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Potential Head Coach Candidates 2020 [Updating List]

Coaches Database breaks down potential head coach candidates in 2020 for real and speculative vacancies across men’s D-I college basketball. Whether the job has already opened (you can find those on our Coaching Carousel) or it seems things are headed in that direction (check out our Hot Seat Report), we are here to provide insight on which coaches might be best fit to take over.

Note: These lists are purely speculative and it should not be inferred that a coach has been fired or that a coach and/or program have interest in each other unless specifically noted. This page will be updated throughout the rest of the season and into the off-season.

– Jobs that are already available –

UNC Wilmington candidates

  • Rob Burke (UNCW interim head coach)
    • Burke as been at UNCW since 2017 with experience as an assistant at The Citadel and Georgia Southern
    • Went 112-67 in six seasons as the head coach at Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina
  • Levelle Moton (NC Central head coach)
    • Graduated from Enlow HS (Raleigh, NC) and NC Central, spending most of his coaching career at alma mater NCCU
    • Won three MEAC titles and four MEAC Tournament titles, leading to four NCAA Tournament bids as head coach
    • Spent three years as the head coach at Raleigh’s Sanderson HS (59-25 overall)
  • Takayo Siddle (NC State assistant)
    • Worked at UNCW under Kevin Keatts all three years, then followed him to NC State
      • Originally from Eden, NC and played for Keatts at Hargrave Military Academy (VA)
    • Played at Gardner-Webb (NC) and later coached there under Chris Holtmann
  • Mark Byington (Georgia Southern head coach)
    • A UNCW grad who earned All-CAA and Academic All-CAA honors as a player in the late 90s
    • Moving from the Sun Belt to CAA may seem lateral, but the opportunity to take over his alma mater might be enticing
  • Billy Donlon (Kansas City head coach)
    • Played at UNCW for Jerry Wainwright, then coached there under Wainwright and Brad Brownell
    • Spent six seasons as head coach at Wright State, going 109-94 during that tenure
    • Hired by Kansas City just last year… would he leave after just one season to go back to his alma mater?

Central Arkansas candidates

– Jobs we think will be available soon –

Boston College candidates

  • Bill Coen (Northeastern head coach)
  • Mark Schmidt (St. Bonaventure head coach)
  • Bruce Pearl (Auburn head coach)
    • Born and raised in Boston, Pearl is BC grad and served as a team manager during his time there
    • He’s never coached on the East Coast but has had success at every stop (USI, Milwaukee, Tennessee and Auburn)
      • Would he leave a great situation at Auburn to try and turn things around at his alma mater?
  • John Thompson III (former Georgetown head coach)

DePaul candidates

  • Rob Jeter (Minnesota assistant)
    • Grew up in Chicago and has spent most of his career coaching and recruiting in the Midwest
    • A protégé of Bo Ryan, Jeter won 184 games over 11 seasons as the head coach at Milwaukee
  • Scott Nagy (Wright State head coach)
    • Very successful tenure at South Dakota State, going to NCAA Tournaments at the Division II and Division I levels
    • Has been at Wright State since 2016 and is on his way to his third postseason appearance with the Raiders
    • Went to high school in central Illinois and has coached at both Illinois and SIU Edwardsville
  • Luke Yaklich (Texas associate head coach)
    • Another coach with regional ties, Yaklich is from La Salle, IL and graduated from Illinois State in 1998
    • Coached at a number of Chicago-area high schools, most recently winning a 4A regional title at Joliet West in 2013
    • Has become a highly sought-after coach, spending time at Illinois State and Michigan before coming to Texas in 2019
  • Rashon Burno (Arizona State associate head coach)
    • Long-time assistant who played for Pat Kennedy at DePaul, going to the 2000 NCAAs with the Blue Demons
    • Played for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony’s HS and now coaches under his son, Bobby, at Arizona State
    • First coaching gig was at Marmion Academy in Aurora; also coached under Billy Donovan at Florida

Georgia Tech candidates

  • Mark Byington (Georgia Southern head coach)
  • Charlton Young (Florida State assistant)
    • The Miami-native has been at Florida State since 2013 and was an assistant at Georgia Tech from 2005-09
    • Spent four seasons as head coach at alma mater Georgia Southern (2009-13)
  • Ryan Odom (UMBC head coach)
    • Up-and-comer who burst onto the national scene when his UMBC squad smashed #1 Virginia in the 2018 NCAAs
    • Won 21+ games in each of his first three seasons at UMBC after one year at D-II Lenoir-Rhyne (NC)
  • Jeremy Ballard (FIU head coach)
    • Atlanta-native well on his way to a second-straight 20+ win season at FIU, his first head coach gig
    • His assisted a variety of prominent coaches, like Shaka Smart, Anthony Grant and Mike Rhoades

