Coaching vacancies bring familiar questions
Monday, May 16, 2011
It’s that time of the season – when talk begins about what jobs are open in college golf and who is going where. The big one right now is the vacancy at North Carolina. John Inman retired after 13 seasons, leaving this job open and setting it up to perhaps be the one that sets a few dominos in motion.
If you are a North Carolina administrator or booster or alum who has an interest in golf, it’s really simple: Just target some of the best names in the game and go fishing!
UNC could look at a former Tar Heel, who is now coaching elsewhere: Andrew Sapp at Michigan, who has done a very good job in Ann Arbor. I am hearing current Gardner-Webb coach Tee Burton, who is a former All-American at UNC, might also be in the mix.
Or North Carolina could go after some of the best in the business that might consider taking over a program many feel has the possibilities of being a national contender.
Why not go after last year’s college coach of the year – Josh Gregory at Augusta State. Gregory led the Jaguars to victory at the national championship and has made Augusta State a top program for the past several years now.
With family ties in Carolina area, some expect Auburn coach Nick Clinard might be interested, although I think he has a good thing going at Auburn.
I really doubt this position in Chapel Hill will stay vacant long. I would expect something shortly after the NCAA Championship concludes.
Wisconsin and Charlotte are two other jobs that have people talking.
The Wisconsin job could easily be filled by now if they targeted the right fit for the program. The Badgers would not have to look far, as there are some quality assistants right in the Big Ten. Start with Greg Robertson at Purdue, Chris Whitten at Michigan or Jon Dunap at Penn State. These are three guys who are highly thought of and know the landscape. However, if they did go outside the Big Ten, Colorado State’s Jamie Bermel would make sense. He has built a winning program in Ft. Collins and is originally from Iowa.
Charlotte has taken a bit of a backseat with these other two BCS-school vacancies. However, it’s a place where you can win conference titles and get to a regional each year. Current Duke coach Jamie Green proved that this program can compete at the highest level and a guy like Middle Tennessee’s Whit Turnbow or Missouri’s Mark Leroux might be a good fit here and it could be considered a bit of a step up for both coaches.
If this were the college basketball coaching carousel you would hear the name of Liberty’s Jeff Thomas simply because of the great year the Flames have had. Even Kennesaw State’s Jay Moseley or Southeast Louisiana’s Tim Baldwin could be mentioned.
Something we rarely see is the Division-I jobs going to some of the top coaches at the lower levels, which I don’t entirely understand. Why not call Steve Conley at Division-III Methodist – his record speaks for itself. Or even Matt Mahanic at Huntingdon College. Mahanic has the look and the attitude to fit right in at the D-I level.
A few more coaches worthy of a mention: Why not call Allan Bratton, assistant at Oklahoma State? I have always thought a bigger BCS school needs to call San Diego State’s Ryan Donovan. There’s no question Mark Hankins at Iowa would turn any program around – he did it at both Michigan State and Iowa. And the Iowa turnaround might be just short of a miracle, especially as quickly as Hankins did it.
There will still be a lot of talk and openings in the next couple of months, and plenty of candidates for administrators to go after rather than sitting back and waiting for applications.