April 21st, 2014 01:06 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Donnie Tyndall, Florida Billy Donovan, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss
While Missouri’s search for a new coach creeps along stealthily, the same can’t be said for Tennessee’s hunt. After attempting to woo some “A-list candidates” to Knoxville — only to be met with a lack of interest — the Volunteers turned their attention to Michael White of Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
White is a former point guard at Ole Miss and a former assistant coach there. He has been at Louisiana Tech for three years and has never reached an NCAA Tournament (which means his resume is quite similar to the one Cuonzo Martin’s owned when he was hired by UT three years ago).
White is also on the verge of saying “thanks, but no thanks” to Tennessee’s offer. According to CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish:
We at MrSEC.com were told last night that White would likely stay in Ruston. We believe White is asking for a large buyout from the school and after paying buyouts for numerous coaches over the years, Tennessee does not want to go down the big buyout road. The school’s reserve fund is currently less than $5 million. Most SEC schools have reserves greater than $50 million.
Sadly for athletic director Dave Hart’s sake, those fans who signed a petition to bring back Bruce Pearl have made the UT job a tough sell. Everyone — from the national media to most in the Knoxville media to the majority of the Volunteer fanbase — admits that fact. (Those who did the petitioning say the job is peachy and Hart must be a bad salesman.)
White’s desire for security is quite natural. If you were looking at a roster that’s losing four of its top five players — which doesn’t help matters — and you knew that the last guy was petition’d right out of town despite win totals of 19, 20 and 24 games in his three years, wouldn’t you be asking for petition insurance, er, I’m sorry, a big buyout?
If the White negotiations are indeed finished, look for Tennessee to turn to Donnie Tyndall of Southern Miss and Will Wade of Chattanooga as their search stumbles along. As was the case when Mississippi State fans were driving away Rick Stansbury, we warned, “Careful what you wish for.” And like MSU (which has lost 29 of its last 36 SEC games), UT is having to come to grips with the fact that their job looks better through their orange-colored glasses than it does to outsiders.
Meanwhile, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves are considering Florida’s Billy Donovan as their next coach. Yes, Billy Donovan.
That would seem like a very long shot from our perspective. In June of 2007, Donovan left the Florida Gators to become the head coach just down the road with the Orlando Magic. But he changed his mind soon after and returned to Gainesville within the week.
If he couldn’t leave Gainesville for Orlando, would he really uproot his family for Minneapolis?
Still, it’s an interesting story to keep an eye on.
As for Missouri, the Tigers’ search seems to be focused in on the same list of candidates that were on Tennessee’s initial list: Gregg Marshall of Wichita State, Mick Cronin of Cincinnati, Archie Miller of Dayton, Tim Miles of Nebraska and Chris Mack of Xavier. Marshall will want about $3 million to move and it’s doubtful AD Mike Alden will go that far.
If Mizzou finds it’s hunt to be as tough as Tennessee’s search, one wonders if ex-UCLA coach Ben Howland — a man whose name hasn’t gained traction in any search this offseason — might creep into the Tiger mix. He certainly has a good track record on the court. Not so much off it.
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