South Carolina is in the middle of a coaching search.
Last week, former coach Darrin Horn was fired by South Carolina after he failed to bring stable success to the program during his four-year tenure in Columbia. It started off great by winning the SEC East in his first season but went into a steady decline by year four. Eric Hyman mentioned that he will be willing to pay market value for the next head coach and is looking for certain characteristics that will, hopefully, jumpstart this program to some consistency and push towards a regular occurrence in the Top 25 rankings.
There have been all kinds of names to be thrown around during this past week in regards to the coaching position and this seemed like a good time to list everyone connected to the job and where we stand from here.
The Search Started With:
- Gregg Marshall -WichitaState
- Shaka Smart - VCU
- Tommy Amaker - Harvard
- Jeff Capel - Duke assistant(former Oklahoma coach)
- John Cooper -Tennessee State
- Bobby Lutz - NC State assistant (former UNC-Charlotte coach)
These all seemed to be the main initial candidates for the job as soon as it opened. Gregg Marshall has been a fan favorite for years and many wanted him over Darrin Horn back in 2008. Smart is the hot coach in the coaching ranks after what he has done at VCU. He's a more high-profile up and coming coach so he's on board with Illinois most likely. Amaker is an interesting name but one that doesn't excite the fan base. I think the same could be said for Cooper, Lutz and Capel. All seemingly solid coaches but nothing that should get Gamecock fans back into the seats at the Colonial Life Arena.
The Search Seemingly Narrowed Down To:
- Gregg Marshall
- Jeff Capel
- Kevin Stallings - Vanderbilt
Marshall is still the favorite at this point but a new name pops up on the radar. Kevin Stallings from Vanderbilt is a guy mentioned all over the place. There seems to be genuine interest here. Capel is looking more and more like a fallback option for South Carolina. Money seems to be an issue with Stallings so he is more than likely out at this point. Gregg Marshall looks like the leading candidate and South Carolina fans are happy.
The Search Seems To Be Focused Here:
- Gregg Marshall
- Frank Martin -Kansas State
Frank Martin is a new name that has popped up in the last few days as a realistic option to fill the men's basketball coaching position. Martin has had great success at Kansas State with his in-your-face coaching style but seems to be an East Coast-type of coach. Several Gamecocks sites and individuals on Twitter and the radio have mentioned Martin's name a lot the last few days. This is an attractive position for some people if you look at it in the right fashion. I think Frank Martin is doing that and should be considered the front-runner right now. Gregg Marshall has been rumored to throw out crazy salary demands to the tune of $2.5 million for seven years which is above market value for a coach in today's market. This could be a way for Marshall to see if South Carolina is truly interested in him becoming the head coach but it seems like he may have priced himself out of the job in his home state. A more realistic salary figure seems to be around the $1.75 million dollar range.
Where Do We Go From Here:
At this point, it seems to be a wait and see approach for a coaching hire. The main individuals the Gamecocks have focused on for the position have all seen their seasons end so interviews could likely be taking place any moment. Some may already have. There have obviously been some reaching out to potential candidates and I think you see the genuine interest seems to lie with Frank Martin and Gregg Marshall. A coaching hire could be made in a mere few days or it could be another week before we see what happens with the Gamecocks.
South Carolina needs to make sure the find the right individual for the job so there is no rush. Luckily, it seems like USC has two great options to go with at this time and either individual would be considered an upgrade over Darrin Horn. Eric Hyman will be happy to hire either one of these individuals.
If the price is right...