An official investigation has concluded at the University of Cincinnati, which has resulted in the school parting ways with head coach John Brannen. Here are potential head coach candidates for the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Archie Miller was just fired at Indiana and could be a good fit for the Bearcats. Although he went to NC State, he had success in Ohio with the University of Dayton. He has a 206-121 career record at both Indiana and Dayton. Miller didn’t make the NCAA Tournament in four years at Indiana, but did make it in the last four seasons he coached at Dayton.
Cincinnati won’t have much of a roster left over, so Miller will need to hit the recruiting trail time. With patience from the administration, Miller could build the program a lot like he did with Dayton. Whether Miller wants to come to a program that needs a full rebuild is the main question. Jeff Goodman has mentioned Miller as a name to watch for the job.
2. Frank Martin
Another name that was mentioned by Jeff Goodman was Frank Martin, the current head coach at South Carolina. Martin has a 270-188 record in stops at Kansas State and South Carolina. He took the Gamecocks to the Final Four in 2017, but that was his lone NCAA Tournament appearance with the school. At Kansas State, Martin made four NCAA Tournaments in five seasons. The last time the job was open, Martin was a candidate.
Martin has connections to the program, as he was a former assistant at the school under Bob Huggins. The big hurdle for Cincinnati here would be getting Marting to leave his current job for a huge rebuild. They may also not be able to afford a larger salary than South Carolina, as they may have to pay some of Brannen’s contract still.
3. Jeff Boals
Boals has only been a head coach for five seasons, but he has done a great job at both Stony Brook and Ohio. In five seasons, he has an 89-65 record. Although he was unable to make the NCAA Tournament at Stony Brook, he did make his first appearance in the big dance with Ohio this season and advanced to the round of 32.
The Ohio native may want to keep on moving up the coaching ladder and Cincinnati would give him a chance to do that. He would have to decide if he wants to hold out for a better job or a better situation like the other coaches on this list. Boals has produced good results at two different schools, but he may prefer the stability at Ohio for the time being.
One of the biggest trends in college basketball is the hiring of former program greats to come back to their alma mater. One of Cincinnati’s biggest stars in the 1990s was Nick Van Exel. In his two years at the school, he made a Final Four and an Elite Eight. He then went on to an NBA career that saw him average 14.4 points per game. The last time the job was open, in 2019, he was reportedly interested in the job.
Van Exel recently got into coaching. Since 2009, he has worked with Texas Southern, the Atlanta Hawks, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Texas Legends and the Memphis Grizzlies. While he has never had a head coaching job, he is a former great player who could have some name recognition with recruits. If other coaches are turning down the job because of what happened to Brannen, Van Exel may be a good hire to help his school out with experience at both the collegiate and pro levels.
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