So, we’re looking for a head coach, that sucks..
Here is a quick list we put together around the water cooler
Jim Whitesell ( currently keeping the seat warm)
- Currently - Interim Head Coach at Buffalo
- Highlights - He’s been coaching college Basketball since the 1980’s and had some success at Lewis University of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (Division II). He took the FLyers to four NCAA tournaments between 1997 and 2003.
- Thoughts - After Lewis he was hired by Loyola where his programs were ok but never broke through. Since then he has been an assistant at several successful programs. He’s be up there on my list but not first.
Bryan Hodgson ( players coach )
- Currently - Assistant Coach at Buffalo
- Highlights - Hodgson was an assistant at the lower level schools before coming to Buffalo. While with the Bulls for four years he has shown great adeptness at scouting and recruiting talent.
- Verdict - He’s proven as an assistant, he can recruit, he’s a local with ties to the area, and he has shown an ability to connect with the players. Pretty much the entire editorial staff has him as our first pick.
Rick Pitino ( high risk, high reward)
- Currently - head coach of Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and the EuroLeague.
- Highlights - Did amazing things at Louisville where he was into the NCAA tournament or NIT every year. He also made a couple of deep runs that had to be vacated (see below)
- Verdict - Pitino got scooped up in a pay for play scandal which cost him his job and cost the Cards a national title. He also had other “issues” at Louisville that would make this a really risky hire. There is the potential for a big upside or that he would burn a program to the ground.
Turner Battle (always a name to be brought up)
- Currently - Assistant coach at UAB
- Highlights - A former Buffalo player and part of the Witherspoon tree he’s been at UAB since 2014 and the Blazers have had a few really solid teams since then.
- Verdict - His name used to be higher on my list and it might one day ascend again. In fact I would love for whoever takes over at Buffalo to try and get him on the staff here, but I’m not sure this is the right time.
Christian Laetner (several people on Twitter)
- Currently - He’s been running numerous youth basketball training camps
- Highlights - Buffalo native with a Duke pedigree and NBA experience. He is a big name but has just one year of assistant coaching under his belt.
- Verdict - I’d not be opposed to him as an assistant but Buffalo, for now, does not need a “big name” hire to get on the map. We have proven to be a school that can win championships, be ranked, and can do it with a former HS coach.
Donyell Marshall (Bull Run Water Cooler)
- Currently - Head coach at Central Connecticut
- Highlights - Worked on the Oats staff for a year as a player development guy... Oh yea and he had a very nice NBA career.
- Verdict - He’s been at Central Conn for a few seasons and so far there’s been no real fruit there. If the Blue Devils had shown growth he would be higher up on my list, but I don’t think he would be a bad hire.
John Becker (hat tip to the Buffalo News)
- Currently - Head Coach at Vermont
- Highlights - Since taking over at Vermont in 2011 he is averaging 24 wins a year, has led the Catamounts to three NCAA Tournaments, three America East tournament championships and two NIT berths since he took over the program in 2011. He’s also averaged 24 wins a season as a coach.
- Verdict - Very accomplished mid major coach but he has no ties to Buffalo so that may slide him down a bit on my list but he is an intriguing candidate.