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Porter is Gone…Now What and Who’s Next?

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Post by Dean Murdoch Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:50 pm

Starting to get interesting out in these parts now. UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger has apparently left to take the Iowa State job.

Utah State HC Craig Smith is being thrown around for the Utah and Minnesota jobs which could be another Mountain West opening.

I was hoping it would stay a little quieter out here...
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Post by StudentPilot Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:29 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:Starting to get interesting out in these parts now. UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger has apparently left to take the Iowa State job.
I read that Iowa State owes approximately $5.5 million to the coach they just fired and will also have to pay between $4 to $4.5 million to buyout Otzelberger’s contract from UNLV.

You have to ask yourself how tax payers feel about a state schools tossing so much money toward basketball...or is this "private" money?

I am seriously considering becoming a sports agent just for the money so I can continue to help others in need.
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Post by StudentPilot Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:03 pm

One of the Pacific players who lives in the local area told me he'd heard that Coach Stoudamire is one of several coaches interviewing for the DePaul opening.

Always looking for more...unless you are Coach Few.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:06 pm

StudentPilot wrote:One of the Pacific players who lives in the local area told me he'd heard that Coach Stoudamire is one of several coaches interviewing for the DePaul opening.

I think Stoudamire can afford to be pretty choosy at this point. Don't know how attractive DePaul would be, but I could certainly see there being mutual interest in the UNLV job.
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Post by NoPoNeighbor Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:50 pm

Prior to Kyle Smith being hired away from USF by Washington State, when is the last time that a WCC coach was hired away to a higher profile job?

It obviously hasn't happened at UP in recent memory. But even going beyond UP, all of the WCC coaching changes that I can recall over the past several years have either been retirements (Rose @ BYU) or firings: Keating @ SCU, Walters @ USF, Smith @ USD, Grier @ USD, Wilson @ Pepperdine, Verlin @ Pacific, Good @ LMU, Dunlap @ LMU.

To find an instance of a WCC coach being poached prior to Kyle Smith, do we have to look all the way back to 1999? That year, Dan Monson left Gonzaga for Minnesota and Lorenzo Romar left Pepperdine for Saint Louis.

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Post by Geezaldinho Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:53 am

NoPoNeighbor wrote:Prior to Kyle Smith being hired away from USF by Washington State, when is the last time that a WCC coach was hired away to a higher profile job?

2014. Kelly Graves from Gonzaga to Oregon.  Base salary now $1,000,000, or just about the same as the other Gonzaga coach makes.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:24 am

Finally, a real update!

Hoop Dirt wrote: Some names to keep an eye on at Portland are Eastern Washington head coach Shantay Legans, and Montana State head coach Danny Sprinkle. The search here is moving pretty quickly at this point.

https://hoopdirt.com/daily-dirt-3-18-21/

I don’t think we’ve even mentioned Danny Sprinkle in here yet, and this is the first time I’ve seen Shantay Legans’ name associated with the Pilots (besides on here).
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Post by DoubleDipper Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:06 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:Finally, a real update!I don’t think we’ve even mentioned Danny Sprinkle in here yet, and this is the first time I’ve seen Shantay Legans’ name associated with the Pilots (besides on here).
It is difficult to say where they get their information...for all we know the mention of Legans came from PilotNation, but Sprinkle?

I don't know the guy, and certainly have nothing negative to say about him, but his team did lose to UP during the preseason and to EWU in the Big Sky Tournament final and twice during the regular season.

He's 44 years-old and a Montana guy through and through with assistant coaching stops at Northridge and Fullerton...for him to leave his alma-mater, MSU, would surprise me much more than Legans leaving EWU.

His base salary at MSU is reportedly $164,000 and likely has 3 more years to run...


Last edited by DoubleDipper on Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by DoubleDipper Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:19 am

Geezaldinho wrote:2014. Kelly Graves from Gonzaga to Oregon.  Base salary now $1,000,000, or just about the same as the other Gonzaga coach makes.
After graduating from New Mexico, Kelly became a men’s coach, an assistant at Big Bend CC in Moses Lake, but when the women’s head coach left there Kelly took over the women’s team…and the rest is history.

