College Basketball 2011: Power Ranking 10 Excellent Offseason Coaching Hires
Part of the madness of March Madness is the firing and hiring of college basketball coaches.
2011 is no different than any other year, with over 40 head coaching positions turning over.
So far, 31 coaches have been hired with 12 more still to come.
The following list power ranks the best 10 head coaching hires during this offseason.
10. Mark Montgomery, Northern Illinois
Mark Montgomery is moving to DeKalb after spending 10 seasons as as assistant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State, including the last four as associate head coach.
The Izzo Coaching Tree is alive and well.
Montgomery becomes the eighth former Izzo assistant to become an NCAA Division I head coach, and the fifth currently holding such a job.
9. Rodney Terry, Fresno State
Rodney Terry is setting the record straight from the very beginning: Fresno State will play intense, pressure D.
Terry has been an assistant under Rick Barnes at Texas the past nine seasons. Terry also had stops at Baylor and North Carolina-Wilmington.
He is known for his ability to recruit and his passionate enthusiasm.
8. Archie Miller, Dayton
Archie Miller was one of the hot, young (32) national head coaching prospects, and now he will be running the show at Dayton.
Miller has spent time as an assistant on the staffs of Herb Sendek (NC State and Arizona State), Thad Matta (Ohio State) and his brother, Sean Miller (Arizona).
7. Ron Hunter, Georgia State
Ron Hunter wanted to get in on the action in the Colonial Athletic Association. After all, the league has sent two teams to the Final Four in the past five seasons.
Hunter knows what it is like to coach at an urban institution.
He steered IUPUI through the transition from Division II to Division I and into the NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars had two 25-win seasons in the last four years. And he did this having largely focused his recruiting on local talent.
Hunter will have the opportunity to do the same with this Atlanta-based university.
6. Lon Kruger, Oklahoma
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Lon Kruger will add some needed stability to a program that has been in a state of flux for the last couple of years.
While Kruger was not the most sexy pick for OU; he is a coach who has won in the Big 12 (coached at Kansas State from 1986-90), SEC (Florida, 1990-96), Big Ten (Illinois, 1996-2000) and Mountain West (UNLV, 2004-11).
In his last five years at UNLV, Kruger's teams won an average of 25 games per year.
With a late start to recruiting, it might take Kruger a year or two to get his feet on the ground.
5. Ed Cooley, Providence
Ed Cooley did a great job rebuilding Fairfield into a consistently strong program and he is a great choice to do the same at Providence.
He has long-standing recruiting ties in the region which will be absolutely essential in trying to re-establish the Friars basketball fortunes. Providence has only had two seasons in the last 15 years where they won at least 20 games or more.
Before coaching at Fairfield, Cooley was an assistant coach at Boston College from 1997-2006.
4. Billy Gillispie, Texas Tech
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Regardless of what people in Lexington, Kentucky might say, Billy Gillispie has had success every place that he has been a head coach.
He is a great fit for Texas Tech who has floundered the last couple years in the post-Bob Knight era.
Pat Knight went 16-42 in the Big 12 Conference over his three and a half seasons as head coach.
Gillispie will have the Red Raiders playing hard-nosed, high intensity basketball.
3. Mark Gottfried, North Carolina State
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Coaching at NC State has some built-in challenges. The Raleigh school is close neighbors with two of the storied programs in college basketball: North Carolina and Duke.
Mark Gottfried's coaching experience at Alabama (in the shadow of the Crimson Tide football program) will help him effectively build the Wolf Pack program.
He won 210 games in his 11 years in Tuscaloosa, and he should be able to help NC State, who has not finished higher than ninth place in the ACC over the last five years.
2. Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee
Some opportunities are just too difficult to pass up.
Without any guarantees about what type of limitations that he will have to work with (because of infractions during Bruce Pearl's coaching tenure), Cuonzo Martin took on the challenge of the Tennessee coaching job.
Martin went 61-41 in three seasons at Missouri State after eight years as an assistant coach at Purdue under Gene Keady and Matt Painter.
Martin's first recruiting job will be to try to convince the Vols top two current players, Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, to stay on campus and not enter the NBA draft.
If he is successful in holding onto these two, Martin will be off to a good start in Knoxville.
1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas
Nick Laham/Getty Images
They're excited again in Arkansas about what's ahead for Razorback basketball.
Mike Anderson, who has been a success at both UAB and Missouri, was hired to do the same in Fayetteville.
Unlike most coaches who have to scramble to make up for lost time in recruiting, Anderson inherits one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
Anderson returns to Arkansas, where he was an assistant coach for 17 years under Nolan Richardson.