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Coaching Changes

September 25, 2003 Columns No Comments

Tracking the Coaching Changes

by Michael Protos

With over 300 Division I programs in college basketball, coaching changes
are a fact of life. Situations may differ – some coaches retire, some are
fired, some move on to better jobs, some move on to more challenging jobs.
This year, 45 programs replaced their coaches.

Many coaching changes create a domino effect as up-and-coming coaches fill
vacancies created at top notch programs. The best case this year is the
rotation involving Roy Williams, Bill Self and Bruce Weber. Williams left
Kansas to return to North Carolina. Self chose the Kansas job over staying
in Illinois, which created the opportunity for Weber to move from Southern
Illinois to Illinois.

Fortunately, not all coaching changes wreak such havoc across the NCAA.
Check out the list below to see who is changing addresses this year.

Alcorn State Braves (SWAC)
Last season’s record: 14-19
Former coach: Davey Whitney
New coach: Samuel West
Whitney retired as the Braves coach after 27 productive years and a career
record of 565-357. Under Whitney’s tenure, Alcorn State become a force in
the Southwestern Conference. West has big shoes to fill in his first
Division I coaching job. But as an assistant under Whitney, West had a good
mentor and Braves fans will expect similar results.

Arkansas – Little Rock Trojans (Sun Belt)
Last season’s record: 18-12
Former coach: Porter Moser
New coach: Steve Shields
Moser left the Trojans after three seasons to coach at Illinois State. Moser
accumulated a 54-34 record in those three seasons. Shields steps in to fill
Moser’s place. He was an assistant under Moser and now has his first
Division I coaching opportunity at UALR.

Baylor Bears (Big 12)
Last season’s record: 14-14
Former coach: Dave Bliss
New coach: Scott Drew
Probably the most infamous of the offseason coaching moves, Bliss was caught up in the Patrick Dennehy murder scandal. Taped by his own assistant plotting to cover up multiple NCAA violations by blaming the deceased Dennehy, Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned on August 9th, and school president Robert Sloan put the program on two year’s probation. Valparaiso head coach Scott Drew stepped up and answered the call to try to resurrect the Bear program.

California State – Fullerton Titans (Big West)
Last season’s record: 10-19
Former coach: Donny Daniels
New coach: Bob Burton
Another new coach, Ben Howland, lured Donny Daniels away from the Titans to
UCLA. Daniels will be an assistant under Howland after serving as the
Titans’ head coach for the past three seasons. Daniels inherited a team
under NCAA probation and registered 20 total wins in those three years.
Burton will replace Daniels. He was an assistant coach at Fresno State last
year during the Bulldogs meteoric rise to the top of the WAC.

Campbell Camels (Atlantic Sun)
Last season’s record: 5-22
Former coach: Billy Lee
New coach: Robbie Laing
After a dismal final campaign, Lee resigned as the Camels’ coach after 18
years. He had compiled a 216-286 record. Laing comes to Campbell from Kansas
State where he was an assistant coach the previous two seasons. Laing also
has been an assistant at Southern Mississippi, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia
Southern. This assignment will be his first Division I coaching experience.

Chicago State Cougars (Mid-Continent)
Last season’s record: 3-27
Former coach: Bo Ellis
New coach: Kevin Jones
Jones replaced Ellis as head coach of the Cougars with twelve games
remaining last season. Jones will have a fresh start and a full season this
year, and there is nowhere to go but up. The Cougars have not won a
conference game in a couple years and that is a streak Jones must stop to
help right this ship.

Clemson Tigers (ACC)
Last season’s record: 15-13
Former coach: Larry Shyatt
New coach: Oliver Purnell
In the ACC, coaches that don’t reach the NCAA Tournament within five years
of taking the job have some explaining to do. Shyatt had run out of answers
and resigned following last season’s 15-13 finish. Purnell brings 15 years
of Division I coaching experience and a 256-191 career record to the Tigers.
Most recently, Purnell resurrected Dayton’s program and led the Flyers to a
fantastic season last year in the Atlantic 10 and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA

Cleveland State Vikings (Horizon)
Last season’s record: 8-22
Former coach: Rollie Massimino
New coach: Mike Garland
Massimino resigned as the Vikings’ coach, a position he occupied since 1996.
But Massimino will be remembered as the coach of the Villanova Wildcats’
stunning championship run in 1985, in which they upset the heavily favored
Georgetown Hoyas. Massimino finished his career with a 515-391 record.
Garland comes to the Vikings via Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans,
where he was an assistant coach for the past seven seasons.

