The Kansas State Wildcats are searching for their next basketball coach following the resignation of Bruce Weber last week and now some names are starting to surface.
According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, there are three names “in the mix”, including USF’s Todd Golden, New Mexico State’s Chris Jans and Baylor assistant Jerome Tang.
Several of these candidates were recently cited in our piece on five potential candidates to replace Bruce Weber.
At New Mexico State, Jans led the Aggies to four regular-season WAC titles and two WAC Tournament titles, and the Aggies are the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament this weekend. The Aggies have won more than 80 percent of their conference games since he took over in 2017. The Iowa native has some Kansas roots, as he coached for a year at Independence CC and spent some time as an assistant at Wichita State. In his one year as a head coach at Bowling Green in 2014-15, he won 21 games, 13 more than the Falcons won the year before. He’s used to turning things around fast.
Meantime, Tang has been Drew’s bench coach since Day 1 in Waco. Tang has been mentioned for head-coaching jobs before, but he has roots in Waco, thanks to his days as a high school coach. His name has also surfaced in the LSU opening.
As for Todd Golden, he’s only 36 years old, but has had success in three seasons at San Francisco, where he has gone 22-12, 11-14 and then 24-9 this season with a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He played at St. Mary’s and after spending time in the advertising industry, he rose through the coaching ranks at Columbia, Auburn and then going to San Francisco, starting out as an assistant before being promoted to head coach in 2019.
But of course the “big fish” Kansas State and its fan base wants it Brad Underwood. Underwood was asked about the rumors over the weekend and said, “One, I would never discuss anything professionally with you guys like that. But, man, I love Illinois. We’ve got the best fans, I’ve got a great boss, we’ve got a top 10 program and we’re winning Big Ten championships. I’m very singular, as you guys know. I can’t control what people say and what people think. I’m not worried about that.”
If Kansas State wants Underwood to be their guy, it will need to pay a hefty buyout of $7 million and find a way to compensate him the way that Illinois has. Either way, Underwood’s name will be tied to K-State until he comes out and says “no,” or until one of these other names gets officially hired.