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The Last Three Basketball Hires At Each SEC School

With the SEC’s two coaching vacancies filled, we can now take a look back to see where most league schools have turned when coaches have left (or been asked to leave).  Is there a pattern?  Do proven big-school coaches work out better than unproven mid-major guys?  Better than promoted assistants?

We went back over the last 36 basketball coaches — three per school — hired into the SEC.  Interim coaches (like Don DeVoe at Florida) weren’t included in our list. 

Below are the results of the last three coaching searches for each league program.  You’ll see each coach’s years of activity at the school, where he came from (including the number of NCAA/NBA head coaching jobs he’d held before his hiring into the SEC), and the result of his tenure (including any NCAA issues that aided in his exit):


School
Coach
Years At School
Came From
Result
Alabama
David Hobbs
92-98
Asst. Coach
Fired
Alabama
Mark Gottfried
98-09
Murray State (1 HC job)
Fired
Alabama
Anthony Grant
09-Now
VCU (1 HC job)
???
Arkansas
Stan Heath
03-07
Kent State (1 HC job)
Fired
Arkansas
John Pelphrey
07-11
S. Alabama (1 HC job)
Fired
Arkansas
Mike Anderson
11-Now
Missouri (2 HC jobs)
???
Auburn
Cliff Ellis
94-04
Clemson (3 HC jobs)
Fired/NCAA
Auburn
Jeff Lebo
04-10
Chattanooga (2 HC jobs)
Fired
Auburn
Tony Barbee
10-Now
UTEP (1 HC job)
???
Florida
Norm Sloan
80-89
NC State (3 HC jobs)
Fired/NCAA
Florida
Lon Kruger
91-96
Kansas State (2 HC jobs)
Left for Illinois
Florida
Billy Donovan
96-Now
Marshall (1 HC job)
???
Georgia
Jim Harrick
99-03
Rhode Island (3 HC jobs)
Fired/NCAA
Georgia
Dennis Felton
03-09
W. Kentucky (1 HC job)
Fired
Georgia
Mark Fox
09-Now
Nevada (1 HC job)
???
Kentucky
Tubby Smith
97-07
Georgia (2 HC jobs)
Left for Minnesota
Kentucky
Billy Gillispie
07-09
Texas A&M (2 HC jobs)
Fired
Kentucky
John Calipari
09-Now
Memphis (3 HC jobs)
???
LSU
Dale Brown
72-97
Asst. Coach
Retired/NCAA
LSU
John Brady
97-08
Samford (1 HC job)
Fired
LSU
Trent Johnson
08-Now
Stanford (2 HC jobs)
???
Miss. State
Bob Boyd
82-86
Southern Cal (2 HC jobs)
Fired
Miss. State
Richard Williams
86-98
Asst. Coach
Forced to Resign
Miss. State
Rick Stansbury
98-Now
Asst. Coach
???
Ole Miss
Rob Evans
92-98
Asst. Coach
Left for Arizona State
Ole Miss
Rod Barnes
98-06
Asst. Coach
Fired
Ole Miss
Andy Kennedy
06-Now
Cincinnati (1 interim HC job)
???
S. Carolina
Eddie Fogler
94-01
Vanderbilt (2 HC jobs)
Forced to Resign
S. Carolina
Dave Odom
02-08
Wake Forest (2 HC jobs)
Forced to Retire
S. Carolina
Darrin Horn
09-Now
W. Kentucky (1 HC job)
???
Tennessee
Buzz Peterson
01-05
Tulsa (2 HC jobs)
Fired
Tennessee
Bruce Pearl
05-11
UW-Milwaukee (2 HC jobs)
Fired/NCAA
Tennessee
Cuonzo Martin
11-Now
Missouri State (1 HC job)
???
Vanderbilt
Eddie Fogler
89-92
Wichita State (1 HC job)
Left for S. Carolina
Vanderbilt
Jan Van Breda Koff
93-99
Cornell (1 HC job)
Resigned
Vanderbilt
Kevin Stallings
99-Now
Illinois State (1 HC job)
???



First things first, one man’s “fired” is another man’s “forced to resign.”  We tried to use the most often used media description of the time in our chart.

So what do we find from all those hirings?


1.  Unless we’re doing the math wrong, 11 of the 36 hires came from BCS conferences.  The reigns of Ellis, Sloan, Gillispee and Boyd ended badly.  Kruger and Smith would be considered the positive hires out of the BCS bunch (so far).

2.  Six assistants were promoted to head coach — Hobbs, Brown, Williams, Stansbury, Evans and Barnes.  Most of those hires resulted in success with only Hobbs and Barnes being clear-cut disappointments.

3.  That leaves 19 mid-major hires to fill out our list.  Stallings, Calipari, Donovan and Fogler (at Vandy) all turned out well (so long as Calipari’s current Final Four banner doesn’t come down at some point).  Others — like Fox and Grant — appear heading in the right direction.

4.  Twenty of the 36 hires wound up being fired for forced out.  Five of those 20 left amid NCAA scandals — Pearl, Harrick, Sloan, Ellis and Brown.  Brown’s situation was questionable, but the NCAA had been after him for years. 

So you want a pattern?  Good luck.  There are hits and misses regardless of the background of the man being hired.

 


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  1. [...] 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 [...]



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