Coach Hot Board: Update 3/29

Brad Stevens

This is the place to get all the latest on the search for the new UCLA basketball coach...

LATEST:

3/29:

As of right now, there is another candidate, besides Brad Stevens, that UCLA is close to signing as its next head basketball coach.

From what I've gathered, it was pretty certain Stevens wouldn't take the job, and UCLA has been in discussions with this other candidate all week.

As I know more, I will, of course, pass it along.

3/29:

We're hearing that UCLA has gone in a direction with a new, un-named candidate. In fact, we're hearing the deal could be close to being done.

3/28: We've heard that UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has focused on Stevens all week. We don't know if Guerrero met with Stevens face to face, while some reports are that he did. We do know that Guerrero was on a plane earlier this week. There were reports he was on a flight last night (Thursday night), but those reports are false.

Reliable sources have told us that UCLA has officially given Stevens their terms.

As of Friday, it's in Stevens's court to decide whether he'll take the job or not.

We don't know the terms of the contract UCLA offered Stevens, but have heard that UCLA is prepared to offer up to $3 million per year.

3/28: Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens is seriously considering the UCLA job, according to good sources close to the situation.

We've learned he's considering it seriously enough to make some inquiries into the state of recruiting in California and the west coast.

We've also been told it won't come down to money for Stevens. He and his wife's family are well-off, and it's not important to him.

I have no information to support that UCLA and Stevens are in contract negotiations.

3/27: There are reports that Shaka Smart has signed a contract extension with VCU.

3/27: Wichita State's Gregg Marshall is now being mentioned as a name on the second-tier list.

3/27: We've heard that UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero was on a plane Sunday night...

3/26:

Brad Stevens is indicating privately for the first time that he is seriously entertaining the idea of leaving Butler, according to sources.

We're hearing that the possibility of the UCLA open coaching position has Stevens considering a move.

Stevens, the Butler head coach who is recognized as probably the top young, up-and-coming coach in the country, has been approached by different programs in the last several years but has never expressed legitimate interest in leaving Butler to take another job.

Stevens' Butler squad lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Marquette, and unlike the other two top targets on UCLA's list, Florida's Billy Donovan and Louisville's Rick Pitino, Stevens is free to listen to overtures and negotiate with other programs.

We are unaware of any contact directly between UCLA and Stevens.

Of course, Stevens showing interest in the UCLA job is a long way from the coach actually making the decision to leave Butler and sign with UCLA, but those sources close to him can't underscore enough that, for the reserved Stevens, this is unprecedented behavior.

3/25:

As we've been reporting for some time, sources are indicating that UCLA has enlisted a third-party consulting firm to gauge interest from representatives of potential coaching candidates. We've heard the three names most prominent on the list are Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino. We have heard Shaka Smart mentioned, but not as prominently, and also that UCLA will investigate possible NBA coaches as candidates.

Brad Stevens
Current Position:
Butler Head Coach (6th Year)
Age:
36
Overall record:
166-49
Salary:
$1 million
Notable:
After taking mid-major Butler to two championship games in 2010 and 2011, Stevens has earned a reputation as an elite-head-coach-in-waiting. He's considered one of the best minds in college basketball already, with a philosophy grounded in sound fundamentals and statistical analytics. He's practically the Billy Beane of college basketball.
Positives:
You could sell him as a young John Wooden to the UCLA community, being a cerebral small-town guy from Indiana. Nationally it would make big headlines that UCLA got Stevens.
Negatives:
He might not be a good fit for UCLA. It's believed he's turned down other jobs because he likes the small-town environment of Butler. He's never recruited at the elite high-major level. He might have to change his playing style, since his slower style was geared toward optimizing the mid-major talent at Butler.
Buzz:
Stevens has been on the list of the third-party consulting firm UCLA is using to make contact with prospective candidates. At this early stage, it appears he has the most support among the UCLA AD and donors. Sources have indicated that his representatives have expressed interest. Stevens hasn't shown much interest in other programs when they've made overtures to him, but a source close to the situation indicated Stevens is legitimately interested in the UCLA job.

