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How The SEC Found Its Hoops Coaches

Mike Anderson and Cuonzo Martin have completed the set.  The SEC now has a full roster of 12 basketball coaches again and we thought it would be interesting to compare their resumes when they were hired. 

As we showed yesterday, there’s really no guarantee when it comes to hiring hoops coaches.  Some promoted assistants and mid-major hires have done well.  Some proven BCS-level coaches have gone belly-up (with a number leaving the SEC under an NCAA cloud). 

So below, here’s what the SEC’s 12 schools had to go on when they brought in their current coaches:


School
Coach
Year Hired
Hired From
Record at Time (NCAA Bids)
Record Since Hire (NCAA Bids)
Notes
Alabama
Anthony Grant
2009
VCU
76-25 (2)
41-26 (0)
A former Billy Donovan aide
Arkansas
Mike Anderson
2011
Missouri
200-98 (6)
0-0 (0)
A former Nolan Richardson aide
Auburn
Tony Barbee
2010
UTEP
93-72, (1)
11-20, (0)
A former John Calipari aide
Florida
Billy Donovan
1996
Marshall
35-20, (0)
360-147 (11)
A former Rick Pitino aide
Georgia
Mark Fox
2009
Nevada
123-43 (3)
35-28 (1)
A former Trent Johnson aide
Kentucky
John Calipari
2009
Memphis
445-140 (11*)
62-11 (2)
*Has had several wins and 2 NCAAs vacated
LSU
Trent Johnson
2008
Stanford
159-122 (4)
49-48 (1)
Had built 2 programs up
Miss. State
Rick Stansbury
1998
Asst. Coach, MSU
0-0 (0)
272-151 (6)
Asst. on predecessor’s staff
Ole Miss
Andy Kennedy
2006
Interim, Cincinnati
21-13 (0)
105-64 (0)
A former Bob Huggins aide
S. Carolina
Darrin Horn
2008
W. Kentucky
111-48 (1)
50-42 (0)
Replaced ex-UGA coach D. Felton at WKU
Tennessee
Cuonzo Martin
2011
Missouri State
61-41 (0)
0-0 (0)
A former Gene Keady aide
Vanderbilt
Kevin Stallings
1999
Illinois State
123-63 (2)
236-147 (5)
A former Gene Keady aide



As you can see, a lot of hay has been made over coaches’ connections to other coaches.  Lineage is still important in the South.  Eight of the league’s 12 coaches were hired — in large part — because of whose coaching tree they’d sprouted from.

In terms of the best pre-SEC track record, that would clearly belong to John Calipari.  But.  Kentucky had to endure quite a bit of ridicule for hiring a man of Calipari’s reputation (whether it was fairly earned or not).  Soon after arriving in Lexington, his 2007-2008 NCAA runner-up at Memphis was stricken from the record books because of an ineligible player.  Coach Cal — as UK fans will quickly point out — was never charged by the NCAA in the scandals at UMass and Memphis.  Still, it was a bold hire… which seems to be paying big dividends already.

When it comes to unproven before their SEC arrivals, Billy Donovan, Cuonzo Martin and Andy Kennedy lead the pack.  Donovan had just two years under his belt with no NCAA tourney appearances when UF snapped up the former Rick Pitino assistant.  Two national titles later and that one looks like a good roll of the dice. 

Tennessee fans can cross their fingers about Martin.  He has just three years under his belt and has not reached an NCAA tournament either.  Like Donovan, his main claim to fame comes from his coaching ties.  In his case — like Kevin Stallings — Gene Keady is at the head of the coaching tree (as well as current Purdue coach Matt Painter).

Kennedy had served one season as the interim head coach at Cincinnati following the ouster of Bob Huggins.  Like Donovan and Martin, Kennedy’s work under a proven head coach provided the impetus for the hire.

Rick Stansbury is the SEC’s only current assistant-to-head-coach promotion.  But MSU administrators were well aware of him as he had served on predecessor Richard Williams’ staff.

 




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