College Basketball Coaches Hot Seat: Is It Getting Warm in Here?

Jeffrey BatheContributor IIIFebruary 23, 2011

College Basketball Coaches Hot Seat: Is It Getting Warm in Here?

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    The college basketball season is preparing to enter March, where the madness of the season will take place. Many teams will be preparing to have that one shining moment in the chance of winning the title, while others wonder what they will do next.

    In many cases, "next" is making a coaching change. In looking at the coaches on this list, as well as others that were considered, several themes came to light. They are:

    •   What Have You Done For Me Lately? - The coaches in this group have had success in their careers but have seen a significant drop-off in recent seasons. They could be reaching the point where they can no longer rest on their laurels.

    •   Please, Can We Go Dancing? - These coaches might have tasted some success, even posting winning records and making trips to the NIT, but the promise of NCAA dancing has yet to be fulfilled.

    •   Really, This Is It? - These coaches have had ups and downs, might even had their dancing shoes on at some point, but just are leaving the faithful wondering where things went wrong.

    •   This Just Isn't Working Out. - These coaches are in situations that are just not working out. Success has not really happened and it might be time for a change to take place before the coach makes some top 10 list of bad coaches.

    •   Bad, Bad Boy...Rules Are to Be Followed. - Success on the court is overshadowed by problems off the court. Only so much can be handled by the faithful and despite winning games, they may be losers off it and shown the door.

    The following coaches are on the hot seat for the reasons stated above, so let the list begin.

Bruce Weber: Illinois (2003-Present)

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    Reason on the List: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

    Record:
    •   Prior to 2007: 112-28 (.800), Four NCAA Appearances
    •   2007-Present: 78-55 (.591), One NCAA Appearance

    Weber was the toast of Champaign when he led the Illini to the National title game back in 2005. Since then, the Illini have only won one game in three NCAA appearances. Last week, Weber received less than a glowing amount of support from AD Ron Guenther so the Illini need to get back into to their winning ways quickly if Weber wants to continue his run with the orange and blue.

Chris Lowery: Southern Illinois (2004-Present)

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    Reason on the List: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

    Record:
    •   Prior to 2007: 78-26 (.750), Three NCAA Appearances
    •   2007-Present: 58-64 (.475), One NCAA Appearances

    Lowery was on top of the Missouri Conference his first three seasons with two regular season titles and a tournament title under his belt. The Salukis made the NCAA tournament three straight times but since then have only one NIT appearance and one winning record the last four years. With the team sitting at 12-16, the writing may be on the wall as the fans are longing for the taste of victory that has been commonplace the last decade.

Phil Martelli: St. Joseph's (1995-Present)

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    Reason on the List: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

    Record:
    •   Prior to 2007: 240-139 (.633) Four NCAA Appearances
    •   2007-Present: 56-67 (.455) One NCAA Appearance

    Martelli is most remembered for the magical run he had in 2003-2004 with the Hawks, finishing 30-2, and spending time ranked number one. Since then it has been a slow downhill descent for St. Joseph's with it accelerating the past two seasons. Last season the Hawks finished 11-20, the worst in Martelli's tenure, only then to be outdone by this year's squad 7-19 mark with four games to play. It seems that the game is passing this St. Joseph's legend by and the time is approaching for a change.

Sidney Lowe: NC State (2006-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Please, Can We Go Dancing?

    Overall Record: 85-74

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Two

    How would you like to be Herb Sendek? His final five seasons at NC State, he makes the NCAA tournament and gets shown the door. Sidney Lowe has not been close to sniffing the big dance since his first year when he led the Wolfpack to the conference title. How much longer can Lowe live off his glory days at NC State as a player since he has not been bringing the glory as a coach? A poor end to this season might help us find out.

Bill Carmody: Northwestern (2000-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Please, Can We Go Dancing?

    Overall Record: 156-173

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Two

    Carmody by Northwestern standards has been a success considering the horrors that have been the team's history over past 20 years (see how bad NU has been: Big Ten Basketball: The Worst Coaches Since 1992), but most would consider them to be mediocre during his tenure.

    The Wildcats have almost become the Chicago Cubs of the Big Ten, with a just wait until next year feel around it. But like the Cubs, next year never seems to come as the Wildcats have made two straight NIT appearances, but lost in the first round in both cases.

    Streaky play plagues NU this year as they sit at 16-10 at are looking for a three-peat in the NIT, which may not be enough in Evanston.

Pat Knight: Texas Tech (2007-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Please, Can We Go Dancing?

    Overall Record: 49-57

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: One

    The last name spells success, but that is where the similarity between father and son ends. Knight took over the Red Raiders after his father Bob Knight stepped down with promise that he was going to have some success. Oh how wrong things have been. Many moments of bad hoops have taken place so the Knight name might not be enough to save Pat his job.

