Coaching search “buzz”

Before we get too deep into this short update, I want you to read Whit Babcock’s words from Monday’s press conference and take them to heart…

“I would caution our fan base, however, not to put too much merit in “leaks” or sources. I’ve done this enough to know, and I want to warn them or at least let them know, any time you have a leak, it’s done with a  motive. Sometimes it’s a blogger or reporter throwing names up on the wall to see what sticks, and I guess the motive will be entertainment, or seeing if they get lucky on that.

Other times, I’ve seen agents on purpose who will leak the name of their candidate, and associate it with your job for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they’re trying to leverage us here, and a lot of other times they’re simply trying to leverage the school their coach is currently at, or they’re also trying to leverage a school that is also open in the marketplace. So leaks always have a motive.

I’ve also seen — but we will not do this — schools that leak candidate names on their own, to put leverage on the candidate, or to put out a litmus test with the media to get a gauge on their candidates. That’s not going to happen here, but it does happen in the industry.

Additionally, just because it’s stated, true or not, that I contacted a certain coach or gave an AD a courtesy call about his or her coach, it does not necessarily mean that that coach is the top candidate.”

Just because you read a candidate’s name on Twitter, message boards, or even in a TSL article does not mean he is the top candidate.  It doesn’t even mean he is a candidate at all.  It doesn’t mean Virginia Tech has any interest in him whatsoever.  Likewise, it doesn’t mean he is interested in Virginia Tech.

Earlier this week, I offered up some names that we might hear about during Virginia Tech’s coaching search.  They were: Donnie Tyndall, Michael White, Bruce Pearl, Tommy Amaker, Mike Lonergan, Russell Turner, Danny Manning and Buzz Williams.  We’ve heard some of those names mentioned this week.  We’ve also heard some somewhat unexpected names.

Before we move into the list of names, keep in mind that this list is dynamic.  It could change every day.  Between now and the day Virginia Tech hires a coach, some of these names will disappear, and some new names will be added.  In the end, Tech’s next coach might not come from the list below.  Remember…heed Whit Babcock’s words.

Six names have been thrown out there this week from various sources.  And sorry, I don’t consider anyone who throws Skaka Smart or Gregg Marshall into the mix to be a legitimate source.

Donnie Tyndall, head coach, Southern Miss

As I said in Monday’s article, I heard that Tech had been in contact with Donnie Tyndall’s agency.  I haven’t heard anything about Tyndall since that update.  That doesn’t mean he is or isn’t a major candidate.  It just means that he’s still coaching basketball.

Tyndall’s team knocked off Toledo in the opening round of the NIT earlier this week.  They’ll face #2 seed Missouri on Sunday at 5pm on ESPNU.  The Golden Eagles are 28-6 on the season.  Last year Tyndall led his team to a 27-10 record before falling in the NIT quarterfinals.

If Tyndall were tabbed Tech’s next coach, he would have to change his recruiting strategy.  He has recruited mostly JUCOs at Southern Miss, and he recruited a lot of JUCOs when he was at Moorehead State as well.

Michael White, head coach, Louisiana Tech

Earlier this week, we were told that Michael White is on Virginia Tech’s short list.  That doesn’t mean he is interested in the Hokies, but he is at least someone who Whit Babcock wants to consider.  He is the son of Duke athletic director Kevin White, who Babcock considers one of his mentors.

The previous coach at Louisiana Tech – Kerry Rupp – went 57-73 over four years.  White took over the program and has posted the following records in his three seasons…

2011-12: 18-16
2012-13: 27-7, NIT
2013-14: 28-7, NIT
Total: 73-30, 70.9% winning percentage

White was the WAC Coach of the Year last season, and then his team moved to Conference USA this year.  He is known as an outstanding recruiter.

Buzz Williams, head coach, Marquette

The biggest buzz of the week has been generated by Buzz Williams.  People such as John Feinstein have reported that the Hokies are very interested in Williams, and a couple of my own sources indicate that Williams is interested as well.  His record at Marquette speaks for itself…

2008-09: 25-10, NCAA Second Round
2009-10: 22-12, NCAA First Round
2010-11: 22-15, NCAA Sweet 16