Fire Up the ACC Coaching Rumor Mill!

By Mychal Hunter

With the conclusion of the season for three teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference tonight (and one announcement from the SEC) there is already talk about coaches leaving and coaches being fired. So let’s talk about it.

Buzz Williams-Virginia Tech

Everyone knew this was going to happen eventually. Ever since Buzz took the Hokies coaching gig people have been predicting his departure. With Texas A&M announcing that Head Coach Billy Kennedy will not be returning after the season, many, including myself, assume Buzz will be the first, second and possibly third option.

Williams is in his fifth year in Blacksburg after spending six at Marquette. He has a career record of 249-152 and is one of the most respected coaches in the country. He is a Texas native who attended college in Oklahoma City as well as Texas A&M at the Kingsville campus. He was also an Assistant Coach for the Aggies from 2004-2006.

Texas A&M has the cash, the recruiting base and the geographical advantage here. It’s hard to imagine Buzz not at the very least, listening to their pitch. It will be interesting to see if he parlays their offer into a raise from Virginia Tech. The ACC could be up for grabs in the next few years if Coach K, Coach Boeheim and Coach Williams decide to hang it up.

Josh Pastner-Georgia Tech

He’s not going anywhere.

Georgia Tech is just getting out from under the Brian Gregory and Paul Hewitt contracts and the money saved their has already been allocated to the new football staff. The Yellow Jackets are in no hurry to put themselves on the hook for another buy regardless of how rabid the fanbase is quickly becoming.

In three complete seasons in Atlanta, Pastner has a record of 48-53 overall and 20-34 in league play. While those results are not ideal, people might as well come to grips with the fact that the money isn’t there and it is a bad look to fire the only coach who wanted the gig after three season when the program obviously needs more time than that to build.

Buckle up folks, Josh will be in Atlanta for two more seasons.

Danny Manning-Wake Forest

A few weeks ago I would have said he was safe. However, now that Ron Wellman is no longer the Athletic Director, I am not so sure. It could be very likely that new A.D. John Currie’s first prerogative is to move on from a disaster of a hire.

Manning’s buyout is rumored to be at least $12MM and possibly as much as $18MM which is a huuuuge number. If it is the latter, i’d put the possibility of returning at 50-50, barring some kind of massive donation coming through.

Manning wrapped up his fifth season tonight with a loss to Miami. While recruiting has been fairly stellar, the results have been lacking. The leader of “The Miracles” is just 65-93 overall and 24-66 in league play. Numbers eerily similar to Jeff Bzdelik’s years, which most Deacon’s fans will tell you was the worst in program history.

If a change does occur, expect current UNC-Greensboro Coach and former UNC Tar Heel Wes Miller to top the list of potential candidates. Fellow coach Steve Forbes of ETSU also wouldn’t shock me.

Jim Christian-Boston College

I am still on the fence here. The biggest question I have is: Does anyone want this job? My second question is: Are they going to get anyone better?

I believe Christian is a good coach. He showed improvement last season, finishing 19-16 overall and 7-11 in league play. Then he lost Jerome Robinson early to the NBA draft.

Ky Bowman returned and had seemingly found a new running mate in freshman Wynston Tabbs, but the latter suffered a leg injury in January and hasn’t played since.

The Eagles will presumably lose Bowman to the League and Jordan Chatman to graduation, but have a solid core coming back next year in Tabbs, big man Nik Popovic, Steffon Mitchell and the Hamilton Bros.

Christian is 62-97 in his five seasons in Chestnut Hill and a horrific 18-70 in league play. Those numbers make me think that he is most likely gone. But those first two questions remain.

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