Thinking Big

DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto has talked about the Big East being a "man's league" and the need to hire a head men's basketball coach who can go toe-to-toe with Hall of Fame coaches in the league such as Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, and Rick Pitino. With that thought in mind, in this report we go in search of a few good men…

In this exercise, we will think big and look at a few coaches who have already achieved that level of success and can bring a proven record of postseason success to DePaul.

Jamie Dixon - Pittsburgh

There is no doubt that Dixon can compete in the Big East, since he has already won a Big East championship at Pitt. In recent months, Dixon has spoke out against Pittsburgh moving to an expanded Big 10 conference. Should Pitt be headed in that direction, he would be more than welcome to stay in the Big East at DePaul. We know that Ponsetto has a great relationship with Dixon through his late sister Maggie, who coached for the Blue Demons.

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Age – 44

Reported Salary – est. 1.6 million, contract runs through 2015-16

Record – 181-51, 77-34 (Big East)

Postseason Record – Dixon has never missed the NCAA tournament in his first six years of coaching, a 9-6 record in NCAA's.

Mike Anderson - Missouri



By the same token, Mizzou has been rumored to move to the Big 10 as part of the league's expansion. Should the Tigers leave the Big 12 for the Big 10, it is difficult to imagine Anderson's "Fastest 40 Minutes" style of ball fitting in with the grind-it-out style of the Big 10. Anderson is another BCS coach that could be looking for a new home. He is more than familiar with DePaul from his days of facing the Blue Demons in Conference USA while at UAB. Anderson brings an exciting brand of basketball to the court that would be fun to watch in the Big East.

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Age – 50

Reported Salary – $1.55 million. Contract runs through 2016 with a buyout of $550,000.

Record – 82-41

Postseason Record – In his seven years of coaching, Anderson has made the NIT tournament once and the NCAA tournament four times (three at UAB and one at Mizzou). He has a 6-4 record in the NCAA's.

Lorenzo Romar - Washington



Romar has had a great deal of success in the Pac 10. It's doubtful that he would leave his alma mater for a return to the Midwest, but is worth a look.

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Age – 51

Reported Salary – $1.1 million

Record – 254-176

Postseason Record – In his 14 seasons as a head coach, Romar has made the CBI once, NIT once, and the NCAA tournament five times (once at Saint Louis, and four times at UW). Romar has a 5-5 record in the NCAA's.

Mark Few – Gonzaga



While not a BCS level coach, Few has had the same level of success as many BCS league coaches . Few has been rumored to have turned down many big job openings. Will he remain at Gonzaga for life or will he look for a change of scenery at some point?

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Age – 47

Reported Salary – est. $750,000

Record – 283-70

Postseason Record – In 10 seasons as a head coach, Few has never missed the NCAA tournament. He has an 11-10 record in the NCAA's.

Billy Gillispie – former Kentucky coach



Billy Clyde Gillispie has had success at the highest level of NCAA basketball. It takes a special kind of coach to fit in with the pressure-cooker situation that exists in Lexington, Kentucky. Gillispie didn't fit in there, but not many can. One question would be whether Gillispie could convince the powers-that-be at DePaul that his "lifestyle" issues are in the past? Gillispie would have the full support of DePaul interim coach Tracy Webster. Whether he gets the DePaul job or not, Gillispie is just too good to stay out of college coaching for long.

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Age – 50

Record – 140-85

Postseason Record – In his seven years as a head coach, Gillispie has reached the NIT twice and the NCAA tournament four times (once at UTEP, twice at Texas A&M, and once at Kentucky). His record in the NCAA's is 3-4

There you have it. Unless of course, DePaul wants to think really, really big and bring Chicago native and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski back to the city.

With the arms race that exists with college basketball coaching salaries, one has to wonder just how far DePaul is willing to open their checkbook?

To put coaches salaries in perspective, the four coaches that were hired by BCS level schools in 2009 make the following reported salaries…

Sean Miller – from Xavier to Arizona - $2 million

Anthony Grant from VCU to Alabama - $1.83 million

Tony Bennett – from Washington State to Virginia - $1.7 million

Mark Fox – from Nevada to Georgia - $1.3 million

Is it all pie in the sky? It could be, but it pays to think big.


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