Next as an assistant at UP with Jim Sollars, then the head coach at SMC, then to GU, and finally to UO where he has seen his salary double in seven years.

I have not followed Mark Few as much, it is documented that his initial GU salary was paltry, but the report I saw from three years ago listed his pay as just shy of $2 million.  And at $2 million he just made it into the Top-50 salary makers, led by Mike Krzyzewski at $9 mil and John Calipari at $8 mil.  

The distance between Spokane and Cheney, Washington is not that far, but there is a great disparity between what GU pays Few and what EWU pays Shantay Legans…reportedly $130,000 plus another $10,000 for every game he wins in the postseason.

Someone will have to research this further to get more accurate and up-to-date numbers.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:34 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:His base salary at MSU is reportedly $164,000 and likely has 3 more years to run...

Coach Sprinkle's buyout is significant - number of years remaining under contract multiplied by base salary.

It looks like his original contract was a 3-year deal signed in 2019, so my abacus tells me there would be 1 year left on that IF there hasn't been an extension (one of the clauses in the contract is that they meet every year to discuss an option to enter into a new three-year agreement).

So if there hasn't been an extension agreed upon, buyout would be $164,000. If they have agreed to an extension at some point, the buyout could be significantly more. Who knows?
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Post by Geezaldinho Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:44 pm

Kelly’s million bucks is just the base salary. The register guard reported his incentives included $25K for the PAC title, $25K for making the tourney, $50K for the final four, and $150K for the National Title. Not mentioned are the typical academic performance incentive in most coaches contracts, or the amount we taxpayers would kick in for A lifetime of PERS payouts. Don’t forget Mike Bellotti gets $570K a year pension based on a salary that was a then majestic half million and PERS hasn’t been fixed.


Interestingly, Kelly’s buyout clause is a half million until after the 2024 season and a quarter million until the contract ends in 2029. Let’s hope our VP for athletics includes a buyout clause this time.


Mark Few’s income is a little harder to suss out. Gonzaga puts its recent form 990’s behind a subscription. Is someone wants to sign up, have at it.

But YAHOO Sports lists his base under the current deal as $1.8 million.

And the most recent form 990 not behind the subscription wall ( published in 2018) for Gonzaga put his 2016 income from the University at $1.9+ Million back when his base as only $1.42 million a year.

https://causeiq.s3.amazonaws.com/form990s/2018_04_EO/910236600_2018_04_EO_93493095009598.pdf?Signature=iCsyMHpz4KjFAqIXi9CTJBmcMiM%3D&Expires=1616099185&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6QW4APNZUQPWEJQ&response-content-disposition=filename%3Dform990-910236600-corporation-of-gonzaga-university-2017-05.pdf&response-content-type=application/pdf

(Page 42)
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Post by Dean Murdoch Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:03 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:Prior to Kyle Smith being hired away from USF by Washington State, when is the last time that a WCC coach was hired away to a higher profile job?

It obviously hasn't happened at UP in recent memory. But even going beyond UP, all of the WCC coaching changes that I can recall over the past several years have either been retirements (Rose @ BYU) or firings: Keating @ SCU, Walters @ USF, Smith @ USD, Grier @ USD, Wilson @ Pepperdine, Verlin @ Pacific, Good @ LMU, Dunlap @ LMU.

To find an instance of a WCC coach being poached prior to Kyle Smith, do we have to look all the way back to 1999? That year, Dan Monson left Gonzaga for Minnesota and Lorenzo Romar left Pepperdine for Saint Louis.

A great point, and somehow I had no clue this was Romar's second go-around at Pepperdine.

Seems like Stoudamire is already interviewing for some higher-profile jobs and I'd imagine there's a chance Todd Golden at USF will end up on some short lists as well.
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Post by DTLegend Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:34 am

Quick question:

What impact, if any, does a new University President have over the coaching search?



