Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors....

Thank goodness spring football practice starts today. Football practices will hopefully break up the day to day operations of the rumor mill, which is in full swing as Auburn fans try and figure out who will be the next Tiger basketball coach.

The front-runner for the vacant coaching job seemed to be former Kentucky and current Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith. Smith however, has come out in recent days saying he was happy being the Golden Gopher head coach and wasn't leaving.

One of the hotter names circulating and possibly the 2nd choice by Jay Jacobs, if Tubby Smith was indeed the first choice, is Tony Barbee. Barbee has been the head coach at UTEP for the last three seasons and has done an excellent job there. Under his guidence the UTEP Miners have acquired 14, 19 and 23 wins over the last three seasons respectivly. Barbee coaches an up-tempo style on offense and defense and focuses on an unselfish style of play, moving the ball around alot on the offensive end. Before Barbee came to UTEP, he was an assistant coach for John Calipari's highly successfull teams at Memphis and played for Calipari at UMASS as well. Not only is Barbee considered one of college basketballs top up and coming young coaches, but he is also known as one of the better recruiters in the country as well. Barbee is set to interview for the vacant job this week.

Jay Jacobs will also interview North Texas head coach Johnny Jones this week. Jones has accumulated a 150-121 record at North Texas in his nine year tenure there. This season his North Texas team boasted an impressive 24-9 record, which included an NCAA tournament bid. Coach Jones was a seasoned college assistant coach before getting his head coaching job at North Texas. He was an assistant for 13 years at LSU, 3 years at Memphis and one year at Alabama.

Wright State head coach Brad Brownell will also interview for the Auburn job this week. Brownell has been at Wright State for the last 4 years and has compiled a 20 win season each year he's been there. Brownell has also gained a reputation for being a high energy coach who is also a very good recruiter. Before coaching at Wright St., Brownell coached 12 years at UNC-Willmington as either an assistant or head coach. He had accumulated a 147-73 record in his coaching career before this years 20-12 team. Brownell will turn 42 in November.

Another candidate reported to interview for the vacant Auburn job this week is Sam Houston State's Bob Marlin. Marlin is 225-130 in 12 years at Sam Houston State including a 25-8 record this year, which included winning the Southland Conference tournament and an NCAA tournament bid. Marlin has also had six 20 win seasons in his twelve seasons as head coach of the Bearkats. Marlin is heralded at Sam Houston for being their winningest coach in school history, as well as the second winningest coach in Southland Conference history.

Other candidates that have been mentioned and could become contenders for the job are Chuck Person and Mike Anderson, although both look like long-shots as of today.

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