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Pac-12 Basketball: The Status Of The League’s Head Coaches

Who’s staying? Who’s going? And who just doesn’t know?

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats (2018-2019 Record: 17-15, No Post-Season)

Sean Miller’s biggest fan in Tucson may be prized recruit Nico Mannion, who has been one of the few vocal outlets to help the feeling around the Wildcats program become that Miller will return as head coach. Of course, despite whatever Miller wants to say to the fans, it may not be his call at the end of the day, if any more fall-out from the NCAA corruption scandal emerges.

Arizona State Sun Devils (2018-2019 Record: 23-11, NCAA Tournament - Round of 64)

Known for his calm and composed sideline demeanor, Bobby Hurley has been the breath of fresh air and energy needed to revitalize the Sun Devils program. His success with Arizona State will likely pull his name into the realm of other jobs, but Hurley looks very comfortable in the desert. A contract extension signed in January should also help sway any feelings of leaving.

California Golden Bears (2018-2019 Record: 8-23, No Post-Season)

Despite posting a single-digit win total for the second straight season, California opted to retain head coach Wyking Jones for another season, as he tries to lead the Golden Bears out of the Pac-12 cellar. Jones has posted a 16-47 record overall during his stay in Berkeley, but California did win three of their last four games to end the year, including an upset win over Washington.

Change Of Plans: California has decided to cut ties with Wyking Jones after all, after rumored negative feedback from players of Jones’ initial retention by the school. Athletic director Jim Knowlton is now expected to target Jason Kidd (Former NBA HC), Russell Turner (UC-Irvine HC) and Eric Musselman (Nevada HC) for the vacant position.

Fox Sighting: Former Nevada and Georgia head coach Mark Fox is apparently finalizing a deal to become the next head coach at California, despite earlier rumors that linked everyone from Jason Kidd to Luke Walton. Fox has a 286-176 overall record in his fourteen seasons as a Division I head coach and has made five trips to the NCAA Tournament. Fox was fired by Georgia after nine seasons following the 2017-2018 campaign.

Colorado Buffaloes (2018-2019 Record: 23-13, NIT - Quarterfinals)

Colorado was a bit of an unknown heading into the season, as some experts saw them as a potential NCAA Tournament team and some didn’t believe the hype. Although, another post-season birth means Tad Boyle will likely stick around and the ninth-year head coach expects to get his program back to the NCAA Tournament next year, for the first time since 2016.

Oregon Ducks (2018-2019 Record: 25-13, NCAA Tournament - Sweet Sixteen)

The Ducks’ miraculous run to the NCAA Tournament (and potentially the Sweet Sixteen) paid dividends for head coach Dana Altman, who used the last-minute success to strike a strong payday for himself. Altman’s job security was never much in danger after a Final Four run in 2017 (and an Elite Eight birth the year prior), but strange things happen all the time in Eugene.

Oregon State Beavers (2018-2019 Record: 18-13, No Post-Season)

After last season ended, we asked if Wayne Tinkle should be considered on the “hot seat”, as the trajectory of the program seemed a bit wayward in general. Tinkle has been mostly pedestrian on the recruiting front (outside recruiting his own and assistant’s offspring) and the Beavers are still in a bit of a limbo. Heading into the next season, the same question still lingers in Corvallis.

Stanford Cardinal (2018-2019 Record: 15-16, No Post-Season)

Stanford was one of the younger teams in the Pac-12 this season and it showed at many times, as a talented yet inexperienced group failed to always play with the needed consistency. The Cardinal seem to like what Jerod Haase is doing at the moment, but the state of California is always a hot-bed for mid-major coaches who are ready to snag a job at the power conference level.

UCLA Bruins (2018-2019 Record: 17-16, No Post-Season)

Steve Alford fired mid-season. Interim coach Murry Bartow leads the team to a 10-10 mark. UCLA opens up it’s head coaching search nationally and apparently is willing to give Kentucky’s John Calipari $10 million dollars up front. Where the Bruins turn is anyone’s guess (seriously), as a still delusional fan base wants Calipari, Tony Bennett, Bill Self, Mike Hopkins, etc.

USC Trojans (2018-2019 Record: 16-17, No Post-Season)

There’s no trouble just yet in the City of Angels for Andy Enfield, as a strong returning core of talents and a top-five recruiting class nationally will insure the head coach’s job for another go-round. However, when optimism is as high for a program as it is for the 2019-2020 edition of the Trojans, Enfield will have to be sure that USC doesn’t under-perform once again.

Utah Utes (2018-2019 Record: 17-14, No Post-Season)

Larry Krystkowiak has made the Utes one of the more consistent Pac-12 programs, as Utah always seems to be a well-prepared, focused and competitive group. The Deseret News was one of the few to do a look into this model of regular competitiveness, which could be viewed as pertaining to something as simple as Krystkowiak (and his staff) remaining at Utah each year.

Washington Huskies (2018-2019 Record: 27-9, NCAA Tournament - Round of 32)

Winning two Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards will quickly get your name out there on the coaching rumor mill, as Mike Hopkins has been poorly linked with a few power conference program openings. However, Hopkins instead opted to sign a six-year deal to remain with the Huskies, where he looks like he’ll focus on building Washington into an annual power.

Washington State Cougars (2018-2019 Record: 11-21, No Post-Season)

Washington State decided to end one of the most lackluster eras in their program’s history, when they recently cut ties with head coach Ernie Kent after five seasons. Like with any power conference coaching change, a wealth of names will be rumored and tied to this job, including Russell Turner (UC-Irvine HC), Tim Miles (Nebraska HC) and Craig Smith (Utah State HC).

Nerdball Time: Washington State hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2008 and in hopes of bringing the Cougars back to the big dance, the school has hired Kyle Smith away from San Francisco. Smith, who signed a six-year deal with the school, will bring his “nerdball” style of analytics-based basketball to Pullman after head coaching stops at USF and Columbia.