5 NCAAB Coaches on the Hot Seat Heading into the 2012-13 Season
5 Coaches on the Hot Seat Heading into the 2012-13 Season
With each passing season, there is a new batch of coaches that face uncertainty and the desire to succeed. Heading into the 2012-13 season, there a select number of coaches that sit on the hot seat, facing the daunting task of needing to produce despite past struggles.
As we gaze into a number of programs that could ultimately face the possibility of needing a change at head coach, we look back at another off-season that saw continued changes across the country. Some coaches survived, but the pressure is only mounting for those returning to their posts for another season.
Believe it or not, the Pac 12 Conference was the only high-major league that did not have a coaching change this past off-season and that should come as a surprise given its comparison on the court to the other power conferences. With that being said, the Pac 12 Conference is improved as a whole, but a few coaches in the league will need to succeed to keep their current positions.
Let's take a look at five coaches, all of the high-major variety, that face the task of producing in 2012-13. If success isn't found this season, changes could certainly be on the horizon at each of these five universities.
Jeff Bzdelik-Wake Forest
In two seasons at Wake Forest, head coach Jeff Bzdelik has compiled only 21 total wins. Bzdelik took over prior to the 2010-11 season after the school parted ways with Dino Gaudio. Bzdelik has made strides on the recruiting trail recently and the Demon Deacons are welcoming in a strong freshman class for this upcoming year. However, those freshmen will have to produce if Wake Forest is looking to climb out of the basement in the ACC and move up the conference standings. There was slight improvement a season ago, but even so, Wake Forest has mustered just five conference wins within the past two years. Production is a must in Winston-Salem this year.
After a tumultuous season a year ago, UCLA head coach Ben Howland faces an immediate responsibility to put the Bruins back onto the national scene in 2012-13. The good news for Howland is that a loaded freshmen class is finally on campus. The bad news is that eligibility concerns have circled some of them, including Shabazz Muhammad, who has yet to be cleared. UCLA has a strong mix of veteran leaders and talented freshmen that can push the Bruins up the conference standings this season, but production is a must. Tradition is big in Westwood, but things have come to a standstill since the Bruins' back-to-back-to-back Final Four appearances from 2006 to 2008.
Andy Kennedy-Ole Miss
In six seasons at Ole Miss, head coach Andy Kennedy has compiled five 20+ win seasons and 125 wins overall. The only problem: Ole Miss has never qualified for a berth in the NCAA Tournament in those six years. Five NIT appearances later and Kennedy is on the hot seat. The Rebels have not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2002 and once again uncertainties circle the 2012-13 roster. Ole Miss will need to surprise some teams in the SEC this year or a coaching change could be on the horizon next spring.
We know the story; Northwestern has never been to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are the only power six conference team that has yet to achieve that accomplishment, and while Northwestern has seemingly been knocking on the door in recent years, the fact of the matter still remains. Billy Carmody has led the Wildcats out of the Big Ten basement and into four consecutive NIT tournaments, but will that be enough to keep his job. Carmody has led Northwestern since the start of 2000-01 season, but once again, the pressure is on in 2012-13.
Herb Sendek-Arizona State
There may not be any coach in the country that faces the heat that Arizona State’s Herb Sendek is facing. A pair of assistants bolted the university for similar positions elsewhere this past summer, so what does that say about the direction of the program? After sitting out all of last season, point guard Jahii Carson is eligible and his play not only holds huge dividends for the Sun Devils this season, but also Sendek’s job status as a whole. Will ASU muster a strong enough 2012-13 campaign or is this the final year for Sendek?