Billy Donovan
Current Position:
Florida Head Coach (17th Year)
Age:
47
Overall record:
413-165
Salary:
$3.5 million
Notable:
After winning two titles at Florida in 2006 and 2007, Donovan earned a reputation as one of the best coaches in the country. He has adjusted his style to fit his players over time, occasionally running the full court press of his mentor, Rick Pitino, and occasionally running a slower, half-court style of basketball. His Florida squad this year seems poised to make a deep run in the Tournament.
Positives:
He would bring immediate credibility to the UCLA coaching job, and would have an immediate, and huge, impact on recruiting. He's shown an ability to adjust his style to fit the needs of his teams, which could keep next year from being a rough year. His offenses and defenses are among the nation's most efficient year in and year out.
Negatives:
He's potentially going to cost UCLA a lot of money. His style of play has gotten slower in recent years, which could bring reminders of Howland-era basketball.
Buzz:
Along with Stevens, Donovan is one of the main candidates among UCLA's administration and boosters. Through intermediaries, he's expressed interest in the job, and the thought is that he could be had for somewhere in the $4 to $4.5 million range.

Rick Pitino
Current Position:
Louisville Head Coach (12th Year)
Age:
60
Overall record:
645-238
Salary:
$4.8 million ($7.5 million this season)
Notable:
He's a future Hall of Fame coach that has led teams to five Final Fours and won one championship (Kentucky, '96). He's easily considered one of the top handful of coaches currently in the game, and probably among the top ten of all-time.
Positives:
He would be the marquee name to immediately fill seats at Pauley, make the boosters happy and instantly make UCLA a force in recruiting. His current Louisville team is a #1 seed, just made the Sweet 16 and is getting a great deal of publicity.
Negatives:
He's 60 years old, so there are questions, namely: How many years does he have left to coach, and does he still have enough energy to build another program back to prominence? The word is that he has some baggage, and expects to be taken care of in grand style.
Buzz:
The same consulting firm has contacted Pitino's reps and they have indicated strong interest. The word is that he is very open to making a change and likes UCLA (always has) – while he's tired of competing with Kentucky, his former program, and recognizes that UCLA could take over a down west coast.

Bill Self
Current Position:
Kansas Head Coach (10th Year)
Age:
50
Overall record:
300-58
Salary:
$3.856 million
Notable:
In his ten years at Kansas, Bill Self has won a National Championship and continued the Jayhawks' reputation as one of the premier programs in college basketball. Self typically has one of the best offensive and defensive teams in the country. Even in years where they are supposedly rebuilding, by the end of the year, Kansas always seems poised for a deep NCAA Tournament run. He's one of the best coaches in the country.
Positives:
He would immediately bring name recognition to the UCLA coaching job, which would have a huge impact on recruiting. He's obviously a tremendous coach, with several deep tournament runs and a National Championship to his credit.
Negatives:
He has had a tendency to get upset during the NCAA Tournament. He hasn't recruited Los Angeles consistently.
Buzz:
We've heard from sources that UCLA has made initial contact with representatives for Self. To be honest, we're skeptical that this could happen, for a variety of reasons. He has a very good situation at Kansas, it being a basketball school, and he's obviously well compensated.

Mark Gottfried
Current Position:
NC State Head Coach (2nd Year)
Age:
49
Overall record:
327-178
Salary:
$1.95 million
Notable:
Gottfried is a familiar name for UCLA fans, having been an assistant to Jim Harrick during UCLA's last National Championship season. Since then, he's coached at Murray State, Alabama, and NC State, where he could be potentially heading into his third season on the hot seat after underachieving this season in the ACC.
Positives:
He's recruited Los Angeles before, and has a reputation as a pretty good recruiter and handler of players. He's familiar with the UCLA program, which can be an asset.
Negatives:
He's possibly a year away from being fired from NC State after underachieving this season, and is just two years removed from resigning midseason at Alabama. There are some obvious questions about how good of a coach he is.
Buzz:
We've heard that Gottfried is a second tier candidate if other options fall through.

Lorenzo Romar
Current Position:
Washington Head Coach (11th Year)
Age:
54
Overall record:
330-217
Salary:
$1.3 million
Notable:
Like Gottfried, Romar was an assistant on the 1995 National Championship team at UCLA, and there was a thought that if he'd still been around when Harrick was fired, he might have gotten the job over Steve Lavin. At Washington, Romar has recruited well, but there's a thought that he might have achieved all the success he can in Seattle.
Positives:
He likes his teams to play an up and down style, and he's shown the ability to be an effective recruiter in the past. He's recruited Los Angeles both at UCLA and Washington, and done so successfully. He's still very well-liked by the UCLA community.
Negatives:
His last few years at Washington have been underwhelming, and there are some concerns about his ability as an in game coach. His teams often appear to be undisciplined.
Buzz:
Like Gottfried, we've heard that Romar is on the secondary list for UCLA in case top tier candidates fall through.

