Coaching Search: Jordan Emerges as Leader

Los Angeles Lakers assistant and Rutgers alum Eddie Jordan emerged as a leading contender for the head coaching position vacated by Mike Rice last week, sources told ScarletReport.com. Jordan has had a busy career since helping lead Rutgers to a Final Four in 1976 and ScarletReport.com is here to take an in-depth.

Eddie Jordan was involved in the last Rutgers coaching search and has emerged as a leading candidate three years later after the firing of Mike Rice. Sources told ScarletReport.com that there is mutual interest between the two parties and a meeting is imminent with Rutgers looking to quickly replace Rice as the head of the program.

Without an athletic director in place, interim athletic director Carl Kirschner and president Robert Barchi have both played roles in the search, along with others, and will meet this weekend to discuss the position, according to a Yahoo! report.

Though no offer has taken place, the process is moving quickly and ScarletReport.com is here to take a look at the former Washington Wizards head coach and his background.

Coaching Background

Jordan had a short unsuccessful stint with the Sacramento Kings nearly 20 years ago and is best known for six seasons with the Washington Wizards. Jordan's overall winning percentage (43) is not impressive but he kept local buzz around a program looking for an identity after Michael Jordan's third retirement.

Jordan's second year with the Wizards was the only time they have won a playoff series since changing their name from the Washington Bullets and the program has only gotten worse since his firing in 2009.

Jordan lost his job after a 1-10 start and the Wizards have not made the playoffs since doing it four straight times under Jordan.

Locally, he is known for pulling many of the strings during strong seasons with the New York Nets. The lead assistant under Byron Scott, Jordan played a key role in some of the best remembered Nets seasons.

Now an assistant with the Lakers, Jordan is often credited with turning around a struggling offense Jordan is a specialist in the Princeton offense, against which Rutgers faces on a yearly basis. Interim head coach David Cox has the roster well versed in the scheme because of his time at Georgetown. It is an offense that Kobe Bryant praised with the Lakers and revolves around an impact center.

Recruiting Background

Jordan is going to need an ace staff to help him with recruiting after being out of the college game for 25 years. Jordan's last college gig, an assistant coaching job at Rutgers, was in 1988 and recruiting is a changed art form.

Jordan has just four years of coaching experience at the college level but has ties to all of the key Rutgers recruiting areas because of successful years with the Nets and Wizards. Of course, lack of experience does not always foreshadow lack of success in recruiting. Look at what Bill O'Brien did for Penn State football with no head-coaching experience and coming from an NFL job.

Keeping assistants gets tricky because of ties to Rice and the dark mark it left above the RAC, but it is still a possibility.

Playing Background

More seasoned Rutgers fans remember Jordan fondly for his tenacity and leadership in the greatest years of the program's history. Jordan was a regional MVP in the 1976 NCAA tournament and helped lead Rutgers to a Final Four alongside Phil Sellers. Nearly forty years later, Jordan has the most assists in Rutgers history with his name all over the school all-time record books.


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