There's been a lot of chaos swirling around the head coaching vacancies this year, and I thought it was about time I got Syracuse fans up to speed on where we are at right now.
Starting the off-season we had seven head coaching jobs open: Virginia Cavaliers, UMBC Retrievers, Binghamton Bearcats,
Princeton Tigers, Vermont Catamounts, Jacksonville Dolphins, Hartford Hawks. Not often does a head coaching vacancy open up at a blue chip program but this year both Princeton and Virginia found themselves in need.
Let's first go through a timeline of events:
June 2 - Hartford promoted Ryan Martin from assistant coach to head coach.
June 6 - Baltimore Sun reported that Hopkins offensive coordinator Bobby Benson, Maryland offensive coordinator Kevin Conry, Loyola offensive coordinator Ryan Moran, and Brown assistant coach Kip Turner interviewed for the UMBC job. Pietramala stated that Benson has the intention of remaining with the program. The paper also reported that Ed Stephenson of UMass Lowell and Dom Starsia had not been contacted by the school. The report also included that a UMBC spokesperson reported that interviews would be continuing for another week and the school would be making a decision as early as mid-June.
June 6 - Attention began focusing on Kevin Corrigan as the target for the UVA job.
June 8 - After speculation that Kevin Corrigan had been offered the UVA job, the Notre Dame coach announced he would be staying with the Irish.
June 10 - Andy Shay and Yale announced a contract extension.
June 10 - Jacksonville named John Galloway head coach of the Dolphins.
June 10 - The Marquette Wire reported that Joe Amplo interviewed at Princeton.
June 10 - Baltimore Sun ran an article in which Shawn Nadelen addresses his interest in the Princeton job, which he had been linked to from the start. Nadelen reaffirmed his commitment to Towson in the article.
June 11 - Marquette University announced that Amplo and the school were in talks for a contract extension.
June 13 - Ryan Danehy, who's been all over the coaching carousel news, threw this out on Twitter:
Sources close to both situations say offers have been out at UMBC and UVM for a few days now. Expected decisions to come within 48 hours.— Ryan Danehy (@RPDLacrosse) June 13, 2016
June 15 - According to Ryan Danehy:
Sources: Ricky Sowell had successful talks with Navy after conversations with UVA.— Ryan Danehy (@RPDLacrosse) June 15, 2016
June 15 - According to Ryan Danehy, Kevin Warne was offered the UMBC job but decided to stay at Georgetown.
Sources: Kevin Warne, who had been sitting on an offer from UMBC for the last few days, has made his decision to stay at Georgetown.— Ryan Danehy (@RPDLacrosse) June 15, 2016
June 15 - Princeton named Matt Madalon head coach.
First off, thanks to Danehy who has been at the forefront of all the coaching vacancy news and has been keeping us all informed one tweet at a time.
Currently, we are down to four schools: UVM, UVA, Binghamton, and UMBC. With Princeton's announcement on Wednesday that the school has hired interim head coach Matt Madalon, we are left with one premier program: Virginia.
There was a huge amount of drama surrounding Dom Starsia's exit from UVA. First there was speculation that the school wasn't retaining Starsia, then the they offered Starsia an extension, then UVA announced that Starsia would not be returning. I know that Syracuse has had its share of trouble in the public relations department, but the Starsia incident is a great example of how not to handle a situation.
Normally, a program like Virginia would be an easy sell, but it seems like every potential, big name candidate has been locked up by his current employer. It almost feels like current head coaches are using the UVA opening as bargaining power against their current employers. Yale and Marquette came up swinging first by extending Andy Shay and Joe Amplo. Excellent job by both those schools in acknowledging the talent they have and reaffirming their commitment to the sport. It is unclear at this point who the Cavaliers could even be targeting.Then Ricky Sowell was linked to the job, but now it appears that the Naval Academy is making a stand and keeping him in Annapolis, MD.
So as it stands, there is not an obvious, big name available right now, and with Virginia's top recruiting class waiting in the wings the Cavaliers will need to hire a coach as soon as possible or this could turn into an even bigger disaster.
I don't want to turn this into a Desko discussion because lord knows we've had enough of those, but I hope all of those who continue to believe that John Desko must go, take a note of how the Virginia situation is developing. Whenever we talk about getting rid of Desko, I always bring up the Tennessee Volunteers and the school's decision to let go of Phil Fulmer in favor of hiring Lane Kiffin, but to put it short, you never know what is around the corner. Judging by the fact that UVA didn't appear to have a plan in place on how to replace Starsia, I can't imagine the athletic department thought that it would be difficult to pick up a premier coach. As the days drag on, this is becoming more and more eye opening.
The Virginia position is an important situation to keep an eye on. The Syracuse Orange will play UVA at least once next year, and with potential recruits suddenly without a head coach it is entirely possible that some of these high schoolers could jump ship.