Columbia Lions (Ivy)
Last season’s record: 2-25
Former coach: Armond Hill
New coach: Joseph Jones
Hill coached the Lions for the past eight years and amassed a 72-141 record.
He was fired after his Lions were tamed for 25 losses last season, winning
only twice. Jones arrives at Columbia after six years as an assistant coach
at Villanova. It will be his first Division I head coaching job.

Dayton Flyers (Atlantic 10)
Last season’s record: 24-6
Former coach: Oliver Purnell
New coach: Brian Gregory
Purnell left Dayton for the Clemson Tigers and the glamour of the ACC. In
his place, Gregory will take the reigns of the Flyers who dominated Atlantic
10 competition last season and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Gregory is another Izzo protege and has been several years of assistant
coaching experience. The Dayton job will be his first head coaching

Drake Bulldogs (Missouri Valley)
Last season’s record: 10-20
Former coach: Kurt Kanaskie
New coach: Tom Davis
When Drake starts the ’03-’04 campaign, the Bulldogs will have one of the
best coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference at the helm. Davis replaces
Kanaskie as head coach, and Davis has a resume that is strong enough to
coach at most major programs. He is 543-290 lifetime, and he has coached at
Lafayette, Boston College, Stanford and Iowa. He led Iowa to a No. 1 ranking
in his first season at Iowa in ’87-’88. Kanaskie had been the Bulldogs’
coach since 1996.

East Tennessee State Buccaneers (Southern)
Last season’s record: 20-11
Former coach: Ed DeChellis
New coach: Murray Bartow
DeChellis left East Tennessee State for Penn State after last season’s
successful run to the NCAA Tournament. In seven years of coaching the Bucs,
DeChellis earned a 105-93 record. Replacing DeChellis, Bartow returns to the
sidelines as a head coach. He had been the coach of Alabama – Birmingham
from 1996-2002, earning a 103-83 record.

Elon Phoenix (Big South)
Last season’s record: 12-15
Former coach: Mark Simons
New coach: Ernie Nestor
Simons resigned after ten seasons as the Phoenix’s head coach, finishing his
stint at Elon with a 109-169 record. Nestor spent many years as an assistant
under Dave Odom when he was coach at Wake Forest. Nestor comes to Elon with
several years of head coaching experience at George Mason.

Fordham Rams (Atlantic 10)
Last season’s record: 3-26
Former coach: Bob Hill
New coach: Dereck Whittenburg
Whittenburg coached Wagner last season to an NCAA Tournament berth, and he
compiled a 67-50 record since 1999 as the Seahawks’ coach. But Whittenburg’s
claim to fame is that he was the NC State guard who heaved the desperation
shot at the end of the 1983 national championship game against Houston.
Lorenzo Charles caught Whittenburg’s Hail Mary and slammed down the winning
points. Hill exited Fordham with a 38-76 record over four seasons.

Georgia Bulldogs (SEC)
Last season’s record: 19-8
Former coach: Jim Harrick
New coach: Dennis Felton
An embarrassing academic fraud scandal decimated a season full of hope for
Harrick’s Bulldogs, culminating in Georgia officials ousting the man who
seems to be a magnet for trouble. Despite repeated off-court concerns,
Harrick’s coaching talents have yielded a 470-235 record. Felton, meanwhile,
is a rising star at age 39. In five years at Western Kentucky, Felton guided
the Hilltoppers to a 100-54 record and three consecutive NCAA Tournament

Georgia State Panthers (Atlantic Sun)
Last season’s record: 14-15
Former coach: Lefty Driesell
New coach: Michael Perry
Driesell is an NCAA icon and the fourth most successful coach in history.
With 786 wins in his career at Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia
State, he trails only Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Bobby Knight in Division I
victories. Everywhere Driesell went, success followed, and Georgia State was
no different. He guided the Panthers to five straight winning seasons and an
NCAA Tournament upset against the Wisconsin Badgers two years ago. Perry had
been an assistant under Driesell and took over when Driesell retired
midseason last year.

