Potential Coach Candidates For AU Basketball

We take a look at some of the names the Tigers could consider for their vacant coaching job in men's basketball to replace Tony Barbee.

Auburn, Ala.--With the Tony Barbee Era now done at Auburn following Wednesday night's first-round SEC Tournament loss, Athletic Director Jay Jacobs has turned his attention to hiring his successor after four consecutive losing seasons on the Plains.

There are several big-name coaches who could get a look from the Tigers as well as up-and-coming coaches currently having a great deal of success at schools making a run at postseason play in 2014.

Here are some of the names that could get a look from Jacobs moving forward:

Easily the most high profile of the bunch is former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl. Fired after a run-in with the NCAA, he led the Vols to six NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons. He finished with a record of 145-61 in Knoxville after leading Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a Sweet 16 appearance and 86 wins in four seasons.

Still under a show-cause from the NCAA until August after lying about a recruiting dinner to investigators, Pearl is able to get back in the coaching ranks next season and Auburn could be a good fit for a coach who loves to sell his program and win games in the process.

A talented coach who won big at UCLA, Ben Howland had huge success at Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA in his 19 seasons as a head coach. Compiling an overall record of 398-205, Howland has led 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament including five Sweet 17 trips and three appearances in the Final Four. Howland was fired following a 2013 season when the Bruins went 25-9, but lost in the first round to Minnesota.

Ben Howland

Leading a rebirth of the Louisiana Tech program, former Ole Miss point guard Michael White coached 11 seasons as an assistant at Jacksonville State and back with the Rebels before taking over the Bulldogs three years ago. A program that won just 57 games the previous four years with three losing seasons, Louisiana Tech has a three-year record of 70-29 under White including a 25-6 campaign this year in Conference USA.

Retiring from Mississippi State following the 2012 season, Rick Stansbury had a solid run in Starkville with the Bulldogs and is looking to get back in the game. With a career record of 293-165, Stansbury led MSU to six NCAA Tournament appearances and five trips to the NIT in his 14 seasons as a head coach. While he's considered a longshot, Stansbury has a history of winning in the SEC.

Winning big at a program that was known more for losing basketball games, Jeff Neubauer has turned Eastern Kentucky into a good team in his nine seasons with the Colonels. With a record of 167-121 overall, he has won more than 20 games four times at a school that won more than 20 games just one time since 1947 before his arrival.

Following his playing days as a point guard at LaSalle for legendary coach Speedy Morris, he worked under one of the best coaches in the country, John Beilein, at both Richmond and West Virginia before earning his shot at Eastern Kentucky. This season he has the Colonels in the NCAA Tournament with a record of 24-9.

Another coach poised to take his team to the NCAA Tournament this year is Donnie Tyndall at Southern Miss. Known as the coach who took Morehead State to the Sweet 16 in 2011, Tyndall finished with a record of 114-84 in six seasons, including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Taking over at Southern Miss last season he won 27 games and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT. This season the Golden Eagles are 26-5 and headed for the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 1991. Tyndall worked as an assistant at LSU from 2997-2001 and helped recruit three Top 25 classes, including the top class in the country in 1998. He coached four future NBA players while with the Tigers.

Playing for legendary coach Pete Carill at Princeton, Chris Mooney was an assistant at Air Force before taking over the job with the Falcons in 2005. In his only season at Air Force he led them to an 18-12 record, the second-best season in school history. He moved to Richmond the following year and has done big things in nine seasons with the Spiders. With an overall record of 183-139, Mooney has won 20-plus games three times. Included in that were back-to-back 26 and 29 win years, the second with a run to the Sweet 16.

Currently an assistant back at his alma mater, former Duke standout Jeff Capel had success as a head coach at VCU and Oklahoma before returning to Durham in 2011. Starting his coaching career under his father at Old Dominion, Capel went to VCU as an assistant and was promoted to the head coaching position at the age of just 27. In four seasons with the Rams he posted a record of 79-41 with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.

At Oklahoma he finished 96-69 overall with two trips to the big dance with Blake Griffin leading the way. With Griffin leaving school early along with three more top players the next season, the Sooners won just 27 games his final two years before he was fired and went back as an assistant with the Blue Devils.

Chuck Person, the leading scorer in Auburn history, interviewed for the vacancy four years ago and is interested in the job again. Person, who has been coaching in Korea, worked with a variety of NBA teams before retiring as a player.


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