Risky Business

Are you the type of person that likes to take risks? Do you like to gamble? Do you like to live dangerously? Do you jump out of airplanes? Do you like to eat sushi at Gas Stations? If so, then we have some bold choices for DePaul's next men’s basketball coach for you.

Among the riskiest of choices to lead the Blue Demons would be any former DePaul player. No DePaul alum has the complete resume of what the Blue Demons are looking for.

We’ll start with the greatest Blue Demon of them all – Mark Aguirre.

Aguirre is one of only two players to have his number retired at DePaul. He will most certainly express interest in the job. Mark has returned to school to complete the Bachelor’s degree that he didn’t finish over 30 years ago. Aguirre has a desire to be a college basketball coach, but he still has not completed his degree. Aguirre has experience as an assistant coach in the NBA, but has never worked at the collegiate level in any position and has never been a head coach at any level.

Rod Strickland

Strickland has worked on college staffs at Memphis, Kentucky, and South Florida. He’s one of the greatest point guards in DePaul history, but he lacks head coaching experience.

Rashon Burno

Former Blue Demon point guard Rashon Burno has worked as a college assistant coach at Manhattan and is currently under Billy Donovan at Florida. Like Strickland though, Burno has no head coaching experience to speak of.

Tyrone Corbin

Ty Corbin is the only former DePaul player to boast head coaching experience. Corbin was the head coach of the Utah Jazz for three and a half seasons. He also served as the interim head coach of the Sacramento Kings for 28 games this season. According to fellow DePaul alum Stephen Howard, Corbin has already thrown his hat into the ring for the DePaul job. While Corbin has the head coaching experience, he has never coached at the collegiate level and has never had to recruit prospective student-athletes. If Corbin were hired, he would have to come with a veteran group of college assistant coaches who can recruit.

Scott Trost

Here’s an off the wall, risky choice. It’s high risk, high reward. Scott Trost has never been a head coach at the Division I level. He has had quite a bit of success as the head coach of the Division II Lewis Flyers and has worked in Division I as an assistant coach. Trost is a coach who is primed and ready to make the move up to Division I. If DePaul doesn’t hire him, perhaps UIC will give him a look. Trost knows the Chicago area well and has stolen a few recruits away from Division I schools.

Tavaras Hardy

Hardy has worked at Georgetown and Northwestern. He’s another college assistant without any head coaching experience who knows the Chicago area very well.

Jerrance Howard

Assistant Coach at Kansas. See Tavaras Hardy.


Bear in mind that DePaul University has hired only one coach in the last 60 years who didn’t have Division I head coaching experience. That was Joey Meyer in 1984. Meyer was elevated to head coach when his father retired and was inheriting a team that had been to the NCAA Tournament.

Even Dave Leitao, who was hired in 2002, had two years of head coaching experience under his belt at Northeastern.

The bottom line here is DePaul isn’t in the position to take any risks, or roll the dice on a new head coach. They need a sure thing. Or the closest thing they can find to a sure thing.

DePaul should want the best coach available for the job, not the best assistant, or the best DePaul alum.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Blue Demon legends like Aguirre, Corbin, and Strickland. Aguirre and Corbin were both classmates of mine.

It’s just that DePaul needs an established, proven head coach at the Division 1 level to lead this team.

WSCR’s Laurence Holmes said today, “DePaul fans need to think bigger. Everyone likes a good homecoming story, but enough is enough. Nostalgia should only be a tiebreaker for equally qualified candidates.”

I couldn’t agree more. Think bigger. To quote a famous Chicagoan…

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work."

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