Potential candidates to replace K-State men’s basketball head coach position

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Head coach Bruce Weber draws out a play on the whiteboard for his team in the second half of the game against the Longhorns Feb. 7, 2015, in Bramlage Coliseum. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

After a crushing 30-point loss at the hands of Oklahoma, it appears the Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team is on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament. If the Wildcats do miss out on the tournament, Bruce Weber will likely be out of a job at Kansas State, leaving much debate on who will replace him. Let’s take a look at some possible replacements.

Brad Underwood

In his first year as head coach at Oklahoma State, Brad Underwood has the Cowboys on a roll. Underwood has guided the team to a 20-9 record this far, but has won 10 of their last 11 games. He is the clear fan favorite to replace Weber if an opening occurs, as many were calling for his name last year when Underwood was having success at Stephen F. Austin.

Underwood has many ties to K-State. He grew up in McPherson, Kansas, and played for the Wildcats from 1984-1986. He also served as an assistant coach at K-State from 2006-2012.

One of the big problems that would prevent Underwood from coming home would be the $6 million buyout in his contract.

Steve Henson

Underwood isn’t the only — or the last — candidate who has K-State ties. After emerging as one of Lon Kruger’s top assistants at Oklahoma, Henson earned himself a head coaching job at UTSA.

Like Underwood, Henson reigns from McPherson. He played for the Wildcats from 1986-1990 and is the all-time assist leader at K-State.

The Roadrunners’ record isn’t too impressive, just 11-14 thus far, but Henson has showed great potential in his first head coaching job and would expect the Wildcat fan base to welcome him back with open arms.

Tim Jankovich

This is the last former Kansas State player on the list, but regardless, Jankovich deserves to be on it.

After taking over for Larry Brown, Jankovich has a 34-4 record at SMU. He has also served as head coach at North Texas and Illinois State during his coaching career that started in 1983.

Jankovich played for the Wildcats from 1979-1982 where he had a decorated career, being in the top 10 in nine different categories.

Mark Fox

From Garden City, Kansas, Fox could look to return closer to home. Since 2004, Fox has been the head coach at Nevada and currently Georgia. In his career, Fox has a 62.7 percent winning percentage.

Fox is familiar with Manhattan, as he served as an assistant coach from 1994-2000.

While Fox hasn’t quite had the success he had at Nevada, Fox has led Georgia to 20 or more wins four times, including five seasons at .500 or better in conference play.

Doug Gottlieb

Let’s throw Gottlieb’s name in the conversation, because why not?

The last time Kansas State had a head coaching vacancy, Gottlieb’s name was tossed in the hat. Without any coaching experience, many questioned why Gottlieb was even considered.

Gottlieb is familiar with Kansas State, as he played for Oklahoma State in the ’90s.

Gottlieb’s dad, Bob, was once an assistant at Kansas State and his brother is also coaching. It’s also not like Gottlieb doesn’t stay in touch with the game, as he has been a respected analyst for some time.

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  • Derek Cox

    I have to wonder if this was compiled in about five minutes. There are plenty of other coaches that are just or more qualified than this whole list. Why is everyone so blinded by having KSU connections?

    How about Steve Forbes?
    Spent time at Barton CC and WSU. He’s from Iowa, so it’s closer to home than ETSU. As a head coach he is 153-44 (.777 win pct).

    Or Kermit Davis?
    He’s been highly successful at MTSU, especially recently. In 15 years at MTSU he is 164-81 in conference play (.669 win pct) and has only finished lower than 3rd in conference twice since his tenure at MTSU started.

    How about these guys, I’ll let you do your own searching on them:
    David Richman (NDSU)
    Will Wade (VCU)
    For a pick out of left field – Danny Manning (WFU)

    All of these coaches are an upgrade to where we are right now. They have shown an ability to coach, obviously recruiting is different at the Power 5 level, but we aren’t losing anything by looking at that route. Why not give a coach a chance to be successful for the next 3-5 years while Jank and Henson show us who they really are and Brad’s buyout to drop significantly? The coaches I mentioned will either (likely) move on to a different job or be relieved of their job by then.

    Gottlieb is a flat joke of a suggestion, the guy has literally ZERO experience coaching; how do you even begin to value his coaching abilities and salary? I could be a terrible coach for less than he would ask for. You’re far better off looking around the rest of the CBB world for measurable prior performance. And sorry, but Mark Fox is simply Bruce 2.0. There’s no reason to devalue our program any more than it already has been.

    I would suggest doing a new version of this list and looking around for some legitimate replacements. I almost feel like this was click-bait (maybe it was, you got me), because this list is seriously lacking in imagination and fact-based selections.

  • Luke Mcvicker

    I completely agree Derek cox , I’d love mark fox for personal reasons. I’m a personally known him for 29 yrs since I was 10. But I’m tired of people restricting to only kstate connected coaches. I’ve been saying Steve Forbes all along

  • Homer Ward

    Doug gottlieb a respected analyst that’s a joke ask Jim Mora or didn’t you watch him on TNT college basketball pregame show a few years ago

  • Luke Mcvicker

    Plus he is s great recruiter. At etsu-48-18. In juco he 129-34 his last juco stop in nw Florida he was 61-6 in 2 yrs and back to back appearances in juco national title game he knows how to recruit in big 12 with his time at Texas a&m. He has also recruited Fred van fleet and Ron baker to wsu . He great player evaluater and great at molding guards

  • Realistically

    No way we could get Jankovich to replace Weber within the next year and likely ever unless he fails at SMU (and would we want him if he fails at SMU?). He loves Dallas and I bet his wife prefers Dallas to Manhattan as well. Colbert Hills is nice but it’s no University Park. Sure K-State has the better conference but SMU has deep pockets.

    • Luke Mcvicker

      Let’s see if can bring his own players