As I posted last Monday, everyone knows that John Calipari is Billy Gillispie's replacement at Kentucky, and that Josh Pastner now has to try to keep Memphis at the top of Conference USA. It's also no secret that Sean Miller left Xavier to become Lute Olson's permanent replacement at Arizona, and that the Musketeers promoted assistant Chris Mack to the head job.
But there were 24 other coaching changes in Division I after the 2008-09 season. Some of these were the result of the domino effect that happens when a school in a power conference hires someone who was successful at a lower level, a decision that often leads to multiple jobs opening up. Others were cases where athletic directors felt that they needed to make changes, but stayed within the current staff.
This year's coaching carousel was a pretty lengthy one. Proving that the pressure is getting a bit ridiculous, even at lower levels of Division I, John Cooper (No, not THAT John Cooper.) replaces Cy Alexander at Tennessee State, which is a noteworthy story because Alexander was fired back on Feburary 9. Cooper was previously Jeff Lebo's associate head coach at Auburn. The final change of the offseason (I say that now like it's a certainty.) was finalized late Thursday when Cornell assistant Zach Spiker was hired at Army to replace Jim Crews.
While that's a start, it's certainly not everything that happened in the world of coaching during the spring and summer. After the jump, I'll run through the rest of the coaching changes made this offseason.
At one point, Kevin O'Neill was the interim coach in Tucson and the replacement in waiting for Lute Olson. That obviously didn't happen, so now the former Northwestern and Tennessee head coach has replaced Tim Floyd at USC.
Georgia hired Mark Fox to do what Dennis Felton failed to do, rebuild the program. Nevada promoted assistant David Carter to replace Fox with the hopes he'll have the Wolf Pack ready to challenge Utah State and Idaho at the top of the league this year.
Tony Bennett left Washington State to replace Dave Leitao at Virginia. Former Portland State coach Ken Bone heads to the Palouse to replace him, with Vikings assistant Tyler Geving taking over the head job there.
Buzz Peterson left his job as Director of Player Personnel with the Charlotte Bobcats to return to Appalachian State. He left the Mountaineers to take the Tulsa job in 2000, leaving there for an average four seasons at Tennessee. After being forced out in Knoxville, Peterson coached Coastal Carolina for two years before heading to Charlotte. Elon will also have a new coach. Ernie Nestor was fired, and the school looked to tap into a winning formula in hiring his replacement. The Phoenix will now be led by former Davidson assistant Matt Matheny.
Isiah Thomas will now attempt to not ruin Florida International's program like he ruined the CBA and the New York Knicks. He's off to a great start at earning friends and influencing people.
Ritchie McKay left Liberty to be one of Bennett's assistants. Another former Colorado State head man, Marquette assistant Dale Layer is his replacement. Former South Carolina assistant Scott Cherry is the other new hire in the Big South, he replaces the fired Bart Lundy at High Point.
Dennis Wolff couldn't bring America East glory to Boston University, so he was fired and replaced with Villanova assistant Patrick Chambers.
Tom Green (not the "funny" Canadian) had significant success at Fairleigh Dickinson, just not over the past couple of years. He was fired and the Knights will be led by his former assistant, Greg Vetrone, at least on an interim basis.
Washington assistant Cameron Dollar, a star player on UCLA's 1995 National Championship team will lead Seattle through their Division I transition period, replacing Joe Callero, who took the job at Cal Poly in the Big West. North Carolina Central is the other Independent with a new coach for 2009-10. Henry Dickerson wasn't rehired, and he will be replaced by one of his assistants, LeVelle Morton.
Kevin Nickelberry resigned at Hampton, where Edward Joyner, Jr., one of Nickelberry's assistants will lead the team on at least an interim basis.
At Grambling, a tragic incident led to the end of Rick Duckett's tenure. Henry White, a transfer from Hill (Tex.) Junior College, died after an offseason workout on a 104 degree day at the Louisiana school. The school says Duckett resigned, but the coach says he was fired via a letter from the school. Assistant Robert Washington, Jr. will be the interim coach.
Tom Schuberth was fired at Texas-Pan American, where winning will always be tough because of the slim chance at making the NCAAs (something that won't change with Great West membership). St. Edward's coach Ryan Marks is the new head man in Edinboro.
There were two other changes in the Ohio Valley this offseason besides the Tennessee State switch I mentioned before the jump. Former Arkansas State head man Dickie Nutt is back in the business, taking over a Southeast Missouri State program that spent most of last season in turmoil after the Scot Edgar regime. Bret Campbell resigned at Tennessee-Martin. His replacement is former assistant Jason James.
At the end of the season, I'll come back and look at how each of these coaches did in filling their new jobs. On Tuesday, however, I turn my attention back to the players with my first ever preseason All-America teams.