Here we are again. Tennessee fired first-year Vols basketball coach Donnie Tyndall on Friday, meaning UT has yet another coaching search on its hands. I’ll track the developments here on the blog, posting links to News Sentinel reporting and information from other outlets. Consider this your one-stop shop for coaching search coverage and the non-stop chatter that comes along with it. Maybe we can even have some fun along the way.
- Here’s the link to our list of potential candidates UT athletic director Dave Hart might turn to as he looks for Tyndall’s replacement. Remember, Hart said in the press conference Friday that he will a) use a search firm for the first time in his career, b) show no interest in a coach who has past NCAA transgressions (yes, that means you’re out of luck, Bring Back Brucers), and c) preferably hire a candidate with head coaching experience.
- ESPN’s Jeff Goodman mentioned these names as potential targets: Michael White (Louisiana Tech), Richard Pitino (Minnesota), Bobby Hurley (Buffalo), Steve Prohm (Murray State), Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Will Wade (Chattanooga). Goodman named Pitino the “my choice” candidate.
- Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy went with Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Dan Fife (Michigan State assistant), Travis Ford (Oklahoma State), Jerod Haase (UAB), Bobby Hurley (Buffalo), Kevin Keatts (UNC Wilmington), Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Steve Prohm (Murray State), Mike White (Louisiana Tech) and Will Wade (Chattanooga).
- My two cents: I think Underwood (pictured at the top of this post) would be a Vol in a heartbeat.
- Speaking of Mike White, the guy Hart tried to hire last season before he moved on to Tyndall, I asked Hart if he would be open to the idea of revisiting someone he had interviewed during last season’s search. His response: “As you know, I never talk about candidates because y’all do such a fabulous job of that. I think a year ago there were more names in the paper than there are institutions at the Division I level. So I’ll let you do that. But, I do think that because we were in this circumstance last year, that certainly it might help in terms of what (another reporter) said about moving a little quicker. And when I say moving quicker, I’m only talking about the identification of potential candidates, not the process itself.”
So … maybe that bridge wasn’t burnt? Dan Wolken seems to think White wants the call.
- Speaking of burnt (orange), NBCSports.com reports Texas coach Rick Barnes will be leaving the Longhorns. Its source says Tennessee is “absolutely” Barnes job if he wants it.
- The Tennessean reported UT has had a preliminary discussion with Butler coach Chris Holtmann on Friday. Its source says there’s mutual interest there. Something worth noting, from the Indy Star: “Holtmann, 42, grew up in Nicholasville, Ky., about three hours from the Tennessee campus. He was the head coach at Gardner-Webb for three seasons before coming to Butler as an assistant before the 2013-14 season. Butler is a private school and did not release details of Holtmann’s contract, but he is believed to be the lowest-paid coach in the Big East. He likely would get a substantial raise at Tennessee, a member of the powerful Southeastern Conference.”
Dan Dakich says UT should go for it.
- UNLV raised some eyebrows when it recently hired a super-successful high school football coach, Tony Sanchez, to run its football team. Would UT even consider something similar? Maybe not. But Drew Maddux of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville might be able to make a case worth hearing. The former Vanderbilt player has turned CPA into a nationally relevant program since he was hired in 2006. He could tap into some serious firepower from CPA. Tyndall’s staff considered CPA small forward Braxton Blackwell, a consensus top-50 recruit, one of its top targets in the 2016 class. CPA point guard Tyger Campbell, a member of the 2019 class, picked up an Ole Miss offer as an eighth grader. Current UT walk-on point guard Braxton Bonds is a CPA product. Maddux also has Nike ties, the brand UT switches to soon.
- You hear some wild stuff during coaching searches, but someone telling me NBA veteran and former Florida Gator Mike Miller wants to coach the Vols actually happened. Miller’s brother Ryan is an assistant at UNLV.
- I’ll give the Bring Back Brucers credit. They’re relentless. Somebody already started an online campaign to raise money for Pearl’s $5 million Auburn buyout.
- What did I miss? Let me know via Twitter (@Ben_Fred).