Let’s Speculate! Potential Texas 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 Texas, coached by Shaka Smart for the last six seasons (left for Marquette on March 26).

  • Chris Beard – Texas Tech head coach
    • This is probably the name at the top of the wishlist of most Texas fans. Beard is a UT alum and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Longhorns under Tom Penders. He quickly climbed up the coaching ladder over the last decades, going from D-II McMurry to D-II Angelo State to D-I Little Rock and then to Texas Tech in 2016. His Red Raiders won 31 games in 2019 and finished as NCAA Runner-Up, a historic high for the program in what was only Beard’s third season there. Would he leave a Big 12 rival to take over at his alma mater? Can Texas afford Beard’s buyout and pay him a salary high enough to make him leave (he’s currently making $4.5+ million/yr)?
  • Grant McCasland – North Texas head coach
    • A rising star in college basketball, McCasland won an outright Conference USA title in his third season up I-35 at North Texas. A native of Irving, TX, McCasland played at Baylor and has spent most of his coaching career in the Lone Star State – prior gigs include include assisting James Dickey at Texas Tech and Scott Drew at Baylor, as well as being the head coach Midland College and D-II Midwestern State. It won’t be long before the 44-year-old to gets the call up to the highest level, and Texas would be smart to keep him squarely on the list.
  • John Beilein – former Michigan head coach
    • After leaving his position with the Cavaliers, Beilein immediately became the subject of speculation that he would be looking to take another collegiate job. He has an undeniable resume and would be an absolute home run hire for any program, and Texas presents a great opportunity to come in and win for a few years to cap off his career. The flip side, however, is that he is already 68 years old and likely won’t spend much more than 5-7 years at whatever school hires him.
  • Joe Golding – Abilene Christian head coach
    • It could be said that ACU‘s upset of Texas last week doomed Shaka’s tenure and helped make this moment possible. Golding has done a tremendous job at his alma mater, taking over just before the transition to D-I and leading the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournaments in the last three years. He is a proven winner, though he has yet to coach at a Power Five school (not even as an assistant) so that probably moves him down the pecking order a little bit.
  • Mike Rhoades – VCU head coach
    • Rhoades’ name will come up with a lot of high-major searches this off-season, as he has had success at VCU and previously at Rice. The Rams won 28 games in 2019 to win the Atlantic 10 and return to the NCAA Tournament, then went 18-13 last season. However we have to ask: would Texas hire another head coach from VCU when Shaka Smart‘s tenure has been so underwhelming?
  • Chris Ogden – Texas-Arlington head coach
  • John Calipari – Kentucky head coach
    • We have to put this down, because if any school has the funds and boosters to make this happen, it is Texas. Calipari has a “lifetime” contract with Kentucky and is paid obscene amounts of money to remain in Lexington. Every time an NBA team or big-name college program flirts with the idea of making a run at Cal, he parlays that into more money from UK. But this year is a little different, as Calipari is coming off his worst season at Kentucky and fans are starting to wonder if the 2012 NCAA title is all they are going to get out of their expensive head coach.
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