As we wind our way closer to the Final Four in Houston and the crowning of a national champion in the college basketball world, the coaching carousel has begun to spin. With teams finishing up their seasons, athletic departments across the country are evaluating what the next best move is and coaches from mid-major programs are looking to make that jump to the power conference jobs.
One of the most attractive power conference jobs that is currently available lies in Palo Alto, California. The Stanford Cardinal let go coach Johnny Dawkins after eight seasons in which the team made the tournament just once. The Cardinal are looking to regain their former glory and may already have a candidate in their sights that they think can help them do so.
“They’ve talked to him, they’ve met. I don’t know if it’s gone farther than that at this point. Multiple sources describe him to me as the leading candidate,” said CBS Sports college basketball insider Gary Parrish on CBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb Show. “If I were a betting man and I am a betting man, I would bet on Jerod Haase being the next head coach at Stanford but it’s not done yet.”
However, just because Haase is the leading man on the scene at the moment, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a lock for the job. In fact, Parrish has heard some rumblings about possibly bringing back a high profile alum to take the gig.
“What’s interesting is that as I was chasing down the Jerod Haase stuff, I stumbled into something I had not previously heard which is, there’s a push among some Stanford supporters to reconnect with the heyday,” said Parrish. “Some people at Stanford want to reconnect with their past and one of the things that is being discussed, now I don’t know that it’s going to happen, but being discussed and pushed is the idea of bringing back in people who love Stanford the way we love Stanford. Brevin Knight being the head coach, the former Stanford star, and then surrounding him other people with Stanford connections who have head coaching experience.”
Knight doesn’t have head coaching experience, or for that matter, any coaching experience. The question is, can that actually work at the college level?
“Brevin does television work for the Memphis Grizzlies, he’s obviously a sharp guy, he’s not a basketball coach,” said Parrish. “Here’s what I would say, when Iowa State hired Fred Hoiberg I thought it was ridiculous. I thought it seemed desperate, I thought it seemed like an athletic director trying to tap into emotion. Back then, there wasn’t a Fred Hoiberg who had worked really, or a Steve Kerr, not one that had worked like that. I thought it was “Oh, go hire your most famous alum and put him in charge of your basketball program, what are you doing? Go hire a basketball coach”. Then Fred knocked it out of the park. I sat down with him soon after he took the job and I found him incredibly sharp in that he didn’t know everything he needed to know about college basketball, but he was going to surround himself with people who did. It worked. Then, the Steve Kerr thing worked and I completely adjusted my opinion on that. Obviously I was wrong about Fred, but I think if you hire the right guy, it can work.”