Also, Hi Guys! I've been here the whole time, lurking in the corner as I learn the in's and out's of fatherhood and real grown up life. I'm just glad that my son was too young to remember the Porter years, and I'm excited for the future, whoever may be the coach.

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Post by DoubleDipper Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:16 pm

Welcome back DT!  I am sure you have noticed this forum is not what it once was because:

A. Many of the early-on PilotNation group like you have moved-on in their lives and now have actual responsibility.

B. Virtually everyone who follows basketball is so angry/upset/discouraged by the way Porter totally ruined the program they have stopped posting here and frankly, have stopped supporting the university the way they once did.

Once UP hires a new coaching staff, I hope all of us will reach out to those who were once PilotNation regulars and to others to create some excitement on this forum and in the Chiles Center where PilotNation members once wore PilotNation T-shirts to show their pride in their team and this forum.

To your question, no, the change of presidents will not have any effect on the choosing of a new coach...however, the pandemic affected budget may.  

Former UP President Fr. Bill seemed to live and breathe Pilots basketball and selected Larry Williams as AD and influenced the hiring of Eric Reveno, but Fr. Mark, who is still at UP until July 1, does not show much interest…although he has the right to disapprove Scott’s choice.

Hey, aren't you the guy who sank some free-throws at the Orleans Arena a few years back?  Basketball
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Post by FloridaPilot Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:59 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
Former UP President Fr. Bill seemed to live and breathe Pilots basketball

Fr. Bill once spoke to the ASUP Senate while I was there and said something to the tune of ‘one of my long term goals for UP would be to win a men’s basketball championship.” A tall task, as I’m sure we all recognize, but something about the straight way he said it made he believe he was very serious. In that brief moment with the optimism from Reveno at the time, I really did believe we could eventually be great.

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Post by DTLegend Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:41 pm

Thanks for the welcome back DD! I haven't gone away so much as just not commented all that much. After Porter was hired, we moved to Sacramento (where we're starting up an alumni chapter if anyone is in the area) and then had a kid, and I'd go to the local games, usually Pacific, maybe San Fransisco, or if they played here in Sacramento.

And yes I was that guy that made some free-throws in Vegas, which I'm excited to get back to when normal times come back, and maybe the Pilots can win a game or two.

I didn't think the change in leadership at the University would have a big impact, but I could also see that if Fr. Mark didn't support the program, and there was someone more in line with Fr. Bill who would be next, it might make a difference on who UP may target, or the pitch to a candidate.

DoubleDipper wrote:B. Virtually everyone who follows basketball is so angry/upset/discouraged by the way Porter totally ruined the program they have stopped posting here and frankly, have stopped supporting the university the way they once did.

Once UP hires a new coaching staff, I hope all of us will reach out to those who were once PilotNation regulars and to others to create some excitement on this forum and in the Chiles Center where PilotNation members once wore PilotNation T-shirts to show their pride in their team and this forum.

I'm hoping this is the case. I know that when Porter was first brought on there was a lot of optimism about the program and where things could go, and recruiting. Looking back it felt manufactured (recruitscoop) and things just never came together. I remember Porter talking about competing against the top three in the WCC and how that was the next step for the program. I felt like at the time, those were valid expectations following Reveno's time.

This time around I'd like for a staff to come in and talk more about establishing a culture, about building from literally the bottom, and how to change the reputation Portland has gained over the past 5 years. Nothing I'm saying is specific or insightful, I just would like someone to come in and truthfully acknowledge where things are and not tell us how easy it will be to win the conference.

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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:10 am

Some UP fans from the late ‘70’s have been promoting former Pilot and NBA player Darwin Cook to be the next UP coach, apparently remembering a bygone era that in comparison to the last five years was quite a success.

Darwin played for the Pilots during the school’s first four years (1976-1980) as a member of the 8-school West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC), when the team went 29-36 in WCAC play and 65-44 overall.

