As we trudge on through this SMU basketball coaching search, new names pop in and out of the spotlight. David Braine, the former athletic director at Georgia Tech, is leading the search for the Mustangs. As The Dallas Morning News noted, this is a change in the firm SMU used to use in Plano-based Eastman and Beaudine.
Braine is currently the senior consultant of Academic Search, which is a search firm out of Washington D.C. According to sources close to the program, Braine and SMU athletic director Steve Orsini, who is currently in Boston for the Sweet 16/Elite 8 East Region games, have sent out feelers to some attractive candidates as of late.
Here is a list of head coaches in an order that I've heard is what SMU wants the most to least:
Buzz Williams – Marquette
Tommy Amaker – Harvard
Brad Stevens – Butler
Dan Monson – Long Beach State
I've been told some of the higher powers are willing to pay a buyout – Williams, for example, would be over $3 million – which is good news because if this program wants to grow and have success in the Big East, they need to go through the necessary steps, no matter how expensive. Winning comes at a price sometimes.
Names like Scott Cross (UTA), Johnny Jones (UNT), Paul Hewitt (George Mason), Brooks Thompson (UTSA) and Doc Sadler (formerly at Nebraska) are still in the mix, but assume if one of those guys is hired, SMU's powers that be went after the aforementioned list first.
As the NCAA Tournament winds down, SMU's coaching search will heat up. This time next week we should know even more.
Also there are likely a couple more names not on this list that Orsini is interested in.
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