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Countdown to Madness 2023: 10 College Basketball Coaches Who Could Be Fired This Offseason

Bobby Hurley, Arizona State

We've reached an exciting time in the sports calendar, with March Madness right around the corner. As many teams gear up for what they hope are extended NCAA Tournament runs, others are already looking ahead towards 2023-2024. For those that have no chance at the postseason, it begins a time of reckoning, evaluating whether they have the pieces in place to steer themselves back into contention next winter. Some may simply need to get healthy, or add a piece or two through the portal, while others may need to fire a head coach to get back on track. In that spirit, I brainstorm ten coaches who could be looking for new gigs over the offseason. 

Arizona State Sun Devils: Bobby Hurley

Record at Arizona State: 136-108

A college basketball legend known for his fiery sideline antics, Bobby Hurley feels like he may have overstayed his welcome in Tempe. After a pair of sub-.500 campaigns in his first two years at Arizona State, Hurley delivered consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and likely would have gone to a third had the event not been cancelled in 2020. It's been a rough road since; the Sun Devils have had two straight rough seasons prior to 2022-2023, and their NCAA Tournament hopes appear to be getting dimmer this year. If ASU is able to sneak into the Field of 68, it's highly unlikely they choose to move on from Hurley this offseason, but the NIT feels like the more likely scenario. For a program that is watching their chief rival, Arizona, quickly ascend back up the totem pole in both basketball and football, that might not be good enough to keep Hurley around for a ninth year.

California: Mark Fox

Record at California: 38-82

If not for the well-documented struggles at Louisville, California would be getting more attention as the worst major-conference team in college basketball this season. In fact, you could make the argument the Golden Bears have been even worse than the Cardinals, given some of their losses. Those defeats include games against such college basketball heavyweights like UC-Davis, UC-San Diego, Southern, and Texas State. Not exactly the resume you're looking for during your fourth season at the helm, but such is the case for Mark Fox. It's hard to imagine a fifth year for Fox, who was a baffling hire at the time. Although he had success in the mid-2000s at Nevada, Fox was fresh off an uninspiring run at Georgia, and the results speak for themselves here.

Florida State: Leonard Hamilton

Record at Florida State: 425-262

Leonard Hamilton isn't in danger of being fired this offseason, but it's not crazy to think him and Florida State brass could be headed for a mutual parting of ways. Hamilton's coaching chops are unquestioned; he's won 625 games at the collegiate level and also coached the Washington Wizards in the NBA. He has a winning percentage of .619 at Florida State and has brought the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament eight times. However, there's no denying the program has slipped over the last two years, including an ugly 8-20 season in '22-'23, one of the weakest years in recent ACC memory. In the fast-paced, chaotic college coaching landscape, two bad seasons can doom you. Hamilton seems to believe he can turn things back around, confirming to media that he plans to be back for 2023-2024, but you never know in big-money collegiate athletics.

Georgtown Hoyas: Patrick Ewing

Record at Georgetown: 74-105

Patrick Ewing should always be a legend on Georgetown's campus for the work he did as a player back in the 1980s, but he has been a complete failure as a head coach. The Hoyas have suffered through horrific stretches under his tutelage, including losing 29 straight Big East games, which is now a record. In fact, they've had just one winning season under Ewing, going 19-14 in 2018-2019 with James Akinjo and Mac McClung. There was the shocking NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021 after a Big East Tournament run, but one appearance in the Big Dance shouldn't erase the other failures that have persisted throughout the Ewing era. It's blatantly clear that it's time to move on, and this remains an attractive job, located in a great location and inside a big-time conference. There's simply no reason Georgetown should remain this bad for this long.

Ole Miss: Kermit Davis

Record at Ole Miss: 74-78

Kermit Davis has been around college basketball coaching since the early 1980s, when he served as an assistant at his alma mater, Mississippi State. He's held college basketball coaching roles across the United States, and delivered success at several of them. But, you have to wonder how much longer the 63-year old Davis will be around the game, at least at his current school. Since taking over after an impressive run at Middle Tennessee, Davis has only delivered one NCAA Tournament berth in Oxford. The Rebels are in the midst of another lost season, as they sit at 2-12 and at the bottom of the SEC standings. This wouldn't be a reactionary firing, either. Davis has had five years to build a program at a school with modest basketball expectations. He just hasn't delivered, and it feels like the right time for Ole Miss to look elsewhere.

Oregon State Beavers: Wayne Tinkle

Record at Oregon State: 124-150

The spring of 2021 was a thrilling one for Oregon State basketball. The program put together one of the most shocking NCAA Tournament runs in recent memory, only getting there because of a Pac-12 Tournament Title. Wayne Tinkle was the architect of that 2021 Elite Eight run, which seemed to be the momentum he needed to help the program emerge from mediocrity. Unfortunately, Oregon State followed it up with one of the worst seasons in the school's history, going 3-28 overall and 1-19 in the Pac-12. It doesn't look like a one-year fluke either, as the Beavers are sitting at the bottom of the conference standings once more in 2023. Tinkle might still be able to coast off that NCAA Tournament run for at least one more year, but time is running out. This is his ninth year in Corvallis and he's well below .500 overall, including a brutal .348 winning percentage in the Pac-12.

South Florida Bulls: Brian Gregory

Record at South Florida: 76-105

South Florida isn't a school that invests in their basketball program like others in the American Athletic and they certainly aren't a program with a history of success, with one NCAA Tournament showing since 1992. But at some point, the Bulls have to be willing to move on from Brian Gregory, who has had just one winning season since taking over in Tampa. Granted, that one season included a nice College Basketball Invitational Championship, but there has to be higher expectations than that. Gregory and USF are once again hovering near the bottom of the AAC standings at 4-10 in the league, and they've won 28 games in total since the COVID-shortened 2020 season. They aren't going to go out and land a big name, but the program desperately needs fresh energy.

St. John's Red Storm: Mike Anderson 

Record at St. John's: 66-53

A Nolan Richardson disciple who has made his rounds in the college basketball coaching world, Mike Anderson is on a flaming hot seat at St. John's. He did take over a program that was in the dumps after the Chris Mullin era, but Anderson has done nothing to return the program back to Big East relevance. On the contrary, they've been one of the most vanilla and bland teams in the league, with a a 16-11 overall mark being their high-water mark under Anderson's leadership. Anderson always felt like a bit of an uninspired hire when the Red Storm brought him on, and there's plenty of candidates who could come on and kill it here.

Stanford Cardinal: Jerod Haase

Record at Stanford: 109-106

Stanford's athletic department has traditionally been very patient with their head coaches. It's understandable considering the stringent academic requirements of the university and the other natural barriers to success. But, the basketball program has so much more potential than what they've shown under Jerod Haase. To be fair, Haase has not been some complete disaster of a hire since taking over in 2016. No, the Cardinal have been respectable year-in, year-out, but Haase has yet to coach in an NCAA Tournament game as Stanford head coach. Considering some of the big-name players that have passed through Palo Alto in that span, including Tyrell Terry, KZ Okpala, and Ziaire Williams, that's unacceptable.

Syracuse Orange: Jim Boeheim

Record at Syracuse: 1,014-437

Much like the Leonard Hamilton situation, Syracuse is not going to fire the legendary Jim Boeheim. But, is anybody going to start having the uncomfortable conversation about this program? They've clearly slipped in recent years, and the prognosis for a turnaround is not super promising. Recruiting hasn't been as strong as it should be, and it's really impacted the depth on this roster. Boeheim's prickly personality also feels like it's beginning to wear on people. It can be considered lovable when 'Cuse is winning, but downright irritating when things are going the other way. Boeheim will still likely be back next year, it's hard to imagine Syracuse brass forcing him out, but 2023-2024 could be an important season to show the program can be relevant on a national scale under his leadership.

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