate! Potential South Carolina 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 South Carolina, coached by Frank Martin for the last ten seasons (fired on March 14).
- Mike Boynton – Oklahoma State head coach
- It would be expensive, as Boyton just signed an extension at Oklahoma State that features a hefty buyout for taking another job, but he is the highest profile South Carolina alum currently coaching in college and is primed for a long and successful career in the game.
- Bob Richey – Furman head coach
- Currently just about 100 miles away at Furman, Richey is a rising star in the coaching world and is already a proven winner. He has 22+ wins in all four full-length seasons he has been at Furman and has actually spent his entire coaching career in The Palmetto State, having been an assistant at Furman and Charleston Southern before getting the main gig in 2011. The only hang-up is the lack of NCAA Tournament experience, though he’s been to the NIT and CIT.
- Dennis Gates – Cleveland State head coach
- The buzziest name on last year’s carousel was Gates, who instead signed an extension at Cleveland State and proceeded to win the Horizon League for a second-straight year. Prior to his 2019 hiring at CSU, the now 42-year-old was an assistant for eight seasons at Florida State.
- Andy Kennedy – UAB head coach
- The 2007 SEC Coach of the Year had a good run at Ole Miss despite his 2018 resignation, taking Rebels to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT six times. Now at alma mater UAB, Kennedy is 46-14 overall and headed into the C-USA Tournament with a real shot at getting back to the Big Dance.
- Earl Grant – Boston College head coach
- A SC-native who was previously an assistant at Clemson and the head coach for seven years at College of Charleston. Grant was a somewhat surprising hire for BC last spring from a geographic standpoint, and it may not be realistic for him to leave after just one year, but few high-major coaches have a resume more tailored to the Gamecocks’ job than he does.
- Ray Harper – Jacksonville State head coach
- The Kentucky-native led Jacksonville State to an A-Sun title this year and will be headed to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history. Before that, he took WKU to two NCAAs and Kentucky Wesleyan to five D-II NCAA Tournaments, including two D-II National Championships (1999 and 2001).
- BJ McKie – Wake Forest assistant coach
- The highest profile assistant coach to have played at South Carolina, McKie has been at Wake Forest for two seasons now after following Steve Forbes over from East Tennessee State. He doesn’t have any head coaching experience but his connections to the program and the state are undeniable. He was an All-SEC player himself and his son, Justin, was a member of the Gamecocks’ 2017 Final Four team.
- Mark Turgeon – former Maryland head coach
- He doesn’t have the flashiest resume but Turgeon is a consistent winner. In 23 full seasons as a D-I head coach, he went below .500 just twice (the last being 2000-01, his first year at Wichita) and has been to ten NCAA Tournaments. He won the Big Ten in 2020 but resigned this season citing, among other things, the immense pressure and high expectations of a program like Maryland. SC is a much better situation where regularly getting to the Big Dance and competing for SEC titles is what the fanbase wants.