Jim Whitesell out at Loyola

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The news has come and Jim Whitesell has been let go by Loyola (IL). While he finishes his seven-year tenure at the school with an above .500 record at 109-106, that wasn't enough. Whitesell is a great guy and a very good basketball coach, but it seemed like recruiting and injuries were hampering the program. As the second link above from The Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite explains in the words of the new athletic director Grace Calhoun, basketball is the flagship of the university's athletic program and thus needs to be strong.

Well, now Calhoun, who doesn't officially take over at the school until April 1, has some work to do. She's going to make a major hire only a few months into her tenure. It's going to be a very tricky situation. 

I'll have a longer look at some potential candidates tomorrow, but one I hope the Ramblers consider if Butler associate head coach Matthew Graves. I know hiring a Brad Stevens assistant sounds like giving in, but as Graves showed when he ably stepped in when Stevens was having eye trouble during the Loyola game, he's ready to be a head coach and make his own moves on the sidelines.
Graves has already been mentioned for a number of other head coaching jobs in the area as well, so Loyola might have to act fast, but first he needs to finish out his NCAA time. If it's not Graves, then I'd expect Loyola to dip into the candidates of high-major assistant coaches in the area like UIC did when hiring Howard Moore last summer.
Should be another interesting offseason.

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