Monday , May 25 2020
Home / NCAAB / Five college basketball coaches whose jobs may have been saved by the coronavirus pandemic

Five college basketball coaches whose jobs may have been saved by the coronavirus pandemic

Five college basketball coaches whose jobs may have been saved by the coronavirus pandemic

Unemployment is rising, but some college coaches are still employed because of the crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has cost millions of Americans their jobs. But it appears to have saved a few in college basketball.

Several schools that were positioned to consider coaching changes after the 2019-20 college basketball season have opted instead to retain their coaches amid a pandemic that has forced athletic departments to constrict their budgets.

Wake Forest became the first major-conference school to fire a coach in this year's cycle when it parted with Danny Manning in April. But for many institutions, the prospect of paying a multi-million dollar buyout and conducting a thorough coaching search amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis is impractical.

That's good news for a handful of coaches who could use another season to get their programs back on the right track. These five in particular might have the unprecedented times to thank for saving their jobs.

  1. Shaka Smart | Texas

Maybe the Longhorns would have defeated Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament and advanced in the Big Dance for the first time in Smart's five-year tenure. But there's also a chance they would have ended up on the wrong side of the bubble for the third time in his tenure if the season hadn't been canceled. If the Longhorns had missed the tournament and the economy was still doing well, it's hard to imagine that Smart would have gotten the vote of confidence from university leadership to return for a sixth season.

2. Richard Pitino | Minnesota

When a coach is answering questions about job security on his radio show in early March, it's never a good sign. That was the situation Pitino found himself in as his team struggled in the second half of a brutal Big Ten slate. Minnesota finished Pitino's seventh season 15-16 (8-12 Big Ten). But the pandemic seemed to squash the hot seat talk, and Pitino appears on track to get an eighth year.

3. Jim Christian | Boston College

Then-athletic director Martin Jarmond fired Boston College football coach Steve Addazio in December after he led the program to five bowl appearances in seven years. So why did Christian get the nod to return after the Eagles' basketball program posted a losing record in ACC play for the sixth straight season? It was attributable, at least in part, to the pandemic. "You need to be steady and you need to have calm in uncertain times," Jarmond told the Boston Globe. Alas, Christian is on track to be back for a seventh season.

4. Larry Krystkowiak | Utah

The Utes guaranteed that they would have missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth season in a row when they lost to Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Krystkowiak's reported eight-figure buyout might have been prohibitive even in good economic times. But any thoughts of paying it likely vanished with the arrival of the pandemic. Utah welcomes the No. 3 recruiting class in the Pac-12, but the program has dealt with a trend of quality players transferring out under Krystkowiak.

5. Jeff Neubauer | Fordham

The school is undergoing an athletic director transition, which may be part of the reason Neubauer is still around. But the existence of a Twitter account dedicated to getting the coach of a historically irrelevant Atlantic 10 program fired is a telling sign of the times at Fordham. Neubauer arrived with promise after leading Eastern Kentucky to a couple of NCAA Tournament appearances. But the Rams' 2-16 conference record this season was their worst in his five-year tenure. In fact, Fordham's A-10 win total has decreased each season under Neubauer.

About usatoday

Check Also

Rams’ Taylor Rapp burns 10,000 calories in #10kCalorieChallenge

Rams' Taylor Rapp burns 10,000 calories in #10kCalorieChallengeRapp achieved the feat by biking, running, and swimming Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp had a sensational rookie season in 2019. On Sunday, Rapp achieved a feat that was just as impressive. Rapp completed the #10kCalorie Challenge in which he burned 10,000 calories during a 24-hour period. The Rams safety burned the 10,000 calories by participating in a long workout that featured biking, running, and swimming. @thecheckdown @BleacherReport @brgridiron @SportsCenter @NFL — Taylor Rapp (@trapp07) May 25, 2020 At the end of the day, Rapp biked 125 miles (103 in one ride), swam 1.25 miles, hiked four miles, ran three miles, and participated in another short workout. Rapp completed the different workouts between 4:30 a.m. to 9:09 p.m. In the wake of the quarantine, the majority of gyms are closed and people are forced to find other alternatives to working out. Regardless of how impressive..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *