Preston Getting Attention

For the second off season since his arrival in Gainesville, Florida assistant coach Lewis Preston is being considered for a head coaching position. Last year he came up short for the job at Coastal Carolina, with former Clemson and Auburn coach Cliff Ellis getting the spot.

Preston was involved with that job because he had been an assistant at the school previously. Geography appears to be the most significant factor this time, as Preston interviewed with Florida Atlantic May 7. It's not clear right now how strong his chances are of landing the position.

FAU has been looking for a replacement for Rex Walters, who left after two years at the school for the San Francisco head coaching job, for over a month now. Preston is one of a half dozen coaches known to have interviewed for the post. The best known of the possibilities is former St. John's coach Mike Jarvis, who now lives in Boca Raton.

Jarvis ended his run in New York a few years ago under a major NCAA cloud, but would bring name recognition. That appears to have been a priority in previous FAU searches, particularly when they hired former UNC coach Matt Doherty. Other reported candidates include former St. Louis head coach Brad Soderberg and assistants from UCF, USF, and FAU. It could be quite a while before Preston learns whether he will get his first college head coaching job. FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos told the Palm Beach Post last week that, "Time is really not of the essence."

Preston came to Florida from Notre Dame as Billy Donovan's fallback choice for the open spot on his staff resulting from the departure of Anthony Grant for the VCU head coaching job. His original target, Virginia's Rob Lanier, did choose to join the Florida staff a year later. Some names from that most recent search that could resurface as Florida candidates should Preston land the FAU job include Wake Forest's Jeff Battle and Russell Springmann of Texas.


Jonathan Mitchell wound up making three campus visits as he ponders his transfer options. Former Gator assistant Donnie Jones got the sophomore forward's last visit at Marshall, and he also went to see Seton Hall and Rutgers. No word as of yet on Mitchell's final destination.


New coach Trent Johnson isn't off to a hot start at LSU. Scout's number 29 player in this year's class, J'Mison Morgan, has asked to be released from his letter of intent. Word is he will likely sign with UCLA. Meanwhile, reports out of Baton Rouge Wednesday indicate that interim head coach Butch Pierre has decided to leave and join Travis Ford's staff with Oklahoma State. Pierre is considered a top defensive coach and a quality recruiter, so this seems like a loss for LSU.

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