Arizona State coaching Hot Board

Why is Jeff Capel seen as a strong leading candidate for the ASU coaching search and who else could be considered? Our Hot Board has a lot of the information you want to know.

Jeff Capel | Duke Assistant Coach | Age 40

Jeff Capel

Why he fits: Well regarded for his broad capability as a program head, Capel is seen as someone who checks most, if not all of the boxes set forth by Ray Anderson in his explanation of what he's looking for in the search. Capel's got a good basketball pedigree, having been mentored first as a player, and most recently, as a coach by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. He's seen as a young, energetic coach who already has a lot of program building experience, has recruited at a relatively high level and is a coach and scout for USA Basketball, which may be moving to Tempe in the coming years. He moved outside the womb of Duke basketball after his playing career, and was an assistant at VCU before becoming its head coach and turning it into a mid-major juggernaut. Success came quickly upon his move to Oklahoma, as Capel went 30-6 and earned an Elite 8 NCAA bid in his third season. But things turned bad from there, with NCAA allegations swirling over player impropriety he was never found to be associated with, and a losing record in his final two years, Capel was fired.

Coaching Experience: 2011-present: Duke assistant/Associate Head Coach, 2006-11 Oklahoma Head Coach, 2002-2006: VCU Head Coach, 2001-02: VCU assistant, 2000-01 Old Dominion assistant

Bobby Hurley | Buffalo Head Coach | Age 43

Bobby Hurley

Why he fits: A former Duke consensus All-American point guard, NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and two-time NCAA Champion, Hurley's college pedigree is almost unmatched in recent decades. As a coach, he's much more of an unknown still despite being 43 years old, primarily because he didn't start his career until 2010 as an assistant at Wagner. Hurley is now two years into his head coaching tenure at Buffalo, where he's 42-20 in two-season and won at least a share of the Mid-American conference title in each season, including an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014-15. While Hurley doesn't have a long record to demonstrate he's ready for the big time, his star is clearly on the rise and ASU might not be able to get him as its coach in another year or two if he continues to demonstrate the same type of success he's already shown. Though he has no west coast connections, Hurley would seemingly connect well with guard recruits and perhaps even better with their parents.

Coaching Experience: 2013-present: Buffalo head coach, 2012: Rhode Island associate head coach, 2010-11: Wagner assistant coach

Josh Pastner | Memphis Head Coach | Age 37

Josh Pastner

Why he fits: A proven elite level recruiter who is young and known in the coaching community for his work ethic, Pastner became head coach at Memphis in his early 30s after one season as an assistant under John Calapari and has been to the NCAA Tournament in four of his six seasons at the helm. He is very accomplished for his age, and has learned from two of the best coaches in recent decades, Calapari and former Arizona legendary coach Lute Olson, where Pastner was a walk on player and later, an assistant for six years. After spending so much time in Arizona and recruiting in the West, Pastner understands the landscape and likely ASU's market specific strengths and challenges better than most other candidates would. He has extensive grassroots basketball ties in Texas, California and the South and could immediately improve the team's talent. Paster's teams haven't done as well at Memphis of late however, missing the Tournament this year, and his bench coaching and schematic savvy have been questioned.

Coaching Experience: 2009-present: Memphis Head Coach, 2008-09 Memphis Assistant Coach, 2002-2008: Arizona assistant coach

Ed Cooley | Providence Head Coach | Age 45

Ed Cooley

Why he fits: Cooley is on the rise in the coaching community after back to back NCAA Tournament appearances at Providence, where he has gone 45-24 (21-15) in the last two years, finishing third and fourth in the Big East. He's already had nine years of Division I head coaching experience despite being just 45, and turned Fairfield from a middle of the road type program in the Metro Atlantic Conference to the best team in the league, 23-11 (13-5) in 2009-10 and 25-8 (15-3) in his final season before taking the Providence job. Cooley has already coached several players who have moved on to the NBA during his time at Providence, and also has a USA Basketball connection, as he's currently one of the U18 coaches. That's something that has become clearly of value to ASU in its coaching search. Cooley also has a very inspiring personal story. His lack of any experience in the West is of potential concern.

Coaching Experience: 2011-present: Providence head coach, 2006-2011: Fairfield head coach, 1997-2006: Boston College Assistant, 1996-97: Rhode Island assistant

Alvin Gentry | Golden State Warriors | Age 60

Alvin Gentry

Why he fits: The only former NBA head coach on our list, Gentry has extensive ties in the Valley, having formerly been the Phoenix Suns head coach in 2009-13, and family remaining in the area. At age 60, Gentry has, according to multiple sources, told people close to him in the past that he would have interest in the ASU head coaching job as a final stop of his coaching career. From a pure basketball standpoint and how he would resonate with players and recruits alike, Gentry has to be appealing. Locally, it's hard to imagine a candidate that would have more appeal with players and their families. Gentry also has extensive ties and name brand recognition in the talent-rich Los Angeles area, having served as head coach of the Clippers from 2001-03 and as its associate head coach from 2013-14. Gentry does have roots in college basketball, as he was an assistant at Baylor, Colorado and Kansas for the better part of a decade in the 1980s. Currently associate head coach of Golden State, one of the NBA's best teams, the timing might be a challenge.

