Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Options for Old Dominion
It was revealed earlier today that Blaine Taylor, longtime coach at Old Dominion, had been dismissed from the program. We immediately began to thought of potential candidates to fill what will be a very popular opening in Conference USA (and was a top tier job when the Monarchs will still a member of the Colonial Athletic). One option is assistant Jim Corrigan, who has been named the interim coach for the remainder of the season. Corrigan, who has been at ODU for nineteen seasons, is considered one of DI's top assistants and would be worthy candidate for the permanent position.
Jeff Capel's name has been bandied about, and though he now sits on the Duke bench, we find it very strange that Capel would consider a school that once fired his father (Jeff Capel II was ODU's head coach for several seasons in the late 1990s). Another option might be American's Jeff Jones. Under Jones, American has been one of the top teams in the Patriot League and has long-standing ties to the region. We also thought Bobby Lutz might be a possibility; Lutz, whose last stint as a head coach was at Charlotte (before trekking North Carolina State), has been mentioned for several opening since he became a Wolfpack assistant (e.g. Virginia Tech). While in the Atlantic 10, Lutz was able to consistently land recruits that might leave the area, and he built a semi-fortress around the Charlotte-area for prospects. Anthony Solomon played his college ball at Virginia, and while now at Notre Dame, this could be a logical move for the long-time Mike Brey assistant. We have to wonder if Tony Bennett's staff will get a long look, particularly Ritchie McKay and Ron Sanchez. McKay coached one of the top mid-majors in DI (Liberty), and though he is reportedly very close to Bennett, would he consider leading ODU into the squad's first CUSA season? Similarly, Sanchez has long-standing ties to Bennett, first at Washington State and then on the UVA sidelines, but Sanchez has an interesting recruiting profile -- the NYC-area -- and could be due for his first head coaching job.
Two names, though, did stick out to us: Rutgers' David Cox, and UAB's Robert Ehsan. Cox has long been known as one of the best recruiters of the DMV region, and made the move from Georgetown to Rutgers, in part, to help better position himself for a head coaching job. He was the Scarlet Knights' interim coach when Mike Rice was suspended for three games, and he has been instrumental in molding RU's talented, but very young, squad. It will be interesting if Ehsan's name begins to pick up steam. Ehsan was an assistant at Maryland, and was key in helping to land some of the Terps' top talent in the final years of the Gary Williams' era. His ability to connect, work with, and develop various players' skill-sets has also been lauded.