We last saw Darwin when he brought his NAIA/D3 University of Antelope Valley Antelopes to the Chiles Center to play the Pilots two season ago, and although he won a league championship at UAV, he was only on the job for two years before the school made a coaching change.

Darwin is a wonderful man to be with and talk to, and I understand he interviewed for the job five years ago and recently too, but he is NOT on my list of candidates to replace Porter…and I strongly doubt he is on Scott’s list either.

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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:21 am

It is no secret I have been promoting EWU's Shantay Legans to take over the moribund UP program, and this morning he gets his chance to play a much, much better team just as he would have to do if were at Portland.

#14 EWU is an 11-point underdog and given only a 19% chance of beating #3 Kansas in their biggest test of the year after losing on the road to WSU, Arizona, and UO, all rated higher than Kansas, at the beginning of the season.

I love his enthusiasm on the sidelines and his uplifting approach towards his underdog players, but today’s game on the big stage will be another test altogether and it will be interesting to see his reactions and coaching moves.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:51 pm

Well, EWU gave it all they've got against Kansas. That's a well-coached, fun-to-watch basketball team over there in Cheney.

@GoodmanHoops wrote:Eastern Washington didn’t pull the upset, but that was one HELL of a performance by Tanner Groves. ...

Don’t be shocked to see Shantay Legans at Portland next season.

Let's make it happen. What a great kick in the pants this would be for this program.
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:14 pm

Dean Murdoch wrote:Well, EWU gave it all they've got against Kansas. That's a well-coached, fun-to-watch basketball team over there in Cheney.
The team and the coaching is a reflection of how Legans played his point-guard position at Cal...fired-up, unselfish, gritty, and smart.

I have reduced my wish list from the original to include only those with D1 head coaching experience, but I have not added Montana St.’s Danny Sprinkle regardless of UP’s rumored interest.  

1. Shantay Legans (Eastern Washington HC)
2. Mike Magpayo (Cal Riverside Interim HC)
3. Ben Johnson (UP Interim HC)
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Post by Geezaldinho Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:47 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
I have reduced my wish list from the original to include only those with D1 head coaching experience,

Now reduce it to D1 head coaches with winning records and we’ll both be happy.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:08 pm

From a Spokesman-Review writer...

@sr_collingwood wrote:I asked coach Shantay Legans if he’ll be at EWU next season.

“We’ll see.”

Could this actually be happening?
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:58 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:Now reduce it to D1 head coaches with winning records and we’ll both be happy.
Okay, you win.

Admittedly I had Coach Johnson on my list more out of loyalty then anything.

1. Shantay Legans (Eastern Washington HC)
2. Mike Magpayo (Cal Riverside Interim HC)
3. Ben Johnson (UP Interim HC)

(It is NOT unprecedented to retain someone from the previous staff to provides some continuity when there is a new head coach...I think Ben Johnson should be that man).
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Post by StudentPilot Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:53 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:From a Spokesman-Review writer...
@sr_collingwood wrote:I asked coach Shantay Legans if he’ll be at EWU next season.
“We’ll see.”
Could this actually be happening?
We probably shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.  From what I’m hearing and reading, Legans is now being contacted by a number of schools out west and even one Big-10 school.

It looks like he might have a few options if he decides to leave Cheney, and it's difficult to say if UP is actually one of them or it only appears that way because of posts on PilotNation that others are reading.
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Post by DoubleDipper Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:58 am

NoPoNeighbor wrote:Even if Legans had no other options beyond staying at EWU or coming to UP, why would he leave Cheney? He’s in a job where he has a realistic chance of winning conference championships and making the Big Dance on a regular basis. Neither of those would be the case at UP.
You are correct on all accounts, however, I think the bigger question is why would he come to the UP program even if he left Cheney?

Timing could be a problem as I would imagine Scott is anxious to pull the trigger on a new coach, and even if Legans decides to leave Cheney, his season just came to an end yesterday and he will probably want to shop around for better opportunities before committing anywhere, especially to UP.
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