Nick Pasqua - Tusculum
The life long Tennessean is THE best fit for the Pioneers. One of the most talented young coaches, he embodies DII small college values. Quickly realized as a leader and captain during his playing days, the former offensive coordinator at King University created the storm that Tornadoed over 80 points per game and finished in the NCAA top-five 3-point shooting.
Ryan Ridder - Bethune-Cookman
Ridder has learned well the lessons of his father (Embry-Riddle coach Steve Ridder) and now becomes the teacher. If experience is the mother of wisdom, he is bound by family to the entire Southeast. The favorite Florida son spent time in NC with Hoop City U training academy as well as three years as an assistant coach at DI Campbell U. This is the right guy to start local and build global.
Jake Williams - USC Salkehatchie
The uncanny work ethic of this true visionary has had an immediate impact, especially in recruiting. Basketball passion in combination with his infectious personality have led him to lots of wins over the last four years with many many more to come.
Jordan Altman - Cloud County (KS)
Last seasons CoachStat.net fourth best Small College Assistant (juco) finds his own big chair this season. The nearby Nebraska native steps into a great situation inheriting last years conference rival that won twenty games and returns all conference performers in points per game (Thompson) and rebounds per game (Burt Jr.).
Joe Mazzulla - Fairmont State
The former NBA D League coach spent five years as an assistant under former HC Calhoun at Fairmont State where he recruited many from their current roster. A player for Beilein and Huggins at WVU, Mazzulla, has all the makings to be a great one. This hire is the definition of a no brainer slam dunk for all parties involved.
Jean Prioleau - San Jose State
The SJSU team got a sniff of success last year beating all the top conference contenders and the core of their roster returns. Add now the local community oriented Prioleau who had a ton of success identifying and recruiting under the radar California players to Colorado. Hands on experience is paramount to next level accomplishments. Assisting the flip at Colorado; Prioleau is ready.
Dustin Kerns - Presbyterian
A dynamic coach, Kerns believes first in the development of responsibility. It’s a culture consistent with the Presbyterian framework for a lifetime of personal contribution to the world community. The hire made national headlines for good reason as this southeastern journeyman is due for his own program.
Jim Crutchfield - Nova Southeastern
Nova needed an architect. And they got one in Chief Strategy Officer Crutchfield. He designed beautiful monuments commissioned for West Liberty in the form of 2x DII NCOY, 3x Atlantic Region COY, 6x conference COY, winning percentage of 359-61 (.855), 112-week run in the top 25 rankings, countless All-Conference , All-Region, All-American and Academic All-American performers and many more.
Kim Anderson - Pittsburg State (KS)
Anderson returns to a familiar region where he previously spent 12 years at Central Missouri of the same DII Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Few, if any, know the landscape as well as he does; well multiplied by 274 in fact; which includes a national championship. The focus is 100% on the value he can bring to this opportunity….and it’s big.
Mark Downey - Northeastern State
Downey delivers the DII HC experience and DI competitiveness needed to get this program going. He does so in a premier MIAA conference thus creating a unique environment. As we examine what players want…to play against the best, to learn from the best, to start, to play and to play free fast and furiously. All of those factors are now present at NSU through Downey.
Jerrod Calhoun - Youngstown State
The exuberant coach Calhoun is just the guy to wake these giant sleeping penguins. The all Ohioan will deliver a brand of fan engaging, high speed, keep them on the run and fun, basketball. He has the experience to match; having completed a 15-win turnaround in his first season at Fairmont State in route to building a powerhouse championship team there.
Grant McCasland - UNT
This Texan lands just 45 min north of home to lead a growing program. From Irving to Waco to Lubbock and Midland to Denton he has hit all five points mapping out a specific Texas recruiting star and thus embodies the organic growth UNT was looking for. A clear example of profitable Return On Relationship Investment, McCasland has a focus on developing players and people….long term…for family.
Joe Pasternack - UCSB
His first assistant job at UC Berkley afforded him key knowledge of the Cal system. Combined with his success recruiting the area for Arizona, he was established as the right choice. What sets him apart is acting both local and global bringing an international flavor for an international California.
