Let’s Speculate! Potential Stanford 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 Stanford, coached by Jerod Haase since 2016 (on the hot seat).
- Russell Turner – UC Irvine head coach
- Turner’s name was floated for Stanford in 2016 (and for Cal 2017 and 2019) and he should be considered at whenever the job opens back up. In 12+ years at UC Irvine, Turner has won five Big West titles and gone to the postseason six times – that includes two NCAA Tournaments that could have been three with 2020 cancelled. Turner has been coaching in California for more than two decades, coming out west in 2000 to be an assistant on Mike Montgomery‘s staff at Stanford and later with the Golden State Warriors before getting hired at UCI in 2010.
- Randy Bennett – Saint Mary’s head coach
- Will Randy Bennett ever leave Saint Mary’s? Does he need to? If he were to leave, the Stanford job would probably be pretty enticing – a power conference private school in Northern California that is ready for a total rebuild. It would be quite the coup if Stanford were to land Bennett, but there’s no indication of mutual interest from the long-time Gaels head coach.
- Justin Hutson – Fresno State head coach
- Fresno State’s Justin Hutson should be a serious candidate at Stanford (as he should be at Cal). The Bakersfield-native and CSUB grad has spent nearly his entire career in the Golden State and already has two 23-win seasons on his resume from his 4+ year tenure at Fresno. Prior to his 2018 hiring, Hutson worked at San Diego State (twice), UNLV, Cal Poly, CSUB and as the head coach at Bakersfield HS (CA).
- Mark Madsen – Utah Valley head coach
- Former Stanford player and assistant coach Mark Madsen has been doing well during his 3+ years at Utah Valley, earning a share of the WAC title in 2021 and then getting 20 wins last year. This year’s squad is battling for another title and has legitimate NCAA Tournament aspirations. Madsen has professional experience, having played nine seasons (and winning two NBA titles with the Lakers) before getting into coaching. He spent six years on the Lakers’ staff before getting the UVU job back in 2019.
- Darian DeVries – Drake head coach
- In year five at Drake, DeVries should be one of the hottest names on the coaching carousel in 2023. He won a MVC title in his first year and has been to the postseason every year, including a NCAA at-large bid in 2021. He has never coached outside of the state of Iowa, but seeing what Mick Cronin has done at UCLA makes us question how important the geography is if a guy is a good enough coach.
- Niko Medved – Colorado State head coach
- Medved has had a similar ascension to DeVries, now in his fifth year at Colorado State after serving as head coach at both Furman and Drake. The Rams went dancing last year and are coming off three-straight 20+ win seasons, though there has been regression this year. Medved has been climbing the ladder and up next is a lower stakes P5 job like Stanford.
- Jeff Wulbrun – Denver head coach
- The 62-year-old Wulbrun is in his second season at Denver, his first head coaching job at the collegiate level after many years as an assistant coach. Hailing from Cypress, California and a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Wulbrun was an assistant at Stanford for five seasons under Haase at Stanford before getting the DU job in 2021. He followed Haase from UAB and also had stints earlier in his career at both Illinois State and California. He hasn’t proven himself yet as a head coach, but the Pioneers are showing serious improvement after going 11-21 in year one.
- Jeff Linder – Wyoming head coach
- Another coach who would have been a more exciting hire a year ago, Linder’s Wyoming team won 25 games and went to the NCAA Tournament last year but have struggled in 2022-23. Prior to getting the Cowboys’ job in 2020, Linder was head coach at Northern Colorado for four seasons and won the CIT title in 2018.