Craig Robinson: Oregon State (2008-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Please, Can We Go Dancing?

    Overall Record: 45-46

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Robinson's tenure at Oregon State started out alright with the Beavers winning the CBI. However, since then the Beavers have been 25-34 and have lacked success in the weak Pac-10. Being the brother-in-law of President Obama may not be enough to save Robinson if he cannot turn things around.

Tom Crean: Indiana (2008-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Really, This Is It?

    Overall Record: 28-61

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Crean is trying to rebuild the Hoosier program and while most fans know that will take time, there are some that see the lack of an immediate turnaround to be grounds to let him go. The charismatic coach may be able to save himself if he can pull off an upset or two in their final four games (a tough task) or hinder the Illini's bid to the dance. Otherwise, Crean may be undeservingly shown the door.

Keno Davis: Providence (2008-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Please, Can We Go Dancing?

    Overall Record: 45-46

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: One

    Welcome to the Big East Keno Davis. Davis led the Friars to the NIT in his first year but has not done anything since. It is a challenging position to build up a team when you are in such a powerhouse conference and most of the teams are just reloading. It doesn't appear that he has been able to get together enough firepower to compete so some might want there to be some change.

John Beilein: Michigan (2007-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Really, This Is It?

    Overall Record: 63-64

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: One

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Beilein has lacked consistency with the Wolverines having two losing seasons and two winning seasons.  He has not been able to replicate the success that he had at West Virginia (sound familiar Michigan football fans). Without a late run, he may be joining his fellow Mountaineer coach Rich Rodriguez and be fired from Ann Arbor as a trip to the NIT may not be enough.

John Pelphrey: Arkansas (2007-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Really, This Is It?

    Overall Record: 67-56

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: One

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    A lack of success after a trip to the NCAA tournament his first year and players behaving badly off the court (three players with accusations of rape) have led to a less than acceptable journey for Pelphrey. A 16-10 record and an RPI of 114 may lead to Pelphrey having to plead for his job as the Razorback faithful long for the success of the past.

John Giannini: LaSalle (2004-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Really, This Is It?

    Overall Record: 95-112

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Giannini has managed to only two winning seasons during his tenure with the Explorers. While La Salle has not had success since 1991-1992 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the fans deserve much better than what they are currently getting.

Pat Kennedy: Towson (2004-Present)

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    Reason on the List: This Just Isn't Working Out

    Overall Record: 71-141

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Kennedy has had zero winning seasons while at Towson and this season looks to potentially be his worst as the Tigers are sitting at 4-23. While Towson has not had a winning record since 1995-1996, they deserve much better than this.

Jim Molinari: Western Illinois (2008-Present)

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    Reason on the List: This Just Isn't Working Out

    Overall Record: 29-57

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Molinari had success in previous head coaching stops at Northern Illinois and Bradley, but struggled as the interim coach at Minnesota following the Clem Haskins scandal. Since taking over the Leathernecks, wins have been few and far between. If WIU loses to winless Centenary on Thursday, the nails may be put in his coaching coffin as it would show how far they have to come to be relevant in the Summit.

Ricardo Patton: Northern Illinois (2007-Present)

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    Reason on the List: This Just Isn't Working Out

    Overall Record: 33-80

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Zero

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Patton is not enjoying an inkling of success that he had when he was the head coach at Colorado. In his three plus seasons in DeKalb, two ten-win seasons are the high water mark (they are three wins from matching that this season). When the football team had more wins (eleven) this past season than the basketball team (seven), a change is in order.

Ernie Zeigler: Central Michigan (2006-Present)

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    Reason on the List: This Just Isn't Working Out

    Overall Record: 62-87

    Regular Season Conference Championships: One

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Zero

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    A glance at Zeigler's time at Central Michigan can be called odd. His best season was a 15-15 campaign in 2009-2010 but he won the MAC West regular season title with a 7-9 conference record (12-19 overall). While the Chippewas are used to losing (last winning season was 2002-2003) five mediocre seasons may be enough.

Bruce Pearl: Tennessee (2005-Present)

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    Reason on the List: Bad, Bad Boy...Rules Are to Be Followed

    Overall Record: 142-57

    Regular Season Conference Championships: Three

    Conference Tournament Championships: Zero

    NCAA Tournament Appearances: Five

    NIT Appearances: Zero

    Pearl is on the list not for his coaching, but for his actions away from the hardwood. Pearl admitted to making inappropriate recruitment contacts and then gave inaccurate information to NCAA investigator. Pearl has received sanctions including reduction of salary and ability to recruitment. Additionally he was suspended for coaching the first eight SEC games. The NCAA has not finalized the matter yet, and there is no guarantee Pearl makes it to next season.