Matt Figger - Austin Peay
Austin Peay has Figgerd up the bill and is ready to go. The key man for many developing programs from the junior college ranks, to South Carolina’s final four team of a year ago, Figger has led his own destiny. His personal dynamics on the court and in the community are sure to energize the town. But with all that, lets not forget he’s one of the games best teachers too!
Anthony Grant - Dayton
jamais vu is meeting the same people and places again; each time is the first. Many things have changed since the three year starter ran lanes in UD Arena. Both have accomplished allot. If success breeds success, this hire, with deep roots, is sure to Grant UD a second elite eight appearance with Anthony and many more firsts to come.
Mike Rhoades - VCU
History repeats itself in one of our countries most storied cities. Welcoming back their former assistant (2009-2014) Rhoades takes the reins having long been runner up for the job. They know what they have in this comfortable and proper fit. Two Rhodes diverged in the woods and this time VCU took the one well traveled. And it will make all the difference.
Chris Jans - New Mexico State
We all saw the job Jans did while at Bowling Green; we know what he can do. Still, and understandably, NMSU had to be sure of their pick. Which is why AD Moccia reached out to former BG AD Kingston. It was a quick call that went something like this: Moccia: “You know what I’m calling for?” Kingston: “Hire him”. Enough said.
Mike Hopkins - Washington
Walking into a world of mixed emotion, Hopkins is well qualified to weather-the-storm. His championship mentality will leverage experience to identify criteria for next level achievements, develop strategies to build trust with and among the team, improve the skills of the team, and align the community in one lane.
John Groce - Akron
Groce will undoubtably build high-performing teams with sustainability. He will excite the Zips primarily through past experiences. The Indiana native assisted Ohio State and Xavier before Ohio U. He has recruited all over the buckeye state for the majority of his career. Having led OU to the Sweet 16 (2012), he is familiar with mid-major and MAC-tion basketball.
LaVall Jordan - Butler
Jordan was continually vetted for this job in a process that took ten years. It started around 1997 in Michigan when then coach Collier recruited the high school player to Butler. Now as the AD, Collier watched his growth with great interest. Things have come to fruition for the entire family as Jordan finally lands his dream job. This should be a long term hire with a guy who exudes the Butler way.
C.B. McGrath - UNCW
It might just be his footprint outlined in the Tar Heel logo since 2003. Well respected and known throughout the state, McGrath can walk into any NC gym with instant credibility to sustain and build off what has been started in Wilmington. Add to that his other stops (born in Indianapolis, played at Kansas) he knows big time basketball and how to deliver.
Archie Miller - Indiana
The Miller coaching company has proven time and time again that they are passionate about their game. A coach for every situation, the Archie brand carries with him a banquet of experience benefiting from many generations of coaches. The top recruiter understands basketball pedigree generating a natural synergy with a state where basketball is the number one game in town. Much like in Dayton OH.
Kevin Keatts - NC State
From Virginia to WVA to Kentucky to NC, Keatts has not only won at all levels, but left a lasting legacy. From prep school to the collegiate mid majors; to a high major; as an assistant, associate hc and as HC. The development Keats achieved at a quick pace in Wilmington and the culture he instilled at all stops is exactly what NC St. needs from a guy who has excelled in that region.
Will Wade - LSU
While it may not be an immediate success story this year in Baton Rouge, their future is blinding. Wade has taken his time to develop projects before. It worked well with one star high school recruit Jeremy Lin. A dynamic coach from Nashville having worked VCU and Clemson, in the SEC this young hire is going to be big for a long time.
Keith Dambrot - Duquesne
Perhaps the biggest shock this off season came when Duquesne ripped Dambrot from his extremely plush chair in Akron where the cities other king could do no wrong. The high character coach is sure to rally the three rivers area interestingly at a time when Pitt is also in transition. A fixer, problem solver, cleaner, troubleshooter, whatever you want to call him he did it in Akron and he’ll do it for the Dukes.
These are the Best Off Season HC Hires taking into consideration fit for their university, community, athletics department, their program needs, coaching ability, recruiting, and more. Ohio St, Illinois, and Georgetown hires were omitted.