SMU Coaching Hot Board 2.0

As we head into the Final Four weekend, here's an updated list of possible candidates for the Mustangs' head basketball coaching vacancy. SMU Athletic Director Steve Orsini, who is a member of the NCAA committee, is in New Orleans for the Final Four and could likely interview and strike a deal with a new coach in a matter of days...

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.

We'll see.

Until then, here are some coaches to think about…

SMU Coaching Hot Board
Larry Brown
Currently: Not ready to enjoy retirement

Age: 71
Salary: $7 million (reportedly with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010)
Career Record: 1,275-965 (ABA, NBA); 177-61 (at UCLA and Kansas)

Bio: Click Here

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.
 

Seth Greenberg
Currently: Virginia Tech HC (ACC)

Age: 55
Salary: $1.3 million
Career Record: 154-106

Bio: Click Here

Notable: Greenberg is the latest name to come up in the SMU coaching search. Though he's been linked through a couple different sources, other reports have come out with Greenberg denying he's been contacted by the Mustangs. Greenberg has a daughter at Virginia Tech and one who's a senior in high school, so a move to Dallas seems unlikely. But despite all of that, Greenberg lives in the same neighborhood as Braine, so it would be easy for SMU to stop by and ask to borrow a cup of sugar.
 

Bruce Weber
Currently: Former HC at Illinois (Big Ten)

Age: 55
Salary: $1.3 million
Career Record: 210-101

Bio: Click Here

Notable:Weber was at Illinois for nine seasons (2004-12) before being fired this year after a 17-15 (6-12 Big Ten) outing. The Fighting Illini won two conference championships (2004, '05) and were runner-up twice ('06, '09) under Weber. He is currently in New Orleans for the Final Four as well.
 

Paul Hewitt
Currently: George Mason HC (Patriot League)

Age: 48
Salary: $659,750
Career Record: 24-9 (in first year at George Mason)

Bio: Click Here

Notable: In his first season at George Mason, Hewitt led the Patriots to a 24-9 record, but the team was passed over by the National Invitation Tournament and the school opted to not play in the third-tier Collegeinsider.com Tournament. Prior to this gig, Hewitt coached at Georgia Tech for 11 seasons, where the Yellow Jackets went to the NCAA Tournament five times, played for a national championship (2004) and two ACC championships. Hewitt, who hails from Jamaica, was also named the head coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Under-19 World Championship Team. He knows how to recruit the Dallas area as he once upon a time snagged Chris Bosh out of Lincoln.
 

Scott Sutton
Currently: Oral Roberts HC (Patriot League)

Age: 41
Salary: N/A
Career Record: 250-161 (in 13 years at ORU)

Bio: Click Here

Notable: Sutton has been quoted saying that "it would have to be a special situation for me to leave ORU" so could SMU be that place? He has been linked to the job by a handful of reports. Sutton was also associated with the Nebraska and Tulsa positions before they were filled, and the recent Kansas State and Colorado State vacancies, too. Under Sutton, Oral Roberts, which is moving from the Summit League to the Southland Conference next year, played in three NCAA tournaments, two NITs and one CIT. The Golden Eagles won the regular season conference championship this season and then lost to Nevada two weeks ago in the first round of the NIT to finish the year off 27-7.
 

Johnny Jones
Currently: North Texas HC (Sun Belt)

Age: 51
Salary: $450,000
Career Record: 205-162 (in 11 years at ORU)

Bio: Click Here

Notable: Jones is an obvious candidate for this job as Denton is just down the street from SMU. Jones is a proven winner, having led the Mean Green to five straight 20-win seasons, including two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and '10. He knows how to recruit locally, which is something the Mustangs pride themselves on, but the thing is, would Jones even be interested in the SMU job? With his track record, he may want to hold out for something bigger.
 

Scott Cross
Currently: UT-Arlington HC (SLC)

Age: 37
Salary: $116,500
Career Record: 103-81 (6th year at UTA)

Bio: Click Here

Notable: During his six seasons in Arlington, Cross has guided the Mavericks to the school's only appearance in the NCAA Tournament and a Southland Conference championship (both in 2008). Cross also reached 50 wins faster than any coach in UTA history. This season, the Mavericks earned a bid to the NIT, but were ousted by Washington in the first round. The school has also been invited to join the WAC, which will become effective this July.
 

Doc Sadler
Currently: Unemployed (formerly the head coach at Nebraska)

Age: 51
Salary: $900,000
Career Record: 149-107 (101-89 in 6th year at Nebraska)p> Bio: Click Here

Notable: After six seasons with the Huskers, Doc Sadler was fired earlier this month. The team finished the year 12-18. During Sadler's tenure, Nebraska made the NIT three times, but only advanced to the second round of the tournament once. Before taking the job with the Huskers, Sadler spent two seasons as the head coach at UTEP, where the Miners went 48-17 and made the NCAA Tournament in the coach's first season.
 

Brooks Thompson
Currently: UTSA HC (SLC)

Age: 41
Salary: N/A
Career Record: 151-105 (96-91 in 6th year at UTSA)

Bio: Click Here

Notable: The former NBA First Round draft pick and Oklahoma State star has registered the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament win in any sport (2010 over Alabama State), captured a league championship ('10), made two tournament title game appearances and recorded the most successful three-year stretch (58 wins) in nearly 20 years. This season the Roadrunners finished 18-16 with an overtime loss in the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament to McNeese State.
 


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