THE RUMOR MILL

As we get closer to the summer recruiting period, administrators with
head coaching openings are struggling to find the right person for
the job before July gets here. It’s extremely important for programs
to have a staff in place before the summer recruiting period begins.
Coaches need to show their faces at all of the major recruiting
venues (see Tournaments for a listing of
the most popular summer recruiting venues).

Some have changed candidates in mid-stream and some are on the verge
of naming their new coach. This of course means we will get to hear
the phrase “hopefully, we can move the program in a positive
direction,” at every subsequent press conference that follows a new
hiring.

To help you prepare for those press conferences, here is the latest
from the rumor mill.

In a major surprise, it appears that long-time Temple assistant Dean
Demopolous will get the job at UMKC replacing Bob Sunvold. Many
insiders felt that South Carolina assistant, John Cooper had the
inside track with a huge backing from Roy Williams. Illinois
assistant, Derek Thomas was thought to be the next choice of the
three candidates but Demapolous seems to be the choice of Athletic
Director Bob Thomas. Demopolous has been an assistant at Temple for
Don Chaney for 17 years.

At Tulsa, the list is also down to three. Current assistant Norm
Roberts seems to be the man of choice, as he has the backing of
recently departed coach Bill Self. Roberts is credited with bringing
most of the talent in to Tulsa that carried the Hurricanes to this
past season’s Elite Eight. He is getting some competition from
University of Texas — San Antonio coach Tim Carter. Carter has turned
a struggling Roadrunner program around and took them to this year’s
NCAA tournament. Carter’s teams at UTSA have compiled a 72-65 record.
The third candidate is last year’s hot coach Buzz Peterson. Peterson
had accepted the job at Southwest Missouri State last year and then
changed his mind and went back to Appalachian State. Peterson has the
most well known name out of the group but most of the boosters
(remember they recently raised funds to up Self’s salary to over
$700,000 a year just a month before Self left) favor Roberts.

Surprisingly enough, Oklahoma native and current Kansas assistant Joe
Holladay did not receive an invitation for an interview after
expressing an interest in the job. He has strong ties to the
community of Tulsa and would have made an excellent coach there.
Another surprise is that former Hurricane player and current Nolan
Richardson assistant, Mike Anderson, did not make the final cut. He
would have been another excellent choice.

Tulsa is trying to put a higher buyout number on the contract of its
new coach with hopes to keep a talented coach at Tulsa for a longer
period of time. Look for many new contracts to be structured in such
a way.