College basketball coaching changes tracker: Illinois-Chicago hires Texas assistant Luke Yaklich
Get the latest updates on on this season's college basketball's coaching changes
Texas assistant Luke Yaklich has agreed to become the next coach at UIC, CBS Sports has confirmed, and he is expected to be announced by the school on Thursday. Stadium first reported the move.
Yaklich has made a fast ascent in the business, going from Illinois State to Michigan to Texas in the past four seasons. The 44-year-old defensive specialist spent his late 20s and most of his 30s coaching high school basketball in Illinois and returns to the state, taking over a program that has potential in the Horizon League but last made the NCAA Tournament in 2004.
In other coaching news, CBS Sports confirmed that Western Illinois is hiring Minnesota assistant Rob Jeter to be its next head coach. Jeter compiled a 184-170 record in 11 seasons as Milwaukee's head coach from 2005 to 2016 before stints as an assistant at UNLV and Minnesota.
The 50-year-old former Horizon League Coach of The Year will take over a WIU program coming off its seventh consecutive losing season.
2020 Coaching changes
|Team||Out||In||What to know|
|Dave Pilipovich||Air Force was polite in its announcement that Dave Pillipovich won't be returning. Athletic Director Nathan Pine referred to Pillipovich as "a gentlemen and a professional" in a statement. But after seven straight losing seasons, the Falcons are making a change. "The bottom line is we have to be more competitive on the court," Pine said. "We entered this season with a senior-laden and talented team with high expectations, unfortunately we did not meet our goals as a program this year."|
|Montez Robinson||Montez Robinson put together the best run of any Alcorn State coach since the revered Davey Whitney led the Braves to their two most recent NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year span from 1999 to 2002. But athletic director Derek Horne announced March 23 that Robinson's contract will not be renewed for a sixth year after the Braves finished the season 15-15 (11-7 SWAC). His tenure concludes with a 69-86 (50-40 SWAC) record.|
|Russ Pennell||Anthony Boone||Anthony Boone coached the Bears to a 9-13 record over their final 22 games after Russ Pennell resigned following a 1-9 start. The effort earned Boone the full-time job and the opportunity to try and get the UCA program on winning footing for the first time since it joined Division 1 for the 2006-07 season. UCA's only winning season so far came when it went 18-17 in 2017-18 under Pennell. Boone, an Arkansas native and former Ole Miss player, was the associate head at UCA for five seasons before he got the interim job.|
|Walter McCarty||Todd Lickliter||The Purple Aces notched the upset of the season by winning at Kentucky on their way to a 9-4 start. But it all fell apart when coach Walter McCarty was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 26 and subsequently fired over allegations of sexual misconduct. Under interim coach coach Bennie Seltzer and new coach Todd Lickliter, Evansville lost its last 19 games to finish 9-23 — its lowest win total in a decade. But Lickliter is a former Butler and Iowa head coach who spent 2018-19 as an assistant at Evansville. His experience should help steady the Purple Aces and make them competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference again.|
|Dan Majerle||Bryce Drew||Grand Canyon is turning to Bryce Drew as the Antelopes try and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since becoming eligible in 2018 following the transition from Division I to Division II. Expectations are high at the Phoenix, Arizona university. Dan Majerle won 20-plus games four seasons in a row before he was dismissed following a 13-17 campaign.|
|Steve McClain||Luke Yaklich||Considering where things were at Illinois-Chicago when he started, Steve McClain did a nice job in his five years as he led the program to three consecutive winning seasons in Horizon League play for the first time since the school joined the league for the 2001-02 season. But the program has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2004, and athletic director Michael Lipitz made it clear in the announcement of McClain's departure that he expects the next coach to lead the Flames to the Big Dance. That next man, according to Jeff Goodman, is expected to be former Michigan and Texas assistant Luke Yaklich, an Illinois native with a high school coaching background in the Chicago area.|
|Tim Cluess||Rick Pitino||The Gaels made a splash by hiring 67-year-old Rick Pitino three years after his run at Louisville ended in a heap of controversy. Pitino comes to Iona from Panathinaikos B.C. in Greece. He's entering a good situation, too. Former coach Tim Cluess led Iona to six NCAA Tournament appearances in nine years before spending last season away from the team for health reasons.|
|Don Verlin||Zac Claus||Zac Claus spent four seasons as an assistant under Don Verlin before Verlin was fired with cause in June 2019 after a probe revealed possible NCAA violations. Claus took over as interim coach before the season and earned the full-time job in February even as the Vandals struggled through an 8-24 campaign.|
|Louis Rowe||Mark Byington||Mark Byington will be the coach christening the Dukes' new 8,500-seat Atlantic Union Bank Center in the upcoming season. After seven years as coach at Georgia Southern, he replaces Louis Rowe, a former JMU player and assistant who struggled to a 43-85 record over four seasons with his alma mater.|
|Mike Dunlap||Stan Johnson||Stan Johnson is stepping in from his role as Marquette's associate head coach after LMU and Mike Dunlap "agreed to part ways" when Dunlap's sixth season came to an end with an 11-21 record. Johnson's resume also includes stops at Arizona State and Utah, among others.|
|Jeff Linder||Steve Smiley||Three of the Bears' top four scorers this season were seniors, which means there was going to be some rebuilding at Northern Colorado even if Jeff Linder hadn't taken the Wyoming job. But by promoting Steve Smiley from associate head coach, Northern Colorado is ensuring there will be some continuity from Linder's solid four-year run. Smiley is a Colorado native and successful former junior college head coach.|
|Scott Padgett||The Bulldogs joined the Southern Conference for the 2008-09 season and have yet to finish a season with a winning record in the league. But the history is not all doom and gloom for Samford. The program made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000 under Jimmy Tillette. Before Tillette's brief run of success, John Brady parlayed a few good years at Samford in the 1990s into landing the LSU job. Mountain Brook High School coach Bucky McMillan is a candidate for the job, according to Jon Rothstein.|
|Rick Ray||Brad Korn||Former Mississippi State coach Rick Ray is out after posting a 51-104 record in five seasons and qualifying for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament only once. Kansas State assistant Brad Korn will get the next crack at taking the Redhawks back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.|
|Rob Ehsan||Andy Kennedy||Rob Ehsan is out after four years, done in by a failure to make the NCAA Tournament and mediocre results in a conference the Blazers have historically fared well in. But the Blazers are scoring a former power coach and famed alum in his replacement. Andy Kennedy is leaving the broadcast table to take over his alma mater two years after he resigned following a 12-year stint at Ole Miss.|
|C.B. McGrath||Takayo Siddle||Takayo Siddle comes to UNCW from Kevin Keatts' staff at NC State to try and continue what Keatts started in his three seasons coaching the Seahawks from 2014 to 2017. UNCW made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances under Keatts with Siddle on the bench as an assistant. After Keatts left for NC State, the Seahawks turned to longtime North Carolina C.B. McGrath, who went 26-58 in two and a half seasons. It didn't work out for McGrath. But as Keatts and Brad Brownell (now at Clemson) have shown, the UNCW job can be a springboard to bigger things for those who have success.|
|Billy Wright||Rob Jeter||The Billy Wright era at Western Illinois had its moments, such as when the Leathernecks upset a ranked Wisconsin team in 2015. But success never came in the Summit League under Wright, and now former Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter gets another chance to lead a program. Jeter spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Minnesota.|
|Steve Hawkins||Western Michigan is beginning a new era in its basketball history by moving on from Steve Hawkins, who was 291-262 with a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in his 17-year run. But the Broncos posted sub .500 records the past two seasons, their first time doing so in back-to-back years during Hawkins' tenure.|
|Allen Edwards||Jeff Linder||Jeff Linder parlayed a strong four-year run at Northern Colorado into landing his first head coaching job. The Bears were in the midst of a third straight 20-win season when the Big Sky Conference Tournament was called off. Linder replaces Allen Edwards, a former Kentucky player and Wyoming assistant who started his four-year tenure with a pair of 20-win seasons before combining to go 17-48 the last two years.|