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New Names Appear On The Arkansas Coaching Watch List

For the final month of John Pelphey’s tenure in Fayetteville, many Arkansas fans kept their eyes on the Missouri Tigers.  Mizzou head coach Mike Anderson is a “40 minutes of Hell,” pressure-defense, Nolan Richardson disciple.  Anderson is the man many Hog fans want leading the UA program next season.

Of course, there are many other fans — and quite a few impact boosters — who do not want any part of Anderson.  Why?  Well, did we mention that he’s a Nolan Richardson disciple?  UA and Richardson had a harsh split and despite the fact the ex-coach returned for a game this year, many hard feelings remain.  Some fear that bringing in Anderson would re-open the door for Richardson to try to exert some influence over the program.

But Anderson — as we’ve noted more than a few times — might not be a viable option in the first place.  The Tigers’ coach has already turned down more lucrative offers (from Georgia and Oregon) in the last couple of years to remain at Missouri.  He’s already put his lesser money where his mouth is.  And earlier this month he actually called a beatwriter for The Columbia Tribune to say: “I plan on being at Missouri for a long time, retire here.”

If Arkansas chooses to make a run at Mizzou’s coach and can’t convince him to move six hours to the Southwest, where will UA turn?  And, no, we still don’t buy the Tubby Smith-to-Arkansas talk (though Kentucky play-by-play man Tom Leach told me during his radio show yesterday that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the ex-Wildcat coach land in the ACC).

From Day One of the search, the names Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M), Buzz Williams (Marquette) and Frank Martin (Kansas State) have been floating around.  Harry King of ArkansasNews.com adds the names Greg Marshall (Wichita State) and Mick Cronin (Cincinnati) to the list today.

Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispee’s name has made its way around the rumor mill a couple of times, but Arkansas AD Jeff Long said this week that the Razorback job “will command a sitting head coach at a high level.”  That doesn’t describe Gillispee’s current situation.

So do any of those names — Turgeon, Williams, Martin, Marshall and Cronin — really guarantee success?

On the “big name” front, Tim Floyd (and his NCAA baggage), Bill Self (Kansas) and Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh) have also popped up in messageboard chatter.  Enough so that they’ve made one blog’s “rumor” list.

HawgSports.com — the Rivals site covering Arkansas — tosses out a few more potential candidates: Scott Drew (Baylor), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), Billy Kennedy (Murray State), Shaka Smart (VCU), and Doc Sadler (Nebraska). 

Obviously, the fanbase will clamor for Anderson, Self, and/or Dixon.  But we’ve discussed Anderson’s apparent desire to stay put (and the political battles his hiring would bring).  Self won’t leave Kansas for Arkansas (or any place else) regardless of the Big 12′s shaky future.  And Dixon turned down perennial power Arizona last year.  Why would he jump at the Razorbacks’ opening now?

If the Hogs don’t land one of those big three, then there will be question marks about UA’s new hire.  Arkansas fans tired of Pelphrey will tell you that anyone on the above list would be an improvement, but the truth is, UA canned Pelphrey in the hopes of returning to the glory days.  Would guys like Turgeon or Williams or Cronin guarantee such a rebound?  The jury’s still out on that one.

 


35 comments
MoHawk
MoHawk

Funny thing is there is a strong consensus that Arkansas wants to leave the SEC because they are tired of getting their ass kicked. They want to join the Big 12 and Jerry Jones wants that. Jerry wants to have a Big 12 Championship game in his stadium again and wants his alma mater to be part of it. What Jerry wants Jerry usually gets.

MoHawk
MoHawk

The SEC is has the lowest academics of any of the major conferences. Texas won't go indie because they need a conference for their non revenue sports and basketball to play. They won't join the SEC, PAC 12, or Big 10 because they would take a pay cut and give up control. The SEC is relevant in one thing, football, beyond that they are a non-factor. Arkansas is a bigger non-factor. Average football and average basketball. As far as the Big 12 is concerned Texas finished dead last in the B12 South this past year and crapped down their leg in the NCAA tournament in basketball. The conference needs the State of Texas not the University of Texas, kind of like Arkansas needs the rest of the SEC since it's population is only 60,000 more people than Kansas. By the way, the only reason Arkansas is in the SEC is because when they left the SWC TV money wasn't what it was today. Kansas City and St. Louis are much more attractive TV markets and Arkansas probably wouldn't be invited to the SEC today, they would choose A&M since there is more tradition, money and the Houston TV market.

Josh
Josh

The local missouri station is making fun of the program that just took their coach??!! No Way!!! Come on kid you can do better than that. The Big 12 is the delusional joke. And who the hell from Arkansas is saying they should get those coaches? Every fan base has occasional delusional fans idiot, but it's not like they are as a whole saying Bill Self should be their coach. And as far as fact checking, Coach K makes 1 mil a year or something like that so do your own fact checking. Texas is the only Athletic program that can say anything about Arkansas' and they carry the rest of you turds around on their backs. Soon they will either join a real conference or, even smarter for them, go indie like Notre Dame, and the rest of you will realize how worthless you are. Also, you trying to put down the SEC is like every other country in the world trying to put down the U.S. Everyone wants to go after the big boys. The SEC is THE conference the rest of you model yourselves around. The Big 12 was good, not the best, in the past, but without Nebraska you are mediocre at best.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Mike Anderson to Arkansas for 7 years and $2.2? If this is true then that is some funny stuff. To pay this guy Coach K money is stupid. But hey, it's Arkansas and the SEC so you'll probably win some ballgames in the regular season then get ripped in the tourney just like CMA has done at Missouri.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Thanks Hogzilla but I'm not a KState fan, never have been, never will be. I'm a fan of the Big 12 though. I currently live in Kansas City and can tell you that right now most people believe that Arkansas fans may be the most delusional fans in the world. Yesterday they had a reporter from a Fayetteville radio station on 810 WHB and this guy was talking about how Arkansas should hire Rick Pitino or Bill Self. The rest of the day WHB had a great time making fun of Hog fans. You have a good school and a strong football tradition and a strong basketball tradition, but what you don't have is a great football tradition or a great basketball tradition. Rick Pitino, Bill Self, John Calipari, etc, would never leave their current jobs for Arkansas, and every time one of the delusional Hog fans call in and try to make a case for it they only make the whole Hog nation look bad. Kind of like the guy above stating that Arkansas had more basketball wins between 1900 and 1999 than any other program in the country. Delusional. Do some fact checking.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

MoHawk what is it with you K-State fans. About a year ago in Denver I encountered one at a bar and instead of having an intelligent discussion about football, he just wanted to argue that KSU is a way better football school than Arkansas and you guys would smash us in the dirt any day (which brought some laughs from people that weren't even part of the conversation). Now I've lived in Kansas City for the past year and its pretty evenly split between KU, K-State, and Mizzou fans, but again, you can't hold an intelligent conversation with the KSU folks. It's like you are sick of being the red headed stepchild to the other schools and have little man syndrome to the max. Even the Mizzou and KU fans agree you guys are the douchiest fans in the midwest. Get over yourself. Outside of the Big 12, you are irrelevant to everyone. Most people probably don't even know what your mascot is.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Mike Anderson???? Steeeeeerike 1!

MoHawk
MoHawk

Okay, just simple math here but between 1919 and 1988 Kansas has two hundred more wins than University of Arkansas and that doesn't count any of Roy Williams 418 wins that took place between 1988 and 2003. The University of Kentucky has 1392 wins just with Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, and Rick Pitino between the years of 1930 and 1997.

So no...Arkansas does not have more wins than any program from 1900 to 1999. Please check facts before making yourself look bad.

jeff
jeff

I am not privy to the conflict that Jeff Turner may have had with Jamie Dixon. But, without question, the Arkansas job would be a promotion for the Pittsburgh coach. Pitt just doesn't have the fan base or tradition. While the Big East is power conference in basketball, it is still a "pieced together " affair that will never compare to a large SEC or Big Ten school. To compare the Arkansas job to the Oregon job is simply not reality. That would be like comparing the Ohio State job to the West Virginia job. Certainly one could understand Dixon looking at the USC job. That is familar turf. But USC is a football school. Arkansas has a top 10 football program..The basketball program is "a coach away" from being right there with the football team. In short, a beautiful facility, great passionate fans, a tradition of winning big and a potentially great incoming freshman class make this a dream job, just slightly a notch below Kentucky or North Carolina and comparable to any other job in the country.

omahahog
omahahog

What's wrong with you? John never said anything about being the best and Arky's do not expect to land Bill Self. Just because it pops up in some blog means nothing. Get over yoruself.

Jamie
Jamie

For the record, no team won more games from 1900 to 1999 than....wait for it....Arkansas!

Tony S
Tony S

Street and Smith's top 100 programs ranked KSU #22 and Arkansas #8. The only list I found was compiled in 2005, but looking over 100 years that should be pretty accurate. They used a good point system based on facts and not opinions. Arkansas has been down, but overall they have had success and will be fine with or without your coach.

mikey
mikey

MoHawk is right. KState must be great because the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers won Championships.

