March is fast approaching, and as the Top 4 teams all went down last week, some coaches are playing for their jobs.
While the powerhouses – Texas, Kansas, Ohio State, Pitt and Duke – are worrying about being #1 seeds come Tournament time, some coaches are simply worrying about being employed. The Wyoming and Stetson jobs are already open, while there are a handful of others on the “Coaching Bubble.”
The most obvious “Man Out” would seem to be Pat Kennedy at Towson. Winless in the CAA so far this year, he has done nothing in his time at the school. With a new AD in place for the Tigers, his first big hire has got to be someone who will dig in and work hard to make them competitive in a very tough conference.
Someone else who has done very little to build a program in five years at his school is Mike Dement at UNC Greensboro. Their schedule was loaded with ACC competition this year, to bring in some revenue, but the result has been five wins and a downward trend in his second stint with the Spartans. Frank Haith of Miami and Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech always seem to be in trouble in the ACC, but they are good coaches who work very hard. The fact that first year coaches in the conference (at BC and Clemson) have done better could hurt them, along with Sidney Lowe at NC State. Lowe also has a new AD – a basketball person with a lot of experience in the league.
Many smaller programs in Division I that are at the bottom of their leagues may also make changes. In their situations it may be a matter of finances and also who is available. In all cases, it comes down to the fact that Division I sports are a business – run by athletic directors who will make “business decisions” to make themselves look better. As we wait to see who makes the Tournament, as we wait to see who the #1 seeds are, and as we wait to see who makes the Final Four, we will wait to see who keeps their job. Editor’s Note: But who’s going to give Al Skinner a job?