Texas candidates

  • Luke Yaklich (Texas associate head coach)
    • One of the hottest names on the carousel that has yet to be a collegiate head coach but is on seemingly everyone’s radar
    • Came to Texas in 2019 after several years at Michigan where he was noted for inspiring the Wolverines’ strong defense
  • Chris Beard (Texas Tech head coach)
    • UT alum and former grad assistant went 30-5 in one season at Little Rock before landing at Texas Tech in 2016
      • His Red Raiders won 31 games last year and finished as NCAA Runner-Up, a historic high for the program
    • Can Texas afford to buyout Shaka for $10+ million AND pay up for Beard, who is currently getting $4.575 million/yr?
  • Chris Ogden (Texas-Arlington head coach)
  • Scott Cross (Troy head coach)
    • An Arlington, TX staple, Cross went to Texas-Arlington and coached there for 20 years (12 as head coach)
    • Went to the postseason five times and won 21+ games in each of his last three seasons before getting (unjustly?) fired
    • In just his first year at Troy, but would likely jump at the chance to return to his home state and take over at UT
  • John Beilein (former Michigan, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach)
    • Left his position as Cleveland Cavaliers head man mid-season and will reportedly take another role in organization
    • Undeniable resume, a homerun for any program, but he’s 67 now which doesn’t exactly make him a long-term solution
  • 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 Rice; won 25 games last year and took the Rams back to the NCAA Tournament
    • Would Texas dare to hire another head coach from VCU when Shaka Smart‘s tenure has been so underwhelming?

Wake Forest candidates

  • Wes Miller (UNC Greensboro head coach)
    • Greensboro-native and UNC grad who has spent his whole career in NC, coaching at UNCG, High Point and Elon
    • Head coach at UNCG since 2011 and is currently in the midst of his fourth-straight 20-win season
  • Ryan Odom (UMBC head coach)
  • Pat Kelsey (Winthrop head coach)
    • A member of the Skip Prosser coaching tree, Kelsey was an assistant at Wake Forest from 2001-09
    • Over 150 wins in eight seasons at Winthrop; briefly took to UMass job in 2017, but Wake is better gig
  • Bob Richey (Furman head coach)
    • Immediate success at Furman, winning 23 and 25 games in his first two years and may win the SoCon this season
    • Richey graduated from North Greenville University in South Carolina and also coached at Charleston Southern
  • Thad Matta (former Ohio State head coach)
    • Matta has expressed interest in finding another coaching opportunity and has reportedly interviewed for several jobs already
    • Wake might be a good landing spot for Matta; more comparable to Butler and Xavier, where he coached before OSU

Fordham candidates

  • Darren Savino (UCLA associate head coach)
  • Marlon Sears (Columbia associate head coach)
  • Matt Abdelmassih (Nebraska assistant)
  • Chuck Martin (South Carolina assistant)
    • Bronx-native who played at Monmouth and was head coach at Marist for five seasons (2008-13)
    • Two decades of experience as an assistant, including stints at Manhattan, St. John’s, Memphis and Indiana
  • Chris Mullin (former St. John’s head coach)
    • New York City basketball legend with NBA front office and college head coaching experience
    • Fired by St. John’s but improved the win totals from year-to-year during his tenure, winning 21 games in 2018-19

Indiana State candidates

  • Chris Lowery (Kansas State assistant)
    • Evansville, IN-native with MVC familiarity as a player, assistant and head coach at Southern Illinois
      • Led the Salukis to three NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 2007 Sweet 16
  • Micah Shrewsberry – Purdue associate head coach
    • Indianapolis-native holds a MA from Indiana State and has worked under Matt Painter and Brad Stevens
    • Also coached at Wabash (IN), DePauw (IN) and Butler; was the head coach at IU South Bend for two years
  • Dane Fife (Michigan State assistant)
    • Played and coached at Indiana and has been on Tom Izzo‘s staff at Michigan State since 2011
    • Led the IPFW program for six seasons (2005-11), winning 84 games as one of D-I’s youngest head coaches
  • Tim Buckley (UNLV assistant)
    • Originally from Illinois, Buckley was head coach at Ball State (2000-06) and D-III Rockford (IL) (1989-93)
    • Was Tom Crean‘s associate head coach at Indiana (2008-17) and Marquette (1999-2000)

Loyola Marymount candidates

  • Scott Garson (Santa Clara assistant)
    • Originally from Tarzana in Southern California, Garson coached at UCLA and alma mater Utah
    • Spent five years as head coach at College of Idaho (129-42) before arriving at Santa Clara in 2018
  • Jason Hart (USC assistant)
    • Hart starred at Inglewood HS (CA), located less than five miles from LMU’s Gersten Pavilion
    • Coached Taft HS in Los Angeles for a year and has been at USC since Andy Enfield was hired in 2013
  • Rick Croy (California Baptist head coach)
    • Led his Riverside, CA program into D-I last year, going 16-15 and appearing in the CBI
    • After another solid finish this year, Croy might be ready to make the jump from WAC to WCC
  • Gregg Gottlieb (Oregon State assistant)
    • Prior to arriving at Oregon State in 2014, he coached in both Northern and Southern California
    • Graduated from El Modena HS (Orange, CA) and has degrees from UCLA and Cal Poly
  • Wyking Jones (former California head coach)
    • Former LMU player and assistant who has worked under the likes of Rick Pitino, Steve Alford and Cuonzo Martin
    • Two-year tenure at Cal was rough, but it was a tough situation for a first-time head coach to be dropped into