Basketball coaching search begins
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 00:04
Not long after Larry Eustachy took the men’s basketball head coaching job at Colorado State, the Southern Miss men’s basketball program began looking for a coach. No one can be expected yet, but it is more likely that a new athletic director will be hired first. However, that does not mean that the search has not already begun.
Here is a list of six possible candidates, in no particular order, who could end up (or end up staying) in Hattiesburg with the position.
Steve Barnes - Barnes has been at Southern Miss for eight years as Eustachy’s associate head coach. He has been an assistant under Eustachy at four different Division I institutions, and he also took one head coaching job at San Jose State for three years in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. His career as a head coach is 39-51. Known as a standout recruiter, Barnes thinks he can keep the program going in the right direction.
Tim Floyd - Born in Hattiesburg and a former walk-on to the Southern Miss basketball team, Floyd is no stranger to the area. In fact, his father coached here two different times - from 1949-1954 and 1962-1971. What makes Floyd such an attractive coach is his resume. He has been the head coach in five Division I programs, going 367-208 in his time at these schools. The 367 wins do not include the 21 wins vacated from USC because of NCAA sanctions. He also coached in the NBA for four seasons with a record of 90-231.
Kenny Payne - A current assistant at Kentucky, Payne is a native of Laurel. Payne played on the 1986 national championship team at Louisville for coach Denny Crum. Although he has never had a head coaching job, the young coach was an assistant at Oregon for five seasons before heading to Kentucky for the last two. Payne also interviewed for the Mississippi State position earlier this year but ultimately did not get the hire.
Kermit Davis - The current head coach at Middle Tennessee, Davis is also a Mississippi native. Davis has turned the MTSU program around in recent years, going 100-82 in his tenure at the school. Davis has had three additional head coaching jobs in the past, and he has been in collegiate coaching for over 28 years.
Sean Woods - Another young coach, Woods has done impressive things at Mississippi Valley State over the past few years. Although he went a combined 29-67 in his first three seasons at the school, Woods led his team to a 21-12 season and won the SWAC conference championship. The championship earned MVSU a trip to the Big Dance, where they were beat in their first game. He has held assistant positions at three other schools before coming on at MVSU.
John Pelphrey - The unlikely one of the group, it would still be wrong to not mention his name in the conversation. The former South Alabama and Arkansas head coach, he is now an assistant coach at the University of Florida. For the five seasons he was at South Alabama, he went 80-67. He then went to Arkansas, where he was 69-59 over four seasons. He was outspoken after his firing at Arkansas, saying he did not receive enough time to turn the program around. It is a matter of time until he receives another head coaching opportunity.