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Coaching Search: Running Post

This will be a living article where we track coaching candidates and rumors.

  • March 21st: On the Junkies radio show in DC today, best-selling author John Feinstein said Buzz Williams is Virginia Tech’s guy.  He talked about Buzz being unhappy with the administration at marquette, which has been mentioned by other sources.  He also talked about how Cronin, the coach at cincinnati, is very close to Whit and while Cronin isn’t going anywhere because he’s a Cincinnati guy, Cronin is friends with Buzz and it was inferred he may be playing up Whit to Buzz.  Feinstein is very well connected in the college basketball world but he is not well connected at VT, so take this (like all rumors on here) with a grain of salt.
    • Buzz would be a “name” hire for VT.  The funny thing is, he looks a bit like Greenberg to me although he may be shorter.  He has that Uncle Fester look working.  But definitely has the bald dome working.  And certainly not a GQ guy like Tony Bennett or Jay Wright.
    • Because of the rumors about Buzz hating the marquette administration, I don’t think this is a power play by Buzz (if true) to get more money.  I think if he interviews he will have genuine interest, but I could be wrong.
    • marquette was 9-9 in the Big East this year and 17-15 overall and didn’t make a postseason tournament. 
    • Buzz was 14-17 at new orleans in his first season as a head coach in 2006-07 and I’m assuming he was fired because he left to be an assistant at marquette the next year.
    • After one year as an assistant under Tom Crean at marquette, Buzz was named the head man for the 2008-09 season when Crean left for indiana.
    • In 6 seasons at marquette, he is 139-65 (68%) and 69-36 (66% — pretty darn impressive in the Big East).
    • marquette tied for the Big East regular season title last year.
    • Buzz led marquette to the NCAA Tournament each of his first 5 years there until this season, including the Elite 8 last year.
    • Buzz is 8-5 in the NCAA Tournament as a coach, including 7-3 in his last 3 appearances.
  • March 20th: I’m hearing Donnie Tyndall is the top candidate and has been for a while.  This is third hand information, so take it for what it is worth, but that’s the name I’m hearing as the front runner at this point.
    • Wikipedia Page
    • Tyndall is currently at southern miss in Conference USA where his teams have gone 55-16 in two seasons.  They are currently playing in the NIT, and will face missouri on Sunday.  They are 28-6 this season and won the C-USA regular season title at 13-3, but lost in the conference semis.  Last season they finished 27-10 and 12-4 (2nd in C-USA), and lost in the NIT Quarterfinals after winning two games.
    • It should be noted that southern miss was 25-9 and a #9-seed in the NCAA Tournament the year before he arrived, so Donnie didn’t exactly inherit a rebuilding effort.  But he was able to keep the machine running.  Tyndall replaced Larry “frat party” Eustachy who left for the colorado state job after the 2011-12 season.
    • Before that, Tyndall was the head coach at morehead state for 6 seasons where he led the eagles to a 114-84 record (won at least 20 games in 3 of his final 4 seasons), 2 conference titles (and NCAA Tourney appearances), and beat #4-seed louisville in the Second Round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
    • His career record as a NCAA head coach is 199-105 (66%).  He’s a winner for sure, the question will be could he recruit on such a big stage as the ACC.
    • Looking at his southern miss recruiting classes:
      • 2014 – Signed 5 (1 HS 2-star, 1 Post-Grad 2-star, and 3 Juco players who weren’t in the top 50 for Juco recruits — can’t depend on the Juco route at VT).  No one was above a 2-star on ESPN Recruiting Nation.
      • 2013 – 1 two-star Post-Grad, 1 Juco, 1 unranked player
      • I.e. Not very impressive on the recruiting front, though I do realize this is at southern miss.
  • March 18th: Bruce Pearl – cross him off.  He’s returning to the SEC as the head coach of auburn.  As I wrote a few weeks ago, I never expected him to take the VT job seriously as Seth (fellow ESPN colleague) has likely scared him off.  Another con to Pearl is he’s still under a NCAA show cause punishment until August of this year.  That means he cannot contact recruits until that is up, so he cannot talk to any recruits during the July evaluation period.  For a program at rock bottom like VT is, that wouldn’t exactly help us rebuild things in a hurry.  That said, I’d have loved to have gotten him and think he has the perfect personality for turning the program around.  I have no doubt he’ll do great things at auburn.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1277 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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9 Responses to “Coaching Search: Running Post”

  1. Pat Leonard says:

    His violation wasn’t all that egregious, and I’m happy to see Bruce Pearl is back to coaching again. Niemo, you make a good point about SG probably scaring Pearl away from the VT job. Today’s press conference gave me the vibe that Whit Babcock doesn’t expect to land a big name (or necessarily want one). Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart aren’t coming. The guys who are getting the least amount of votes in the sidebar poll (and rightfully so as this is a wish list), are the guys who have the highest probability of landing the job.

  2. Jaddams says:


  3. hooleyhoopty says:

    I’ve always liked Pearl but unfortunately he seems to follow the mantra that if you aren’t cheating then you aren’t trying. Funny thing is that in Whit’s press conference I feel in many ways the ideal candidate he was describing was Seth Greenberg. If only things had broken the right way during one of those bubble years we might be in a different situation.

    • Pat Leonard says:

      I agree, it did sound like the candidate he was describing was Greenberg with one exception… he is also looking to land a guy who is well-liked (talked about this when he mentioned Tony Bennett at UVA).

  4. Chris Hatcher says:

    Agreed. I like him, but he’s best served somewhere else where we can avoid that penalty and any future possible penalties. One thing that would absolutely cripple Tech right now is a rule-bender. Sure, maybe it would be good for a few years, but once it came out…back to where we are now.

  5. HokieSamsquanch says:

    I’d add Archie Miller to the list, I’m a fan of what he is doing in only his mid-30’s. I’d have to think Amaker would consider it after his failed Michigan stint. Danny Manning would bring some ‘cool’ back to the program and some NBA experience to sell recruits on. Of all the names on here that I hadn’t given much thought was Jeff Capel. He really got boned on his way out of Oklahoma, never got implicated in on any of it. I understood the firing once his golden boy Blake left…but a few of those squads pre-Oklahoma exodus were scary good. He already knows this area from 4 good years at VCU and you know he can recruit. Give him a ring Whit.

  6. Benjamin Kemp says:

    Read some articles today and saw Xavier’s Chris Mack mentioned a few times. Don’t get excited about him. He is the cousin of one of my best friends from high school and I have actually spent some time at Mack’s parents house in Cincinnati. Chris grew up in Cleveland and Cincy. He played at Xavier. He coached girls high school hoops in Cincy. Most of his family still lives in Ohio. I doubt he would ever leave Xavier unless it was for a boatload of cash…and I don’t even think that would make him leave.

  7. Rich Roberts says:

    Buzz wasn’t on the poll!! Of course nobody saw this one coming. So happy Whit knows how to over-deliver.

  8. King says:

    I don’t think any Hokie fans saw this coming. Buzz wasn’t even on the TechHoops fan wish list poll. What a coup!!! Hope he gets some air time exposure during the tourney to promote the program and talk about his plan for the future. Feelin’ Buzz!!!


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