April 6, 2007

Who is the next coach?

Kentucky's hire of Texas A&M head coach Billy Gillispie leaves a lot hanging in the air in College Station. The Aggies have a solid recruiting class coming and a coaching search to conduct.

As far as the new coach goes, the search is more open this time around as A&M isn't such a dismal job as it was when Gillispie took the reigns after the 2003-04 season.

A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne, however, has hired coaches with Texas ties for each of his open positions while in Aggieland. That probably won't change this time around either.

In the college basketball community, Gillispie is Texas A&M basketball, which means that the program is most likely not at the level to bring in a big name, established head coach. However, with the money A&M is willing to give and the new facilities that are planned, it could happen if the right coach falls into A&M's lap.

Here is an early look at coaching candidates:

Buzz Williams - New Orleans Head Coach

Pros: He is definitely a Gillispie guy as he coached under him for the first two seasons at A&M. Williams was also his top recruiter. The guy can flat out recruit the state of Texas, and if he gets one solid season next year (NCAA tournament) he can pick up where Gillispie left off. Williams would also have a very good chance of keeping A&M's current recruiting class intact, and would still be able to recruit the same players that A&M is currently recruiting.

Cons: Williams only has one year of head coaching experience under his belt this season at New Orleans. UNO had a decent year going 14-17 and 9-9 in the Sun Belt after going 6-9 last season. He turned Bo McCalebb into a dominant junior after he had a really good freshman season and then dropped off as a sophomore. But even with his experience, remember Gillispie only had two years under his belt when he came to A&M.

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