Tennessee hoops coaching search update 3.0


Donnie Tyndall is out, and Tennessee men’s basketball beat reporter Ben Frederickson is tracking the developments of UT’s search for its next coach 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.

  • A Power Five conference coach I talked to Monday made his case for former Texas coach Rick Barnes to Tennessee. Full disclosure: This guy knows Barnes but hasn’t talked to him since he was fired. But he said Barnes has plenty left in the tank and “makes a lot of sense” for the Vols. Multiple reports have said Barnes would have interest in Tennessee, and I believe that to be true. The coach also said Barnes’ resume (a 604-314 career record with 22 NCAA tournament appearances and one Final Four) blows Bruce Pearl’s resume “off the face of the earth.” The coach described UT as a bit of a “scary situation” for high major coaches who might be OK with their current situation. UT athletic director Dave Hart kind of spoke to this during his press conference.
    “Coaches aren’t as willing to jump,” Hart said. “They’ve done the assessment. If I have resources, and I have facilities, and I have a good relationship and rapport with the athletic director, the president, chancellor, good fan base, do I want to uproot my family? I think that’s at play more than the general population thinks. It is a recruitment. It’s no different than our coaches recruiting. It’s truly a recruitment. We think we have a lot to offer in that vein.”
    More to offer the 60-year-old Barnes, perhaps, than someone who would demand a six or seven-year deal to feel safe. Remember, he doesn’t currently have a job.
  • Today’s News Sentinel addresses how security is going to be an important factor in the search due to the recent revolving door at UT.
  • Another thing to consider on Barnes. Yes, he’s 60, and that probably makes it a longshot that he’s a 10-year answer for a program. But what if he had an assistant who could take the program over when he’s done? Barnes is out at Texas because he wouldn’t make staff changes. These guys seem like a package deal.
    Former Texas associate head coach Rob Lanier went 58-70 as the head coach of Siena College from 2001-05, making one NCAA tournament appearance. He’s been an assistant at Florida, Virginia, Rutgers and St. Bonaventure.
    Former Texas assistant coach Russell Springmann has been with Barnes for 17 years, 14 seasons as assistant. He’s the guy who is credited for landing Kevin Durant, and he’s been linked to a bunch of head coaching opportunities over the years. Mississippi State tried to hire him and failed before hiring Rick Ray, according to Jeff Goodman. Some of the other head coach openings Springmann has been linked to in the past: Loyola, Texas State, Texas Tech and TCU.
  • Alabama athletic director Bill Battle will meet with Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall today, The Tuscaloosa News reports. Alabama is wise to move quickly since Texas, according to reports and common sense, is targeting Marshall and VCU’s Shaka Smart to replace Barnes. If VCU lost Smart, would it turn to Smart protege Will Wade of Chattanooga? Tennessee didn’t make the call to Wade last season, but might this time around.
  • St. John’s, DePaul and Fordham seem to be done shopping. St. Johns has offered Chris Mullin and he is expected to accept, CBSSPorts.com reported. DePaul hired Dave Leitao (again). Fordham hired Eastern Kentucky’s Jeff Neubauer, ESPN reported. Noteworthy jobs still open: Texas, Alabama and Arizona State. You can track every opening here.
  • DePaul reportedly interviewed Buffalo’s Bobby Hurley and Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew, two candidates we included on our initial list of potential Tyndall replacements. So, keep those names in mind now that DePaul is closed. CBSChicago.com reported Hurley and Drew both turned down DePaul after discussions.
  • Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy was mentioned by CBSSports.com to be a potential candidate for the Vols. Kennedy’s name seems to be tied to an opening every season. Maybe there’s real interest. Maybe he’s trying to get a raise now that Mississippi State hired Ben Howland to a four-year deal worth $2.05 million annually. Kennedy also gets a new arena next season.
  • Georgia State coach Ron Hunter might me more enticed to leave now that his son and Georgia State star, R.J. Hunter, is leaving for the NBA draft early. Yahoo! Sports broke the news.
  • It sure seems like Minnesota’s Richard Pitino wants a change of scenery. His name has been linked to St. Johns, Alabama and Tennessee.
  • What did I miss? Let me know on Twitter (@Ben_Fred).

Did you miss previous coaching search updates? Find them here: