Who is coaching these Bears next season?
It's been two weeks since Mike Montgomery has stepped down as Cal head coach, and it feels like we're not anywhere closer to having a name. There have been plenty of names that have been bandied about. Chris Mack has come and gone. Mike Brey was there for a little bit. So has Joe Pasternack. Eric Musselman had his day in the sun before getting shut out. Russell Turner was a candidate at some point, but I'm not sure if that's still the case.
Every 24 hours or so it seems like Cal gets a new candidate, and by the end of the cycle all such rumors have been refuted. Right now it's unclear if there's any sort of list of candidates outside of the original name, associate coach Travis DeCuire. You would think that if Travis DeCuire was Cal's number one choice, he would already have been installed awhile ago. But at the moment, DeCuire remains very much in limbo. Cal seems to be doing their best to search for every capable candidate outside of the Haas Pavilion corridors, despite what players loyal to him might want.
Breaking: Cal's 5 freshman went to chancellor office earlier today to express wish to only play 4 DeCure but were turned away citing no appt— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) April 10, 2014
As much as I appreciate the players going out of their way to support their candidate, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Cal to pick their coach based off how they feel. This coach will be here a lot longer than they will. DeCuire seems very capable, but his interview for the job apparently wasn't convincing enough to elevate him over all other candidates. Considering the rumor mill has often spun several of the coaches above as being either "offered the job" or "named lead candidate", it does not seem like DeCuire is just about to be handed this job without due diligence.
It's a bit surprising that none of the candidates that are apparently now out of the running could see eye-to-eye with the athletic department. Cal is in the Bay Area, which is a hotbed of hoops recruiting. It is in a conference that is extremely top-heavy (Arizona, UCLA, and then everyone else), so it wouldn't take that much time to compete for NCAA tournament bids and an occasional conference title. On paper, the job looks very compelling.
However, there are concerns. The need to keep players academically eligible is a much more formidable task in Berkeley than most other schools. The lack of modern hoops facilities (dedicated practice gym has been a huge sticking point for Cal basketball in recruiting cycles) is also a bit of an impediment. And the money issue is a big deal. Cal athletics might have the financial means to make a big splash hire, but given some of the limitations above would they need to break the bank further and elevate their pay to an even higher degree?
Opening the floor to you commenters. What are your thoughts on the coaching search so far?