High Point Panthers (Big South)
Last season’s record: 7-20
Former coach: Jerry Steele
New coach: Bart Lundy
Steele served as head coach for the Panthers for 31 years, racking up 609
wins. His greatest accomplishment, however, was working to move High Point
out of Division II competition and into the premier Division I level in
1999. Lundy steps into his first Division I coaching job after several years
of success at the Division II level.

Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten)
Last season’s record: 24-6
Former coach: Bill Self
New Coach: Bruce Weber
The coaching change at Illinois completed a whirlwind ride on the coaching
carousel that started with Roy Williams leaving Kansas for North Carolina.
Self left the Illini to replace Williams at Kansas. Weber returns to the Big
Ten, in which he had been an assistant at Purdue for eighteen years, after
spending the past five seasons at Southern Illinois where he led the Salukis
to a successful 103-54 record and three post-season appearances.

Illinois State Redbirds (Missouri Valley)
Last season’s record: 8-21
Former coach: Tom Richardson
New coach: Porter Moser
Illinois State officials politely declined to renew Richardson’s contract
after a four-year tenure produced a 56-64 record. Moser replaces Richardson
after leading Arkansas – Little Rock to a 54-34 record in three seasons.
Moser is a native of the Missouri Valley conference as he played for

Iowa State Cyclones (Big 12)
Last season’s record: 17-14
Former coach: Larry Eustachy
New coach: Wayne Morgan
Eustachy falls under the category of coaches ousted after a scandal. He
resigned after an embarrassing expose of his off-court behavior. Eustachy
had compiled a 260-145 career record in thirteen seasons. The Cyclones
promoted Morgan to head coach after he spent last season as an assistant
coach. Morgan learned from Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim before becoming the
head coach of Long Beach State for six years with a 91-84 record.

Jackson State Tigers (SWAC)
Last season’s record: 10-18
Former coach: Andy Stoglin
New coach: Tevester Anderson
Stoglin and the Tigers parted ways after fourteen years and a 197-216
record. Stoglin led the Tigers to two NCAA Tournament appearances in that
time. Meanwhile, Anderson arrives at Jackson State after five successful
seasons at Murray State where he led the school to a 103-52 record and two
tournament appearances. Anderson’s resume includes stints as an assistant
coach at Georgia and Auburn.

Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12)
Last season’s record:
Former coach: Roy Williams
New coach: Bill Self
The Kansas job opened shortly after the Jayhawks’ loss to Syracuse in the
national championship game. Former coach Williams bolted Lawrence, Kan., for
Chapel Hill, N.C., where he had been an assistant coach for many years and
where Tar Heel fans feel he belonged. The Jayhawks gain an equally talented
coach in Self, who has a 207-105 record in ten years of coaching at three
schools – Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois. Self is no stranger to Kansas
where he served as an assistant coach to Larry Brown during the ’85-’86

Marshall Thundering Herd (MAC)
Last season’s record: 14-15
Former coach: Greg White
New coach: Ron Jirsa
White resigned as coach of the Thundering Herd to accept a position at the
University of Charleston, which is closer to his family. He cited the
time-consuming demands of a Division I coaching position that encouraged him
to accept a smaller gig. He had a 115-84 record at Marshall. Jirsa,
meanwhile, planned on working in Clemson this season when he accepted an
assistant coaching position under Oliver Purnell. But he jumped at the
opportunity to lead the Thundering Herd. Jirsa has years of coaching
experience and coached Georgia for two seasons, compiling a 35-30 record.

Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers (Northeast)
Last season’s record: 11-16
Former coach: Jim Phelan
New coach: Milan Brown
Phelan coached for 49 years and 1,354 games, which is more games than any
coach at any level. He registered 830 wins, but he is most famous for his
bow ties that he sported on the sidelines. The National Coach of the Year
award bears his name in honor of his longtime service at Mount Saint Mary’s.
Brown was an assistant coach under Phelan last season and will assume his
first head coaching position this season.

Murray State Racers (Ohio Valley)
Last season’s record: 17-12
Former coach: Tevester Anderson
New coach: Mick Cronin
Anderson announced his retirement from Murray State in March after five
seasons and a 103-52 record. He later accepted the head coaching position at
Jackson State. Cronin accepts his first coaching job, but he has learned
from Conference USA’s best as an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville
for two seasons and an assistant under Bobby Huggins at Cincinnati for six

North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC)
Last season’s record: 19-16
Former coach: Matt Doherty
New coach: Roy Williams
Doherty left Chapel Hill amidst rumors of behavior that has been described
as inconsistent with the Carolina spirit. Conspiracy theorists can delight
in whispers that Doherty got what he deserved or that the UNC family
(meaning Dean Smith) never really liked Doherty. He leaves Chapel Hill with
a 53-43 record in three seasons. After failing to woo Williams to North
Carolina three years ago, the Tar Heels succeeded this year. Williams brings
his career record of 418-101 to the place he started as an assistant coach
under Smith.

North Carolina A&T Aggies (MEAC)
Last season’s record: 1-26
Former coach: Curtis Hunter
New coach: Jerry Eaves
After winning only one game last season, the Aggies must put past failures
behind them, and they will have a new coach to guide them. Hunter exited
after four seasons and with an anemic 28-70 record. Eaves comes to town via
the NBA where he was an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers last
season. So Eaves goes from last year’s worst NBA team to last year’s worst
Division I team. Better luck this time around.

Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten)
Last season’s record: 7-21
Former coach: Jerry Dunn
New coach: Ed DeChellis
Dunn resigned as Penn State’s coach after eight years and a 117-121 record.
He enjoyed intermittent success over those years, including a Sweet 16 run
in 2001. DeChellis is a Penn State alum and returns to guide his alma mater
to prominence. He resurrected the East Tennessee State program in his seven
years there, accumulating a 105-93 record.

Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East)
Last season’s record: 28-5
Former coach: Ben Howland
New coach: Jamie Dixon
Howland coached Pitt to an 89-40 mark in four seasons and brought the
Panthers back to respectability in the Big East. Howland moved to the West
Coast to work his magic at UCLA. Dixon was an assistant under Howland the
last four years and will look to continue his predecessor’s work at Pitt.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (Atlantic 10)
Last season’s record: 13-14
Former coach: Jan van Breda Kolff
New coach: Anthony Solomon
The Bonnies enter the ’03-’04 with a black eye after an ugly scandal led to
van Breda Kolff’s dismissal. He finished two seasons at St. Bonaventure with
a 30-27 record. Solomon comes to the Bonnies from Notre Dame where he was an
assistant coach the past three seasons. This job will be his first Division
I head coaching experience.

South Carolina State Bulldogs (MEAC)
Last season’s record: 20-10
Former coach: Cy Alexander
New coach: Ben Betts
Alexander resigned as the Bulldogs’ coach to go to Tennessee State and
rebuild that program. Alexander established a winning tradition at South
Carolina State in his sixteen seasons at the helm. He had a 277-202 record.
Betts will begin his first head coaching position. Last season he was an
assistant coach at VCU.

South Florida Bulls (Conference USA)
Last season’s record: 15-14
Former coach: Seth Greenberg
New coach: Robert McCullum
Greenberg left South Florida to coach Virginia Tech, which will move from
the Big East to the ACC starting in the ’04-’05 season. McCullum left
Western Michigan and the MAC to coach South Florida. He was a coach there
for three years and racked up a 44-45 record, including a trip to the NIT
this past season.

Southern Jaguars (SWAC)
Last season’s record: 9-20
Former coach: Ben Jobe
New coach: Michael Grant
Southern selected Grant to lead the Jaguars after Jobe’s second chance at
coaching the team fell short of expectations. Jobe enjoyed a 193-101 record
in the late ’80s through the early ’90 before leaving for Tuskegee. He
returned for two seasons and only managed a 16-40 record. Grant steps into
his first Division I coaching job at Southern.

Southern Illinois Salukis (Missouri Valley)
Last season’s record: 24-7
Former coach: Bruce Weber
New coach: Matt Painter
Weber left the Salukis with a 103-54 record over five years. The reward for
his success is a position at Illinois, one of the nation’s top programs in a
high major conference. His top assistant, Painter, takes over as head coach.
Painter has been an assistant at Southern Illinois under Weber for the past
five years and hopes to continue Weber’s success.

Tennessee State Tigers (Ohio Valley)
Last season’s record: 2-25
Former coach: Nolan Richardson III
New coach: Cy Alexander
Richardson III resigned following an incident in which he brought a gun to
practice after an argument with an assistant coach. Alexander comes from
South Carolina State to rebuild this program that managed just two wins in
the midst of all the off-court disturbances.

