Mark Foltz - AStateNation

Arkansas State is well positioned for this basketball coaching search

Red Wolves in better position for search than last year.

One and done now appears on the men’s basketball side at Arkansas State.

When the Red Wolves stood at 18-6 on the season, one and done began to seem like a possibility. Any thoughts that AState might lose McCasland after one year faded with AState’s conference title hopes, hopes for an NIT at-large bid, and hopes for a conference tournament run.

It just seemed improbable that any school with the resources to pay at $500,000 buyout would part with that sum on the heels of a 2-6 finish.

There was such a school. North Texas, just across the Metroplex from McCasland’s home town of Irving was willing to make the investment.

So now Arkansas State once again is in search mode. Since the fall of 2010 Arkansas State is now on its sixth head coach search for one of the two revenue sports

This time around Terry Mohajir enters the search not with a program coming off 11 wins and struggling to draw more than a small hardcore group of fans. This time he has a program coming off 20 wins and just missing a top 100 RPI finish and a conference that was rated 13th in the RPI.  The success has been reflected in the stands with attendance more than doubling over the year before.

With UNT contacting Mohajir last Friday, the Red Wolves AD has had a bit of lead time to review last year's list and begin adding names.

The Red Wolves bring a competitive financial package to the table. McCasland was making $350,000 and had an offer for $400,000.

There are probably a dozen coaches in the NCAA Tournament making less this season. Last year there were 12 coaches with public salaries making less than McCasland and likely at least three more private school coaches making less.

Only a handful of Division I assistants are making more than McCasland made at AState.

With McCasland parlaying the AState job into a $600,000 a year contract that ends decades of AState being a last coaching stop in basketball.

McCasland’s departure is frustrating but AState is better positioned for this search than any other basketball coaching search in the history of the school.