UIC coaching search almost over
The UIC coaching search appears to be coming to an end. The rumors are getting numerous about who could replace Jimmy Collins at the end of the month. The Chicago Tribune's David Kaplan gave five names: Wisconsin assistant Howard Moore, Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery, Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor, Memphis assistant Willis Wilson and University of New Orleans coach Joe Pasternak (sic).
Of course if the Flames were to hire Pasternack - yes there is a "c" in his name - then the coaching carousel would still be spinning, but right now I think he's probably one of the edge candidates.
Moore was mentioned very early in the process and it seems like the interest there is mutual. After learning from Bo Ryan he'd be an ideal person to take over for Collins. I don't know if Moore would bring Ryan's swing offense to Chicago, but if he did it would be a welcome sight. It might not be the most exciting offense ever, but the swing is deadly efficient.
The other hot name is Montgomery. Tom Izzo's decision to stay in East Lansing might have had a domino effect here. Montgomery is always a name that is mentioned when a national media outlet makes a list of assistants that are prepared to be head coaches. (For instance he was 5a) in this particular list. Note also that Wilson was an honorable mention.) With nine years under Izzo, the knowledge about how to run a program is probably pretty ingrained in Montgomery.
I spent some time browsing the about pages on collegiate web sites about all the possible coaching candidates. My favorite, for the irony given the situation, was on Pasternack's profile for UNO. The lead of the bio is: "UNO head coach Joe Pasternack is entering his third year on the Lakefront in 2009-10, and he has already given the program something it needed most: Stability."
Yup, stability and some rumors. With Collins set to be retiring in 13 days expect to hear an announcement relatively soon from UIC - maybe even in the next week.