Danny Manning is reportedly the leading candidate to take the vacant head coaching job at the University of Tulsa. Should he be officially offered and accept the position, he would join a strong coaching fraternity of Golden Hurricane coaches in Bill Self, Tubby Smith, and Buzz Peterson.
While I selfishly always hoped Manning would remain a fixture on the KU bench forever, the move makes sense for both Manning and Kansas.
Manning has clearly proven that he is deserving of a head coaching position. He has paid his dues at KU and has had the opportunity to learn from one of the best college coaches around. Plus his name alone brings a certain level of respect and attention. I have no doubt he would succeed.
On the flip side, I have said for a number of years that I think Self will eventually test the NBA waters. He has two bona fide landing places in San Antonio and now Oklahoma City. And while I hope Self coaches at Kansas until he retires, it would be nice to have another seasoned head coaching candidate in Manning should Self leave.
I don’t know if the head coaching job at KU is Manning’s dream job. If Self left tomorrow, he’d definitely get an interview and might even have a chance to get the job. But his chances will be much better if he goes out and proves he can run his own program.
As for a potential replacement for Manning, there’s no question that it will be impossible to fill his shoes. However, I argued here that Self should make his next staff addition a young gun recruiting buff. Jerrance Howard comes to mind.
Another option would be to reach out to former KU assistant, Norm Roberts, who is currently with Billy Donovan at Florida. You might remember that Roberts left Kansas to take the head coaching job at St. John’s. He is a good East coast recruiter and is a Self’s close friend.
I always thought that if Manning or Dooley left, Barry Hinson would be an obvious choice to take a bench assistant coaching position. However, with his hiring today at Southern Illinois, his Director of Basketball Operations job is now open. I’m not sure if any established assistant coaches would take a non-bench coaching job, but perhaps a former player would make sense in that role. Michael Lee comes to mind.
Regardless of what happens, it will be an interesting subplot this week as the team prepares for the Final Four. While I’m always happy to grow the Kansas coaching tree, I kind of wish it would have happened after the tournament. But that’s just me.
Stay tuned…#kubball, Basketball, Danny Manning, Kansas, Tulsa