College Basketball Coaches Hot Seat, 2017 Offseason Edition
On the bun warmer.
We just roasted some college football coaches, but the college basketball coaches hot seat burns bright as well.
In Division I men’s hoops, there are over 300 top dogs. Of those, more than a handful have positions in jeopardy at any given time. Sports is a rough and tumble business, and these are people’s livelihoods at stake. There’s no joy in an outsider watching a coach get fired, but it happens and it’s accepted.
There are a few who will enter the (distant) 2017-18 season with eyes on them.
|Jim Christian, Boston College|
The Eagles have been a dumpster fire for about seven years now. Steve Donahue couldn’t figure it out, and his replacement, Jim Christian, is equally inept. Ask the fans of the program — and I have — and they’ll tell you Christian was never the right guy for the job. It’s one thing to hire a coach to maintain a certain level of performance. Hiring a guy to rebuild a program is entirely different. Boston College asked Christian to rebuild the program after never having successfully done it before at this level. Instead, as is his wont, he maintained the Eagles level: lousy.
Martin Jarmond is the new athletic director, and even though Christian’s contract goes through 2019-20, he probably won’t waste any time putting his stamp on the team if they stink in 2017-18.
|Brad Brownell, Clemson|
This year very much feels like the last chance for Brownell at Clemson. It will be eight years for him at the helm, with limited success. He made the dance his first season and hasn’t gotten there since. The past six seasons are marked by mediocrity and the occasional NIT appearance. It could be tournament of bust for him and the Tigers. Mark Gottfried got fired for less up the road at NC State.
|Tim Miles, Nebraska|
It’s going the wrong way for Miles at Nebraska. He apparently peaked in his second season, 2013-14, when the Huskers made the tournament. It’s been losing seasons since, and last year he set a high of 19 losses. Miles had one good year, but if he doesn’t have a second by March 2018, he’s probably done.
|Ernie Kent, Washington State|
Kent, formerly the coach at Oregon, is entering his fourth season with the Cougars. He had a good run with the Ducks, but by year three, he had Oregon in the tournament. Washington State is proving to be a longer project. The most games he’s won in three seasons there is 13.
He may not be in imminent danger of firing in 2017-18, but it’s lurking. Kent needs to take a step forward this season to keep his critics at bay.
|Pat Chambers, Penn State|
Chambers is six seasons deep at Penn State with no NCAA Tournament appearances. Hell, he hasn’t made the NIT. Penn State hasn’t finished better than tenth in the Big Ten in his time at Happy Valley.
His only winning season was an 18-16 campaign in 2014-15 that resulted in no postseason. Chambers was given a chance to turn things around this season, but another losing year may doom him.