Let’s Speculate! Potential South Florida 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 Florida, coached by Brian Gregory since 2017 (fired last week).
- Dusty May – Florida Atlantic head coach
- One of the biggest stories in mid-major basketball this year has been May and the Florida Atlantic Owls, who have been ranked as high as #19 in the country and won their first-ever Conference USA title. May is a young coach who paid his dues as an assistant for 13 years before getting the FAU job back in 2018. He spent seven years before that on Mike White’s staff at Louisiana Tech and Florida. We had him as a serious candidate at Ole Miss and Georgia Tech, neither of which hired him, which leaves him available for USF whenever the Owls’ NCAA run ends.
- Amir Abdur-Rahim – Kennesaw State head coach
- Three years of steady improvement has culminated in one of the best stories in college basketball in 2023. Abdur-Rahim has Kennesaw State headed to its first-ever D-I postseason appearance (NCAAT or otherwise), just three years removed from winning ONE (1) game in his first season on the job. It’s a historic year for the Georgia-native, who has also guided the Owls to their ever winning season and 20+ win season at the Division I level. He had stints working at Georgia Tech, Georgia, Texas A&M, Charleston and Murray State before getting the KSU job in 2019.
- Andy Kennedy – UAB head coach
- The 2007 SEC Coach of the Year had a good run at Ole Miss despite his 2018 resignation, taking the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT six times. Now at alma mater UAB, Kennedy is 74-23 overall with a NCAA bid last year and an NIT this year. Kennedy just turned 55 and still has plenty of coaching years ahead of him, and certainly won’t stay with the Blazers too much longer if things keep on this way. Unless he just wants to stay at his alma mater for a while.
- Bob Richey – Furman head coach
- Richey finally got himself and the Paladins over the hump this year by securing a NCAA Tournament auto bid – the first for Furman since 1980 after so many close calls over recent years. That was the only thing missing from the soon-to-be 40 year old coach’s resume, as he has proven he can win and sustain success over six seasons at the SoCon program. Someone is eventually going to hire Richey, but coming off a NCAA appearance it seems destined to happen during this cycle.
- Jordan Mincy – Jacksonville head coach
- The former Florida assistant has been the head man at Jacksonville for the last two years. An up-and-comer, for sure, Mincy’s name was hotter a year ago after he led the Dolphins to a 21-10 record in his first season at the helm (+10 wins year-over-year). JU slid back quite a bit this year, but what he did once he should be able to do again.
- Rick Pitino – Iona head coach
- Pitino is closely tied to the St. John’s and Georgetown jobs, and has even been linked to Texas Tech, but the pull of a low-pressure job in sunny Tampa shouldn’t be ignored for the 70-year-old coach. The two Big East jobs should give him a better chance at making another Final Four (if that is his motivating factor at this point) but there’s something to be said about a pre-retirement move to Florida that might be appealing. To be clear, we think it’s much more likely he stays local.
- Charlton Young – Missouri associate head coach
- We listed the current head coaches first, but Young is still a realistic candidate for the job. Fired after four seasons as head coach at alma mater Georgia Southern, Young was slowly improving the program (14 wins combined in years 1-2 to 29 in years 3-4). The Miami-native spent four seasons at staff at Georgia Tech and nine at Florida State before landing at Mizzou in 2022, playing a role in the fantastic season that Dennis Gates and company have put together.