TheChamp
TheChamp

I've been to Fayetteville and its a nice college town. There are tons of businesses and pretty high class. NW Arkansas has some money.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Josh, I am not saying Arkansas doesn't have a great history. I am saying that Arkansas and KSU's histories are very similar and short of the championship they are nearly identical. We all have our personal opinions about whose histories are better but when you look at the numbers it's hard to deny they are really close neither of which is anywhere close to the top 5 basketball programs.

Here's the thing about Anderson. Nolan had Corliss, Mike Anderson doesn't and probably never wil have. Corliss played 35 minutes a game and Anderson doesn't play anyone 35 minutes a game. Anderson may have been an assistant under Nolan but they're not exactly alike in coaching styles. Anderson's teams don't play defense and you can't win on the road if you don't play defense.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Okay, so that's your opinion. What I am saying is that everyone has different personalities and perspectives. Like the guy who said he heard Self's wife didn't like living in Kansas. Sounds like something someone made up to fuel the rumor to me because until then it had never been mentioned. My point is, that the perception of Kansas is that it is a desolate dust farm when in fact Lawrence is essentially a suburb of Kansas City and Manhattan is in the Flint Hills and is an awesome town. I mean, what's to like about Fayetteville? Most people think it's just a bunch of Ozark hillbillys with bad dental work but that doesn't mean that's what it is. You may think the Arkansas job is better than the K-State job but I don't think that is everyones opinion, including Frank Martin.

TheChamp
TheChamp

A blind monkey can see the Arkansas Job is way better than K-State

MoHawk
MoHawk

Seriously dude, you really think your history is THAT much better than KSU's history???? Okay, so you're the tallest midget, congratulations! You're lack of knowledge of the history of the game and its entirity combined with your self indulgent demand that your program is so much better than those who are actually on your level proves my point about ego and Arkansas fans.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Arkansas should go hire an up and comer like Mick Cronin at Cincy or perhaps a more established guy like Buzz Williams. By the way, going into yesterday's tournament there were only 6 head coaches that came to their school from a BCS school. Two of those coaches, Bob Huggins and Roy Williams, went home, Bill Self, and Ben Howland went to premier programs, and Rick Barnes and Jim Beilein both went where they thought they had a better chance to win. My point is it rarely happens that a BCS program coach leaves their school to go to another.

Also, to insinuate that I am worried about Bill Self or Frank Martin leaving is absurd. I have stated widely known facts about both and their desires. IF Bill Self leaves Kansas he will only leave for the NBA that's a known fact. Frank Martin is incredibly loyal and will only leave for the U of Miami (which is home).

John
John

I quite literally said self's wife's displeasure was a rumor....I do not need you to repeat what I've said. If you can say that you are a close confidante of Mrs. Self then I will believe that you know of her thoughts on the matter, but since I highly doubt that I will consider you another Kansas/KS St fan blabbering because you are apparently afraid your coach might leave? I was obviously using hyperbole to demonstrate how few people agree with your point about KS State having a program that is equal to Arkansas' but my point still applies. If you look up any ranking/listing of the top college basketball programs of all time you will hardly ever find Kansas State around or near where Arkansas is listed. That doesn't mean, nor did I ever say that Kansas State has no history or no notable coaches/players. You again talk as if AR was only relevant in 94 when Nolan won the championship which makes me think you not only had no idea about AR to begin with...but did not look into it after I corrected you either. Ever heard of Eddie Sutton, Sidney Moncrief, or Ron Brewer? Not sure where you get that AR has such a huge ego and if you are a Kansas fan you have ABSOLUTELY no right to say another fan base has an ego. We are well aware our team hasn't been relevant for years...which is why we are looking for a new coach. How is this difficult? Self wanting the job in 02 was no rumor...it was a proven fact. Why that upsets you so much is odd and quite frankly I do not care. Nobody has once said AR is a better job than KS or said that AR is the best. Do some reading before you post. Why would a fanbase not want to wish for the best possible coach they could get? People are going to talk. You can let it chap your rear end or you can just laugh and relax that your coach is content where he is and not leaving. So I say once agian...CHILL.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Josh, you're right, as I said earlier it would come down to money and facilities but the bottom line is Frank Martin is incredibly loyal and the belief is he would only leave for Miami, his home.

Josh
Josh

So you've changed your opinion from KSU's basketball history is much deeper than Arkansas' to KSU's basketball history is on par with Arkansas' IF you take away the national championship? And I'm not an Arkansas fan, but if it comes down to money and facilities, anyone with any knowledge of the schools knows that Arkansas would win that in a blowout. Their stadium (Walton Arena) is still ranked in the top 10 in the nation, and somehow those piggies have a ton of very wealthy boosters (Walton Arena is named after the wealthiest family in the world, Tyson Chicken, Jerry Jones just to name a few).

