Coaching Carousel Notes

Damon Stoudamire is leaving his role as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics to replace Josh Pastner at Ga. Tech.

Ole Miss AD Keith Carter has gone deep on another coaching hire at his alma mater. Less than a month into his tenure, Carter hired Lane Kiffin. Now he’s replaced Kermit Davis by hiring one of the nation’s best in Chris Beard, who takes over a program that’s only been to the Sweet 16 once and has never tasted an Elite Eight appearance. Look for that to change on Beard’s watch.

-After firing Josh Pastner following a mediocre seven-year tenure that featured four losing seasons, one NCAA Tournament bid, one NIT bid, zero NCAA Tournament victories and a 109-113 record, Ga. Tech has hired former Arizona All-American guard Damon Stoudamire as its next head coach. The 49-year-old Stoudamire spent five seasons as the HC at Pacific from 2016-2021. He compiled a 71-77 overall record with the Tigers before stepping down and becoming an assistant for the Boston Celtics over the last two years. Stoudamire was named the WCC’s Coach of the Year when Pacific finished third behind Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s during a 23-10 campaign that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been an assistant coach at the collegiate level at Arizona, Memphis (twice) and Rice. As a player, Stoudamire led Arizona to the 1994 Final Four, was drafted No. 7 overall in the 1995 NBA Draft, won NBA Rookie of the Year honors and played for 13 seasons in The Association.

-After failing to make the NCAA Tournament during his four-year tenure at his alma mater, Aaron McKie is stepping into a special adviser role for the athletic department at Temple. McKie had a 52-56 record in four seasons, going 16-16 overall and 10-8 in the AAC this year. As a player for the Owls from 1991-94, McKie and Eddie Jones led John Chaney’s teams to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and went to the Elite Eight twice. In 1991, Temple lost to top-seeded North Carolina 75-72 in the East Region finals even though the Owls were a No. 10-seed. In the 1993 NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 seed, Temple took out third-seeded Vanderbilt 67-59 before losing a 77-72 decision to top-seeded Michigan and the Fab Five in the West Region finals.

-A lot of media folks don’t like Jim Boeheim. Likewise, I’m not a big fan of many individuals in the media. Boeheim enjoyed a spectacular tenure at Syracuse that started in 1976. He built the Orange (Orangemen at the time) into a national powerhouse, going toe to toe with Georgetown, St. John’s, UConn and Villanova during the rise of the Big East Conference through the 1980s and beyond. Boeheim outlasted legendary coaches like John Thompson, Rollie Massimino, Lou Carnesecca, Jim Calhoun and P.J. Carlesimo. Hell, he outlasted John Thompson III, too. Boeheim beat prostate cancer, raised money for cancer research, took the ‘Cuse to 35 NCAA Tournaments, five Final Fours and won it all during his team’s unforgettable run through the 2003 NCAA Tournament. It was fueled by a pair of true freshmen in Gerry McNamara and Carmelo Anthony. Unlike some asshole who made it all about himself during a farewell tour of sorts in 2021-22 – yes, the same asshole who had assistants on his staff that refused to shake Hubert Davis’s hand because UNC, Duke’s bitter enemy, didn’t honor him in his final game at the Dean Dome (what?!) – Boeheim didn’t want any fanfare whatsoever as he stepped aside. Adrian Autry, Boeheim’s former player and long-time assistant, is replacing him. Boeheim enjoyed tons of success and for that and his unwavering loyalty to Syracuse, he gets a Hat Tip from this space.

-Kentucky assistant K.T. Turner has been named the new HC at UT-Arlington. He’ll replace George Young, who was fired in February after less than two years on the job. Prior to arriving in Lexington, Turner spent one season on Porter’s Moser’s staff at Oklahoma and one season at Texas working under Shaka Smart. This scribe blasted UT-Arlington back in 2018 for inexplicably firing Scott Cross after a 12-year tenure that included five seasons with 21 wins or more, including a 27-9 record and Sun Belt regular-season championship (and a trip to the NIT quarterfinals) in 2016-17. Cross went 24-11, 27-9 and 21-13 in his final three years with the Mavericks.

At the time, AD Jim Baker claimed that the goal was for UT-Arlington to become the next Gonzaga of college basketball. Baker, who retired about six months ago, failed miserably in getting the Mavericks’ program into the rarified air occupied by Mark Few’s program. Since firing Cross, UT-Arlington has produced records of 17-16, 14-18, 13-13, 11-18 and 11-18. Just as we called it at the time, we maintain that Baker is an idiot whose decision to pink slip Cross continues to haunt the UT-Arlington basketball program.

Editor’s Note: As more Coaching Carousel news develops in the coming days, Brian will be updating this story with the latest.

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