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Thursday, March 25, 2010

A closer look at the top potential candidates for the UCF men’s basketball coaching job

A closer look at the top potential candidates for the UCF men’s basketball coaching job

UCF Basketball — posted by Iliana Limón on March, 24 2010 7:27 AM

I wrote about the UCF men’s basketball coaching search for today’s edition of the paper. Here’s a closer look at several prominent coaches have been tied to the job:

– Todd Bozeman, Morgan State head coach
Buzz: Bozeman was a talented young coach at California who was booted out of coaching when he admitted to paying a player’s parents. He spent nearly a decade away from college basketball working as an NBA assistant and AAU coordinator. He took over Morgan State five years ago. He has led the school to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Although UCF recently was hit with an NCAA major infractions case in football, Tribble didn’t rule out considering candidates with NCAA baggage.

– Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech head coach
Buzz: A lot of dominos would have to fall in order for UCF to get land the Yellow Jackets’ coach. Hewitt is widely considered a strong recruiter, but he has been under fire for failing to get those players to perform consistently. It seems Georgia Tech would like to see him go and Hewitt doesn’t sound happy dealing with negative attention, but he has a $7 million buyout that would have to be waived by both sides in order for him to make a move. Georgia Tech officials did confirm they have granted Hewitt permission to speak with St. John’s about its head coaching job. Hewitt told the Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday he didn’t not plan on leaving Georgia Tech.

– Buzz Peterson, Appalachian State head coach
Buzz: Peterson is in his second stint at Appalachian State. After leading the program to three regular-season Southern Conference championships, he was named head coach of Tennessee where he posted a 61-59 record from 2001-05. The former North Carolina standout was roommates with NBA legend Michael Jordan, whose son Marcus Jordan is on the UCF basketball team.

– Reggie Theus, Minnesota Timberwolves assistant
Buzz: Theus is a former Rick Pitino assistant at Louisville. During his second year as head coach at New Mexico State, he led the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament. He accepted a head coaching job with the Sacramento Kings soon afterward, but did not last long with the struggling franchise. He is now an assistant with the Timberwolves.

– Donnie Jones, Marshall
Buzz: It would cause huge waves in Conference USA if the Knights managed to lure away a division rival’s head coach. If Jones were still an assistant at Florida, he would be an obvious choice for the job. He is a strong recruiter and rumored to be considering the Knights because of the program has more resources and room for future growth.

– Billy Kennedy, Murray State head coach
Buzz: Kennedy was an assistant coach at Miami during the 2005-06 season before taking over as Murray State’s head coach. The No. 13 seed Racers advanced to the second round of the tournament.

– Mark Gottfied, ESPN analyst
Buzz: The former Alabama coach led the Crimson Tide to the Elite Eight in 2004. After a string of player injuries, disappointing play and the departure of star player Ronald Steele prompted Alabama to fire Gottfried in January 2009.

– My colleague Jeremy Fowler also spoke with a few of his Florida Gators contacts. They said no members of the Florida Gators staff have been contacted about the UCF vacancy.

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