University of Washington

Huskies next basketball coach: Seven candidates to consider

With Lorenzo Romar out as men’s basketball coach at Washington, here are a few names to keep in mind as the school begins its search for a replacement.

RANDY BENNETT

Job: Head coach at Saint Mary’s

Age: 54

Credentials: Six NCAA tournament appearances and 361 victories in 16 seasons. He’s one of the most respected mid-major coaches in the country, and certainly the most accomplished coach the Huskies could hope to hire on the west coast (you can forget about Mark Few).

Concerns: Bennett is a close friend of Romar, and might feel uncomfortable taking his old job. Also, Bennett is entrenched at Saint Mary’s and has a good thing going ... and with the California job now open, would Washington even be the most attractive Pac-12 job he could get?

ERIC MUSSELMAN

Job: Head coach at Nevada.

Age: 52.

Credentials: A former NBA head coach with the Warriors and Kings, Musselman’s career took him to the college ranks, where he has guided Nevada to a 52-20 record in two seasons. The Wolf Pack won the Mountain West regular season and tournament championships this year to qualify for the NCAA Tournament with a 28-6 record.

Concerns: Musselman grants his players a lot of freedom on the court — NBA-style — which is similar to the way Romar coached. UW might want more of a departure.

TOMMY LLOYD

Job: Assistant at Gonzaga.

Age: 42.

Credentials: Lloyd is coach Mark Few’s top assistant — he’s been with GU since 2000 — and is responsible for much of the Bulldogs’ international recruiting success. He is from Kelso and, obviously, is familiar with the Northwest.

Concerns: He’s never been a head coach. And he is believed to be the coach-in-waiting behind Few at Gonzaga, meaning the UW job might not appeal to him.

T.J. OTZELBERGER

Job: Head coach at South Dakota State.

Age: 39.

Credentials: In his first season as a head coach, Otzelberger led South Dakota State (18-16, 8-8 in Summit League) to this year’s NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed. He was a coveted assistant and a strong recruiter at Washington and Iowa State.

Concerns: Only one year of head coaching experience, and UW might not want to hire a coach who worked for the one it just fired.

DAN MAJERLE

Job: Head coach at Grand Canyon University.

Age: 51.

Credentials: A former NBA All-Star, Majerle was an assistant for the Phoenix Suns from 2008-13 before taking the head coaching job at Grand Canyon. He has led the school to an 81-46 record in four seasons as it has transitioned into the Division I ranks.

Concerns: He’s never coached at the high level of major college basketball.

LEON RICE

Job: Head coach at Boise State.

Age: 53.

Credentials: A 142-86 record in seven seasons at Boise State, including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and a conference title in 2014-15. He’s a Washington native (Richland), an alumnus of Washington State and was an assistant at Gonzaga from 1998-2010.

Concerns: Hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament in two years, nor proved that he can recruit at a Pac-12 level.

TRAVIS DECUIRE

Job: Head coach at Montana.

Age: 46.

Credentials: A Seattle native and Mercer Island High School alumnus, DeCuire has obvious regional ties and could recruit the area well. As a former assistant at California for six years, he understands the Pac-12 landscape. And he has led Montana to a 39-15 conference record in three seasons as the Grizzlies’ coach.

Concerns: He might not be ready. And in three years at Montana, he has yet to make an NCAA Tournament appearance despite finishing as regular-season conference co-champion in 2014-15.

  Comments