Painter Bluffs Missouri: The Quest for Mizzou's Next Coach Continues

Jack WascherContributor IMarch 30, 2011

Missouri hopes to walk off the court next year with a different expression
Missouri hopes to walk off the court next year with a different expressionNick Laham/Getty Images

Well, after many reports from various sources it has been confirmed by ESPN that Matt Painter will not be the new head coach of the Missouri Tigers. He will instead agree on an extension with Purdue, his alma mater and current team.

This doesn't make Tiger fans too happy, as they were hoping the search for a new head coach would be over by now. I guess Mike Alden, Missouri's athletic director, has to start recruiting all over again.

Or maybe he's already got backups in mind. Here's a list of potential candidates.


Shaka Smart

Well, we've all gotten to know Smart's name well over the past couple weeks, as he coaches Virginia Commonwealth, this year's Cinderella team. Smart got his chance to be a head coach just last year, and in only his second season he has VCU in the Final Four and two wins away from a national championship.

Smart likes to describe his system, which is similar to the style Mike Anderson implemented in his five years at Missouri, as "controlled havoc."

He likes to play at a high tempo at all times, encouraging his team to push the ball whenever they can. Also, Smart possesses what seem to be trending themes with young coaches these days: passion and involvement in the game.

If you've seen any game he's coached in the NCAA Tournament, you might think VCU is playing six against five.

Smart is a prime candidate, and would fit in perfectly at Mizzou.


Ben Jacobson

Also a young coach, Jacobsen took over at Northern Iowa in 2005 and has turned the program from an average team into one that made the Sweet Sixteen last year, going through top-seeded Kansas on the way.

Although UNI just signed Jacobsen to a new ten-year deal last year, he still doesn't make the kind of money he might at a school like Missouri. 

Currently, he makes $495,000, but Missouri would easily double that and could possibly triple it if they are seriously interested in Jacobson. Some might ask why he would leave UNI, but coaches today look for money and a winning team. 

Jacobson coaches with passion. He not be Mizzou's No. 1 option, but if given the talent he may be able to get the Tigers over the hump that Mike Anderson got them to.


Bruce Pearl

Now, I know nobody wants to be near this guy after what he did at Tennessee. Pearl seems to taint every school he goes to, so why hire him?

Well, despite his off-the-court antics, he's still a good coach.

He led the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to its lone Sweet Sixteen appearance. A year later, he was hired by Tennessee and took the Volunteers to the NCAA Tournament every year, getting as far as the Elite Eight.

He also led Tennessee to the only national No. 1 ranking in school history.

As we know, Pearl was subsequently found guilty for illegally recruiting a player and then lying about it to the NCAA, which prompted an eight-game suspension.

However, the guy is passionate about what he does, and he likes to show it. He had become popular for wearing a bright orange suit to most Tennessee games.

While Pearl has done some questionable things off the court, bringing him to Missouri may not be the worst decision.


All of these coaches possess good qualities, and there are probably more candidates, but now the ball is in Mike Alden's court.

Who will he go after?