Let’s Speculate! Potential UTEP 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 UTEP, coached by Rodney Terry for the last three years (left for Texas in April).
- Joe Golding – Abilene Christian head coach
- Mentioned as more of a long-shot candidate for power conference jobs, Golding is a very real candidate for a program like UTEP. He’s accomplished likely all that he can accomplish at his alma mater, culminating in the Wildcats‘ upset of Texas in this year’s NCAA Tournament. UTEP is a definite step up and makes a lot of sense both in terms of Golding’s career trajectory and the Miners needing someone with experience coaching and recruiting in the state.
- Jerome Tang – Baylor assistant coach
- Fresh off of the Bears’ 2021 NCAA National Championship, there has been a lot of traction around Tang getting head coach opportunities. He has been at Baylor for 18 years and prior to that spent 10 years as the head coach at Heritage Christian Academy (TX), where he won four Texas state championships. Tang’s recruiting and coaching have been instrumental in building the BU program from the bottom of the barrel to national glory and some school is going to hire him soon.
- Kenton Paulino – UTEP assistant coach
- If UTEP looks internal, assistant coach Kenton Paulino would be a great choice. He’s been at UTEP since 2019, having previously worked at Tulsa, Fresno State and Lamar. He played for Rick Barnes at Texas (he was on the 2003 Final Four team) and got his start in coaching as a special assistant under Barnes at his alma mater from 2008-11.
- Kimani Young – Connecticut assistant coach
- Young’s name has popped up in several coaching searches the last couple of years and while the New York-native has made a career mostly on the East Coast, he starred at UTEP back in the 1990s for Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins and would certainly entertain the idea of taking over at his alma mater.
- Greg Foster – Indiana Pacers assistant coach
- Foster is another former UTEP player who has had a long career in coaching, though in his case that has come entirely at the NBA level. He played in the league for over a decade and has now been an assistant with four different teams, joining the Pacers organization last year. We wouldn’t expect him to make the jump to college for any other job but this one.
- Richie Riley – South Alabama head coach
- Riley is a proven-winner at the mid-major level, winning a Southland title at Nicholls and now sporting a 54-39 record through three seasons at South Alabama. The KY-native has high-major experience (Clemson) and C-USA experience (UAB) and is definitely climbing the coaching ranks. If UTEP is looking for a great choice and isn’t as concerned about direct ties to the state of Texas, Riley is a no-brainer.
- Tim Hardaway – former Detroit Pistons assistant coach
- Hardaway is the perhaps the brightest star in the recent history of the Miners program, the WAC POY in 1989 and five-time NBA All-Star was a successful player at both levels. His coaching experience is limited mainly to a stint with the Detroit Pistons (2014-18), but no one else has the combo of name recognition, star power, professional experience and bond to UTEP as he does.
- Marvin Menzies – former New Mexico State and UNLV head coach
- Menzies has a lot of success at rival NMSU, going 198-111 in nine seasons as head coach and taking the Aggies to five NCAA Tournaments. His tenure at UNLV was not very successful, but sometimes coaches and programs just aren’t the right fit. Bringing Menzies in at UTEP might provide a perfect situation for both the coach and the school.