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Cal basketball coaching search: Chris Mooney emerges, Travis DeCuire out, announcement coming?


Doug Pensinger

So the newest name entering the ring is totally out of left field and not one I was expecting at all. Richmond Spiders coach Chris Mooney has been rumored as the latest candidate by multiple sources.

(This also appears to be the same news Ryan Gorcey is hearing, if his Bear Territory frontpage is any indication.)

Here's the down-low on Mooney:

Mooney and his wife are both Princeton-educated. He started his head coaching career at Beaver College before spending five years as an assistant at Air Force, taking over the head spot for one year and leading the team to a winning record (that doesn't really happen at Air Force that often). He then made the jump to Richmond in 2005-06.

Mooney has had some good years, making the NCAA tournament twice (Richmond has made it nine times in the program's history). He's best remembered for a Sweet 16 run he had at Richmond as the 12th seed, fueled by a first round upset over Vanderbilt and some excellent seeding help against Morehead State. He also made the NCAA Tournament in 2010, although he fell to St. Mary's in the first round.

Richmond has not made the Dance since. Mooney has generally struggled his past three seasons, finishing in the bottom half of the conference the past three seasons (T-9th, T-8th, 7th). His record is 166-132, and he's only finished with a winning record in-conference in four of his nine seasons.

He is a man of impressive character though. Read this story by Dana O'Neil on ESPN to learn more.

On the worst day of her life, he offered her his shoulder and his strength, guiding her home to face the grim reality that her beloved father had taken his own life.

He stayed by her through the funeral and the entirety of her senior year, opening up the home he and his wife shared to allow Robyn Jacobs Sordelett a place to live, room to grieve and above all else, a chance to recover and blossom.

And so five years later, on the best day of her life, when Robyn needed someone to walk her down the aisle at her wedding, the former basketball student manager chose the man who had given her solace, peace and support.

She chose Chris Mooney, the Richmond men's coach.

"For me, the biggest thing was that he didn't feel like a replacement," Robyn said. "When he was standing with me, I thought, this is what was meant to be. This man was meant to have this role in my life, to be my protector, my mentor. He does everything for me. There's no one else I would have chosen."

UPDATE: Travis DeCuire is apparently no longer a candidate for the job. Mooney might be out. It appears as if Russell Turner is also no longer in the race. WHICH LEAVES US WITH WHAT EXACTLY.

Players are meeting today, which is usually the sign a coaching hire is coming down the pipe.