Plenty of Names to Sort Through for Tech

Louisiana Tech has already received mountains of interest from coaches looking to get their name on the short list for the head coaching position for Bulldog basketball. Some of the names have been mentioned in past years, while some are new names on the scene.

In-State coaches with connections to Tech include Mike McConathy and Dave Simmons. Simmons just led McNeese State to a 21-12 record and a berth in the NIT. The former Bulldog player was recently named the NABC District 23 Coach of the Year. McConathy, Tech's second all-time leading scorer, took Northwestern State to the NCAA tournament twice in his twelve years there. The Demons are 2-2 in the NCAA tournament during that span, including a 2006 upset of Iowa.

Coaches that will be mentioned for several jobs in the country include Billy Kennedy of Murray State, Donnie Tyndall of Morehead State, and Johnny Jones of North Texas. All three coaches have coached in the State of Louisiana. Jones and Kennedy's names have been attached to SEC jobs. Tyndall's Morehead State team just beat Louisville in the NCAA tournament. The Morehead State graduate will likely be in line for a big pay raise and will surely pick up a few offers from larger programs. Louisiana Tech would have to significantly increase the basketball budget to bring in a head coach with the kind of buzz these coaches have going for them at this time.

Assistant Coaches in the region include Steve Forbes, who coached at Tech previously and most recently coached under Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. Michael White from Ole Miss is a younger coach, but the former Rebel point guard with a reputation for toughness has connections in Arkansas and Mississippi that would help him in recruiting. Mark Morefield recruited Louisiana native Lacedarius Dunn to Baylor. Morefield is another young, up and coming coach in the region. Glynn Cyprien has coached at Memphis, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, and Arkansas as well as early stops in Texas at Lamar and UT-San Antonio. Both White and Cyprien are New Orleans natives.

Joe Pasternak, like Billy Kennedy, is a former assistant at Cal with head coaching experience in Louisiana. Kennedy was previously a head coach at Centenary and Southeastern Louisiana. Pasternak just finished his fourth year at UNO, where the basketball program is making the transition out of Division One. UNO was 19-13 under Pasternak in his first year with wins over Louisiana Tech and North Carolina State. The Privateers finished 16-6 against a watered down schedule this year, but they played Tulane within 4 points and beat Birmingham Southern by 29.

Former NBA player Brooks Thompson just finished his fifth season at Texas-San Antonio with a bid in the NCAA tournament. Thompson was drafted in the first round out of Oklahoma State by the Orlando Magic in 1994. Thompson spent one year at Southeastern Louisiana and has also been an assistant at Arizona State. Texas-San Antonio is 58-38 in Thompson's last three seasons, winning at least 19 games all three years.

Louisiana Tech is looking to move fast with this hire, but they are determined to be thorough in their search. A short list of favorites should emerge next week.

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