The summer is winding down, so we are getting closer to the college basketball season. I cannot wait for it to start, baby!
One thing that always interests me before the start of a new season is the list of coaching changes. I know there can be a lack of job security in coaching, and at times a veteran coach will go for a change of scenery.
This season, there are a number of coaching moves that have piqued my interest.
Here are seven coaching changes to keep an eye on this season. We'll see if these veterans can continue to have success at their new schools.
Jamie Dixon, TCU Horned Frogs
After serving 13 seasons as head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, Dixon decided to take over at his alma mater. Dixon returns home to TCU where he played for Jim Killingsworth and led the Horned Frogs to Southwest Conference titles as a junior and senior. Dixon is one of only eight coaches nationally to guide their program to 11 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 13 seasons. It will be a challenge to add to that streak in the competitive Big 12. Give him time and he will build a winner.
Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
He opted to leave Memphis, where he compiled a 167-73 record over seven seasons. The Tigers earned bids to the NCAA tournament four times during his tenure. Moving to the ACC is tough enough, but the Yellow Jackets lost several key players from last season. Rebuilding will not be easy, and Pastner has added a couple of transfers to help out. Fans must be patient as Pastner really knows and loves the game. He eats, drinks and sleeps basketball.Pastner made a good move bringing in former Portland coach Eric Reveno to join his staff.
Jerod Haase, Stanford Cardinal
A former California Golden Bear as a player, Haase takes over for Johnny Dawkins. He comes to Palo Alto after completing his fourth season as the head coach at UAB, where he led the Blazers to a regular-season Conference USA championship in 2016 and the program's 15th all-time NCAA tournament appearance in 2015. Haase compiled an 80-53 overall record while improving the Blazers' win total every year. Haase led the Blazers to a 26-7 overall record and a 16-2 conference mark last season.
Johnny Dawkins, UCF Knights
The former Duke All-American wasn't out of work for long. Dawkins arrives in Orlando after an eight-year stint at Stanford, where he led the Cardinal to five postseason appearances, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2014. Dawkins also guided the Cardinal to two NIT Championships during his tenure (2012, 2015). Stanford put together four 20-win seasons in Dawkins' time as head coach. He is only the second coach in Stanford history with at least four 20-win seasons. Now he should make a difference in the American.
Bryce Drew, Vanderbilt Commodores
He replaces Kevin Stallings. Drew, a three-time Horizon League Coach of the Year, comes to the Commodores after a five-year stint at Valparaiso, where he averaged 25 wins per season. He won four regular season championships and made four postseason appearances, two in the NCAA Tournament and two in the NIT. In his five seasons at Valparaiso, Drew compiled a 124-49 overall record and in 2016, led the Crusaders to a 30-7 overall record, the most wins in program history, and a berth in the NIT title game. The cupboard is not bare as the Commodores have Luke Kornet among the veterans returning.
Kevin Stallings, Pittsburgh Panthers
Going from the SEC to the ACC is not easy. After spending the previous 17 seasons at Vanderbilt. Stallings enters his 24th season as a head coach with an impressive 455-283 (.617) record overall. His passion and energy should help make the transition work at Pittsburgh, but filling Dixon's shoes is a challenge too.
Herb Sendek, Santa Clara Broncos
He sat out a season after being let go by Arizona State. Sendek has been a winner everywhere he has been, and he knows his Xs and Os. Heading into his 23rd season as a head coach, he has the advantage of getting to work with his team on a trip to Italy during the offseason. Sendek also has a roster with six players at 6-foot-9 or taller, which should help. It is never easy facing the likes of Gonzaga and Saint Mary's in the WCC.