Coaching Experience: 2014-present: Golden State associate head coach, 2013-2014: Los Angeles Clippers associate head coach, 2009-2013: Phoenix Suns head coach, 2003-09: Phoenix Suns assistant, 2001-03: Clippers head coach, 2000: San Antonio Spurs assistant, 1998-2000 Detroit Pistons head coach, 1994-98: Detroit Pistons assistant, 1994 Miami Heat head coach, 1991-94 Miami Heat assistant.

Leon Rice | Boise State Head Coach | Age 51

Leon Rice

Why he fits: Though he isn't as young as other candidates, Rice is intriguing in a lot of areas and is one of the most accomplished mid-major coaches in the West, with extensive ties to the region and Pac-12. In his first head coaching job, Rice is 102-68 at Boise State in five seasons, with more than 20 wins in each year except his second on the job. In 2014-15, the Broncos finished 25-8 overall and 14-4 in the WAC and were an NCAA First Four Tournament Selection. Rice has done a good job of finding undervalued talent and developing players at Boise State, a good combination as it projects to a school with Arizona State's profile. He went to college at Washington State, was an assistant coach early in his carer at Oregon, and spent 12 years on the bench under Mark Few at Gonzaga, a man widely considered to be among the very best program developers and mid-major coaches in the country.

Coaching Experience: 2010-present: Boise State, 1998-2010: Gonzaga assistant, 1996-98: Yakima Valley CC assistant, 1992-94: Northern Colorado Assistant, 1989-92 Oregon assistant

Randy Bennett | St. Mary's Head Coach | Age 52

Randy Bennett

Why he fits: Another very established mid-major head coach, Bennett has a career record of 307-146 as a head coach, all at St. Mary's, where he's been a consistent performer since 2001. He's won 20-plus games in eight straight seasons, with four NCAA Tournament appearances in that span. Bennett is from Mesa, Ariz., where his father was a legendary community college coach. It has been reported at times in the past that ASU would be a considered a so-called "dream job" for Bennett in a rare way given his roots in the Valley. If there's a concern about Bennett, it would be that he's perhaps too similar to Herb Sendek, both in terms of appearance and personality, and Anderson may be looking to find more of a contrast in that regard. Bennett also was slapped with some NCAA constraints after findings of some recruiting improprieties in recent years, though it doesn't seem to have had any impact on his success.

Coaching Experience: 2001-present: St. Mary's head coach, 1999-2001: Saint Louis assistant, 1996-99: Pepperdine assistant: 1988-98: San Diego assistant, 1986-88: Idaho assistant, 1985-86: San Diego assistant

Tommy Amaker | Harvard Head Coach | Age 49

Tommy Amaker

Why he fits: In recent years, Amaker has turned Harvard into an Ivy League powerhouse, with recruiting success at a very high level and first-place conference finishes for five years in a row. Certainly he has a truly unique academic profile to sell at the school, but Amaker has added high major talent at a low major level. Harvard is also his third stop as a head coach, as Amaker previously was in charge at Seton Hall and later Michigan. With the Wolverines, Amaker didn't take the program to the NCAA Tournament in six years, but had a combined 44-24 (16-16) record in his final two seasons before he was fired. Questions about Amaker would include his West coast connections and resources as well as bench coaching when not benefited by overwhelmingly better talent than his peers. But he's another guy with a Duke pedigree, having been a co-captain at the school. He may not have interest though, having said no to Cal when offered a big contract last year.

Coaching Experience: 2007-present: Harvard head coach, 2001-2007: Michigan head coach, 1997-2001: Seton Hall Head Coach, 1988-97: Duke assistant

Anthony Grant | Former Alabama head coach | Age 48

Anthony Grant

Why he fits: Grant was fired by Alabama in March after six seasons at the school as head coach, during which time he had a record of 117-85 overall and 54-49 in SEC play, including 18-14 overall and 8-10 in the league in 2014-15, a season that saw the Crimson Tide reach the second round of the National Invitational Tournament. Though he had three 20-plus win seasons, Grant reached the NCAA Tournament just once in his six years at Alabama, winning a game in the 2011-12 season Tournament. Prior to taking the job at Alabama, Grant led Virginia Commonwealth to three consecutive Colonial Athletic Association regular season first place finishes, a 76-25 overall record and 45-9 result in league play, with two NCAA Tournament appearances. Grant played his college basketball at Dayton (Ohio) and spent 10 years under Billy Donovan at Florida. He has exclusively coached in east/south so how he would translate to the Pac-12 from a resource, infrastructure and staffing standpoint is unknown. He could have a longer adjustment than others on the list as a result.

Coaching Experience: 2009-2015: Alabama head coach, 2006-2009: VCU head coach, 1996-2006: Florida assistant, 1994-96: Marshall assistant

Avery Johnson | Former NBA head coach | Age 50

Avery Johnson

Why he fits: Though he's never coached at the college level, Johnson was an NBA head coach for two teams, the Dallas Mavericks from 2005-08 and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets from 2010-12. In 2006 with the Mavericks Johnson was named NBA Coach of the Year and NBA All-Star Game head coach when the Mavericks won the Western Conference Championship. Prior to his coaching career, Johnson played point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, winning an NBA Championship in 1999 and eventually having his jersey number retired from the franchise. Widely known as one of the game's better ambassadors, Johnson has had a broadcasting career for ESPN and is broadly known, with an elite basketball reputation.

Coaching Experience: 2010-12: Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets head coach, 2005-2008: Dallas Mavericks head coach, 2004-2005: Mavericks assistant


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