Just as TCU prepares to play its first season in the Big 12, the players will have to adopt to a new head coach.
Jim Christian told reporters at his press conference today, "It was hard to let those kids know after what we've been through, I have to go."
"When I got the call from Ohio, I sprinted to the phone that day," Christian also told reporters. While Christian's wife Patty graduated from Ohio University, the TCU administration are now forced to examine exactly how much money they will be willing to ultimately put into the TCU basketball program.
Want a big name coach? Even more than money, TCU must now promise improvements to the locker rooms, offices, players lounge, arena, etc.
Director of Athletics Chris del Conte will begin the search for a new head man immediately. A source within the TCU administration told me on Tuesday, TCU would like to have a new coach hired "at least within the next week."
Without further ado, let's take a look at a list of potential candidates for the new head coaching position.
I have divided the candidates into 2 categories: coaches more likely to take an offer and stretches that TCU should at least call (Dixon, Amaker, etc.).
Sutton is the head coach at Oral Roberts University, and he is the son of Oklahoma State coaching legend Eddie Sutton.
Sutton has three trips to the NCAA tournament in 2006, 2007, 2008, and his team has had winning seasons in each of his last ten seasons. With a 223-154 record, Sutton is now just 42 and brings a lot of energy to his program.
A source within the basketball program told me that Sutton is the man that they hope TCU will choose.
Sutton has shown a penchant for big wins. In his career at Oral Roberts, his teams have knocked off the likes of Arkansas, Georgetown, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Seton Hall and USC.
The biggest win came when Oral Roberts beat #3 Kansas in 2006.
In his last two classes, Sutton has signed a player from Texas in each.
Marshall is currently the head coach at Wichita State University. His position at Wichita State is a good gig as WSU is one of the top mid-majors in the land.
Credit Marshall for making Wichita State a solid contender year-in and year-out.
Marshall has 8 NCAA tournament appearances under his belt, and he has won an NIT title (2011).
With back-to-back-to-back 25+ win seasons, Marshall's Wichita State team cracked the top-25 this season.
In 2007, his Winthrop team knocked off Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament to advance to the round of 32.
Marshall has a reputation as a national recruiter, but he has limited experience recruiting the state of Texas.
Cross is currently the head coach at UT-Arlington. As the head man, Cross has taken UTA from a team playing on a stage to a team now sporting a brand new arena.
In 2007, he took UTA to the NCAA tournament, and he took them to the NIT in 2011.
However, Cross would be making the jump from the Southland Conference to the Big 12. The jump would be huge, and TCU is likely to reach for a more sure bet.
At just 37 years old, Cross has a dynamic and firey personality. On the other hand, kids on a national level do not know Cross' name, and questions would arise about whether Cross could elevate the program without a major commitment to upgrade facilities first.
Snyder is currently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, and TCU fans will remember his name for the 10 years that he spent at the University of Missouri.
Snyder is likely biding his time until another college head coaching position comes calling.
The positives: Snyder knows the Big 12. He has 4 NCAA tournament appearances to boast. He knows the Big 12. He coached as an assistant for Mike Krzyzewski. He has 3 Final Four appearances as a player, and he has an Elite 8 as a coach.
The negatives: Snyder was forced to resign at Missouri as questions about the cleanliness of his program arose. Though there were no major infractions, Snyder resigned following his team's 10-11 start to the 2005-2006 season.
When Snyder arrived at Mizzou, he was considered a phenom and one of the nation's best young coaches. Like many former Duke assistants, he was highly sought after. He made the NCAA tournament in his first year at Mizzou despite what some have called the most under-talented NCAA tournament team in the past two decades.
Snyder is still just 45 years old and is well-known for his charisma and ability to connect with his players.
Majerus is currently the head coach at Saint Louis University. His previous stops include Marquette and Utah.
Throughout his 15 years at Utah, Majerus made 10 NCAA tournament appearances, and his team advanced all the way to the NCAA tournament game in 1997-1998.
This season was Majerus most successful at Saint Louis as he advanced to the round of 32 while his team won 26 games.
In an odd turn of events, Majerus was hired at USC as the head coach in 2004 but he quickly resigned just 5 days later when he said his health was not good enough to coach.
Majerus has a checkered past with allegations of verbal abuse of players. He would live out of hotels exhibit odd behavior often while at Utah.
Because of his past, I would not expect TCU to hire Majerus, and at age 64, would Majerus even want to change jobs one final time?