UCLA Bruins (Pac 10)
Last season’s record: 10-19
Former coach: Steve Lavin
New coach: Ben Howland
Lavin’s removal was no surprise as UCLA suffered one of the program’s worst
seasons last year. Lavin finished 145-78 in seven years at UCLA. Howland
rebuilt the Northern Arizona and Pittsburgh programs in prior coaching
positions. He left Pitt with an 89-40 record over four seasons that included
two Sweet 16 appearances.

Valparaiso Crusaders (Mid-Continent)
Last season’s record: 20-11
Former coach: Scott Drew
New coach: Homer Drew
With the scandal at Baylor, Scott Drew decided to leave the comfy confines of Valparaiso and head to Texas to try to right the ship. Coming out of retirement to head up the Crusader program, the elder Drew will retain his position as special assistant to the president for university advancement. He has a career record of 505-307.

Virginia Tech Hokies (Big East)
Last season’s record: 11-18
Former coach: Ricky Stokes
New coach: Seth Greenberg
The Hokies released Stokes after four seasons and a 45-70 record. Stokes
failed to qualify Virginia Tech for the Big East tournament in the three
years that the school was in the conference. Greenberg will guide the Hokies
through their final Big East tour this season before Virginia Tech joins the
ACC in ’04-’05. He comes to the Hokies after coaching stints at Long Beach
State and most recently at South Florida. His career record is 213-170.

Wagner Seahawks (Northeast)
Last season’s record: 21-11
Former coach: Dereck Whittenburg
New coach: Mike Deane
Whittenburg constructed a winning tradition at Wagner, which won the
Northeast Conference’s regular season championship last season. He takes his
67-50 career record to Fordham to reconstruct one of the Atlantic 10’s more
dismal programs. Deane replaces Whittenburg at Wagner, bringing a 343-220
record over nineteen seasons of coaching. Most recently, Deane coached
Lamar, but his resume includes stops at Marquette, Siena and Oswego State.

Washington State Cougars (Pac 10)
Last season’s record: 7-20
Former coach: Paul Graham
New coach: Dick Bennett
Bennett replaces Graham who failed to bring the Cougars to prominence during
his four years at Washington State. Bennett returns to coaching out of
retirement. His coaching career includes work at several Wisconsin schools.
His most notable success was at the Wisconsin Badgers where he led them to a
Final Four appearance in 2000. Bennett’s career record is 453-258 and
280-178 at the Division I level.

Western Illinois Leathernecks (Mid-Continent)
Last season’s record: 7-21
Former coach: Jim Kerwin
New coach: Derek Thomas
Kerwin resigned as coach of the Leathernecks in March. He had been coach
since 1992 and had a 131-174 record. Thomas has been as assistant coach at
St. Louis and UNLV under head coach Charlie Spoonhour. The Western Illinois
job will be Thomas’ first Division I head coaching experience.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Sun Belt)
Last season’s record: 24-8
Former coach: Dennis Felton
New coach: Darrin Horn
Felton moves farther south to coach the Georgia Bulldogs and restore
respectability to a tarnished program. Felton spent the previous five
seasons leading Western Kentucky to frequent success with a 100-54 record.
Horn returns to Western Kentucky where he played and coached as an assistant
for two years. He spent the last four seasons working for Tom Crean in
Marquette as an assistant coach. This job will be his first head coaching

Western Michigan Broncos (MAC)
Last season’s record: 20-11
Former coach: Robert McCullum
New coach: Steve Hawkins
McCullum led the Broncos to a successful run through the MAC last season and
then accepted the coaching position at South Florida in Conference USA.
Hawkins, McCullum’s three-year assistant, becomes the new head coach. The
position will be Hawkins first Division I head coaching job.

William & Mary Tribe (CAA)
Last season’s record: 12-16
Former coach: Rick Boyages
New coach: Tony Shaver
Boyages leaves the Tribe after three seasons and a 33-52 record to return to
Ohio State as an associate head coach. Shaver replaces Boyages for his first
Division I head coaching job. Shaver played for Dean Smith at North Carolina
and has seventeen years of Division III coaching experience.

Wright State Raiders (Horizon)
Last season’s record: 10-18
Former coach: Ed Schilling
New coach: Paul Biancardi
Wright State released Schilling after he completed six seasons with a 75-93
record. The Raiders hope Biancardi will bring success to the program. He was
a pupil of head coach Jim O’Brien at Ohio State and Boston College. This job
will be his first head coaching experience.


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