SMU is on the hunt for its basketball coach of the future.
The Mustangs relieved Matt Doherty of his duties a little over two weeks ago on the heels of a miserable 13-19 (4-13 Conference USA) season.
With Academic Search Senior Consultant David Braine and SMU Athletic Director Steve Orsini on the case, quite a few "big name" candidates have surfaced over the last couple weeks. It appeared that Marquette head coach Buzz Williams was No. 1 on the wish list—and SMU was willing to pay him north of his current salary of $2.6 million plus a $3 million buyout—but the school released a statement this week saying he will be staying put. Golden Eagles assistant coach Tony Benford has also been linked to the Mustangs' search, but his name has lost traction.
Below are some old and new names believed to be on Orsini's updated list. However, the athletic director never likes to show his whole hand, so there are probably other names being discussed behind the scenes.
Orsini is on the NCAA committee and is currently in New Orleans for the Final Four weekend—he's actually been traveling to games throughout the tournament and was on the selection committee. In NOLA he'll bump into quite a few of the names below, as the Final Four is also a place where many coaches—and possible candidates—rendezvous every year.
It would be wise to think that Orsini could strike a deal in the next couple of days. And money appears to be a non-issue.
Until then, here are some coaches to think about…
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Notable: The legendary Hall of Fame Coach told myriad news outlets this week that he wants to keep coaching, whether it be as a head coach, assistant, mentor…anything. Brown may be 71, but his health is in check and he loves the game. He could, perhaps, be a guy who would give the program a quick turnaround. Only thing is, Brown hasn't been in the college game since 1989 and his last coaching stint was with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010. But if he wants to be the head coach at SMU and the feeling is mutual the Mustangs should jump onboard. He's the only coach to win both NCAA and NBA titles, having led Kansas to the 1988 championship and the Detroit Pistons to one in '04. Brown will be in New Orleans for the Final Four weekend, and so will Orsini.