A proven track record he would have, but a risk he would also be.
What a hire Capel would be for TCU! As a former Duke players and current assistant at Duke, Capel would make a splash in the basketball world if he brought his talents to Fort Worth.
To hire Capel, several promises would have to be made regarding investments in the program.
However, I believe that Capel would listen to TCU if the Frogs called the former Oklahoma coach.
Finishing with back-to-back losing seasons at Oklahoma, I doubt Capel thought he would get another Big 12 job in the forseeable future, but TCU could offer just that.
Capel did have some success at Oklahoma. In 2008-2009, Capel won 30 games and made the Elite 8 thanks in large part to his signature recruit from the year before, Blake Griffin.
Capel has a 175-110 record in his head coaching career, and he would likely excite the TCU fan base.
At age 37, Capel is young and considered a solid recruiter on the national stage. Coupled with Reggie Brown, Capel and TCU could experience a nice upgrade in recruiting performance.
Consider Capel unlikely to take the TCU job, but if the Frogs do not call, they will never know.
Jones is currently the head man at North Texas, and his name has been brought up frequently by Frog fans over the last 2 days.
Jones played his college basketball at LSU, and having spent 11 seasons at UNT, Jones is familiar with Texas and Louisiana recruiting.
Jones has 2 NCAA tournament appearances in 2007 and 2010, but Jones has just a 91-88 record in Sun Belt Conference play.
Jones is older and would not be considered a big splash for TCU, but Jones could be on the short list of candidates if TCU is not able to haul in a larger name.
Jones is a well-respected coach and revered for his great integrity, but it is unknown if he could be as successful in the Big 12.
Consider Mooney my sleeper pick for the head coaching position. Mooney is currently the coach at Richmond, and he has led the Spiders to two NCAA tournaments in the last 3 years.
Richmond made the Sweet 16 just two years ago before undergoing a rebuilding this season.
Mooney is young. His youth and enthusiasm for the game. ? He is currently signed through 2020 at Richmond, but a more lucrative deal could likely lure the 39 year old away from the school that he has now been at for 6 seasons.
Mooney was one of the top candidates for the University of Tennessee job a season ago, and I still consider him one of the best young coaches in college basketball.
My belief is that Mooney would take the job if offered.
Of course everyone and their mother dreams of TCU getting their golden son to come back home.
I will line up in the shocked line if he does choose to come to Fort Worth.
A guaranteed renovation of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum would have to be promised to lure Jamie Dixon who would most likely require a contract paying close to 2 million per year.
Place Chris del Conte at the top of your list of miracle workers if he gets Dixon. I just don't think he will.
A record of 238-77 in 9 years at Pittsburgh makes Dixon one of America's top coaches.
Amaker coaches at Harvard. Based on that fact alone, one would think that he would be likely to listen to TCU if they came calling.
However, his best recruiting class ever is coming into Harvard, and he has won 20+ games in three straight seasons at Harvard.
This past season, he ventured to his second NCAA tournament before losing to Vanderbilt.
His results at his previous starts (Seton Hall, Michigan) were mixed as he made just one NCAA tournament in 10 seasons at those schools.
Amaker just used a contract offer from the University of Miami to get more money at Harvard. The success that he is currently having is likely to keep him at Harvard for now, but he would be a great hire for the Frogs.
Despite simply coaching at Long Beach State, Monson would likely be difficult to sway to Fort Worth.
Monson's name is going to be linked to job openings for as long as he continues to thrive LBU.
Monson made the NCAA tournament this year which was his second straight 22+ win season. The last two years in the Big West Conference, Monson is 29-3 with Long Beach State, and only an upset in the conference tournament kept the 49ers out of the NCAA tourney in 2010-2011.
A draw back from Monson is that he has never coached anywhere near Texas.
A great coach with an unproven Texas recruiting record is likely to wait for an even more appealing offer elsewhere.
Springmann is currently an assistant coach at the University of Texas. He is in his 11th season as an assistant coach and his 14th season at Texas.
Springmann has been crucial in helping Texas send 14 players to the draft in Springmann's first 10 years as an assistant coach.
Some Frog fans may remember Texas' loaded 2007 recruiting class which included D.J. Augustin, Damion James, and Kevin Durant. Well...Springmann was the assistant coach responsible for signing all three.
His track record is proven. He is young, but he has yet to be a head coach. Perhaps an opportunity at TCU could lure
Springmann. Stay tuned for more updates as TCU's coaching search goes on.