Tad Boyle
Current Position:
Colorado Head Coach (4th Year)
Age:
50
Overall record:
126-103
Salary:
$1 million
Notable:
Boyle has taken a mediocre Colorado program and turned it around in short order, and capped it off when he won the Pac-12 Tournament a year ago, and now has made the Big Dance two years in a row. Before Colorado, he turned around Northern Colorado.
Positives:
Boyle has shown a penchant for very good recruiting evaluations, utilizes a pretty open, free style that appeals to players.
Negatives:
Despite a good – not great – two-year record at Colorado, where he got his under-recruited players to perform above expectation, he doesn't have much of a track record for being 50 years old. UCLA hiring him wouldn't resonate much in the recruiting world.
Buzz:
Boyle is considered only an extreme back-up option. There have been some sources indicating that there has been a feeling-out contact made, but it could be just Boyle's people trying to get his name associated with the UCLA search.

Mike Brown
Current Position:
Ex-NBA Coach
Age:
43
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
N/A
Notable:
Brown earned a name in the NBA as the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, being named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2009 after leading the Cavaliers to a franchise record in wins. He was hired by the Lakers as Phil Jackson's successor.
Positives:
In an effort to duplicate Jim Mora's effect on the football program, Brown could possibly bring some NBA gravitas to the program. He's known to be a good coach and a defensive specialist.
Negatives:
Just because it worked with Mora doesn't mean it would work with any ex-pro coach. There still isn't a good vibe from his firing from the Lakers.
Buzz:
We've said that some NBA coaching names have been floated, and Brown is one we've heard. Even without college coaching experience, you could maybe see UCLA go in this direction if it missed on its top-tier college targets.

Gregg Marshall
Current Position:
Wichita State Head Coach (6th Year)
Age:
50
Overall record:
331-152
Salary:
$1 million
Notable:
After consistently taking Winthrop to the NCAA Tournament, Marshall took over Wichita State and has led them to the most successful three-year stint in Shocker history. He currently has WSU in the Sweet 16 after upsetting #1 seed Gonzaga. After last season his name was bandied about in relation to open jobs, like Illinois and South Carolina. He's considered one of those mid-major wizards, having taken Winthrop and Wichita State to 9 NCAA Tournaments in 15 years.
Positives:
Marshall has a deservedly good reputation in college basketball as a sharp coach. He is known for his physical style that emphasizes defense and rebounding.
Negatives:
Marshall is virtually unknown in the west, and has no recruiting ties in L.A. His style might be a bit reminiscent of early vintage Howland at UCLA, which could be either a good or bad thing.
Buzz:
While there might not be a great deal of buzz about Marshall in terms of name recognition, he's a good coach that, through great success at the mid-major level, has put his name on the back-up UCLA option list.

Buzz Williams
Current Position:
Marquette Head Coach (5th Year)
Age:
40
Overall record:
136-70
Salary:
$1.7 million
Notable:
Williams is in the midst of his best season at Marquette, advancing the Elite Eight. He took over for Tom Crean and has helped to sustain his success. This year marks his third consecutive Sweet 16 run.
Positives:
He has a lot of buzz right now, no pun intended. If UCLA misses on its top targets, with the tournament success of Marquette, this could be the next best way to make a splash. He's acknowledged to be a good coach by most. He's shown a tendency to varying his style of basketball depending on the players he has.
Negatives:
You could argue that he's simply a flavor of the month, with no discernible elite success at Marquette prior to this year. He has no obvious connections to West Coast recruiting, and would need to hire assistants with ties to the area.
Buzz:
3/29 We've heard Buzz Williams' name mentioned as a fallback option for UCLA. With his team still in the tournament, possibly advancing to the Final Four next weekend, any talks with Williams himself would probably wait til the first week of April at the earliest.

Scout.com Recommended Stories


Forums


82,610 Fans online

    Tweets