MoHawk
MoHawk

Short of the lone Arkansas national championship KSU's basketball history is on par with Arkansas. It would come down to money and facilities.

John
John

The reason Self's name is on the list is because he wanted the job back when Heath was hired and rumors are circulating that his wife does not like living in Kansas. It's just a rumor man chill out. If you think Arkansas basketball's tradition only goes back to Nolan you are showing just how ignorant on the matter you really are. No one claimed that AR had a history that compares to KS either. No one outside the state of KS though will agree with you that Kansas St has a deeper history than AR by the way so have fun believing that.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Kansas State's basketball history runs incredibly deep, much deeper than Arkansas'. Tex Winter, Cotton Fitsimmons, Bob Boozer, Ernie Barret, Gene Keady, Rolando Blackmon, Lon Kruger, Steve Henson, and Michael Beasley to name a few. I would agree that not existing under KU's shadow is a plus and the facilities are probably better. Frank Martin will probably leave eventually but only for U of Miami.

As for Self, perhaps he would have jumped in the past but not now, if he leaves Kansas it's to go to the NBA. What would he gain by moving to Arkansas from Kansas? Nothing. As I said, money will not be a factor because Kansas will pay whatever they have to to keep him.

Mark Carter
Mark Carter

The Nolan stuff was between him and the previous administration. Strained relations with Nolan won't be an issue with Long. Nolan and the '94 national title team were officially recognized a couple of years ago, something that never could have happened with Broyles still in charge. And Nolan has endorsed Anderson's return. The thinking here is that many of the big $ boosters want Anderson, and while Long admires him, he wants to keep his options open. Arkansas has more basketball tradition than some may realize. We've been irrelevant for a while, but as we were when Eddie Sutton was hired in '74, we're a sleeping giant. With all due respect to KSU and its great fan support and decent history, Arkansas is a much better job if for no other reason than we don't exist under KU's shadow. But there are many other reasons as well. Self has Arkansas ties and at times in the past would've jumped at the chance.

My gut says it's gonna be Turgeon or Williams.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Seriously, is Arkansas still so full of itself that it thinks they are going to lure Bill Self away from Kansas???? Good grief! The rich Razorback basketball tradition that reaches all the way back to.....well....back to.....uh......back to....... Nolan Richardson doesn't equivilate to the history at the second winningest college basketball program in the history of the game. Hire Buzz Williams or Jeff Capel or Frank Martin (not that Arkansas is a better job than KSU but it might pay more) but forget about Bill Self because it won't come down to money, the folks at Kansas won't let it.

mgkarpit
mgkarpit

Dixon and Jeff Long don't get along, so forget about Dixon.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Okay, just simple math here but between 1919 and 1988 Kansas has two hundred more wins than University of Arkansas and that doesn't count any of Roy Williams 418 wins that took place between 1988 and 2003. The University of Kentucky has 1392 wins just with Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, and Rick Pitino between the years of 1930 and 1997.

Your source was wrong and you didn't verify that so now you don't look so good.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Would love to know your source on this...considering the University of Arkansas didn't start basketball until 1924 and considering they are way down the list on total wins I tend to not believe you have a credible source. I hope you're not just going off of someones word but if you are going to quote facts you really should provide a source.

MoHawk
MoHawk

Mikey, you're the reason Arkansas fans get a bad rap. Try to be more educated in your response next time. Arkansas is an average program, just like KState and every other BCS basketball job except for the top 5 or 6 programs (Kentucky, NC, Kansas, Duke, and Indiana). The numbers speak for themselves.

MoHawk
MoHawk

I'm sure it is but that doesn't mean it's a better place to live than Manhattan Kansas.

MoHawk
MoHawk

According to who and based on what criteria? Or is that just the opinion of a blind monkey?

MoHawk
MoHawk

If there is a rumor that Cindy Self doesn't like living in Kansas then it is just that, a rumor. It's a product of ignorance and hope but has no merit.

You're wrong about people outside of Kansas believing that K State doesn't have as deep of tradition as Arkansas. Just a question, to you, do you have any idea who Tex Winter is or what he has done for the game of basketball? Winter designed and perfected the Triangle offense while coaching at K State and as a result the Chicago Bulls have world championships and the Lakers have Championships. Arkansas has won a championship and that is just about it. I know you folks have a bunch of money and an ego to match but to be honest your teams havent been relevant for many years.

The thing about

Tay77
Tay77

"Arkansas has won a championship and that is just about it."

Kansas State has never won anything and that is just about it.

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