The exit of Andy Kennedy happened quicker than expected. He chose to step down after a disappointing loss to Mississippi State. Therefore, the speculation as to who will be the next head coach has began to run rampant.
However, since AK’s departure, the FBI has dropped a grenade on the college basketball landscape with an investigation into several big time schools regarding recruiting violation. The fallout from this investigation is currently unknown.
So, it may be prudent for the Rebels to expedite their coaching hire. If other jobs become available because of this investigation, some of the good coaches may get snatched up. So the administration needs to quickly begin their search.
Here is a look at a couple of coaching suggestions. Some of these aren’t the names that keep coming up. However, these are just some interesting names I’m just throwing out.
Kenny Payne-Kentucky Asst.
It is nothing like being a part of a winning program. Kenny Payne has definitely been a part of one the winningest programs in the past decade. He has been an assistant of Coach John Calipari since 2010. He’s been to two championships and won one as an assistant with Kentucky.
This Laurel, MS native would be an interesting hire. He played at Louisville and has strong ties to that school. There is certainly a possible chance for him to get a look there. However, if Ole Miss took a serious shot at him, maybe the lure of being closer to home would draw him. He interviewed at Mississippi State in 2012 but the Bulldogs went with Rick Ray. That didn’t work out well.
Payne has seen a lot of talent come his way. Can he build a winner without the talent level of the Wildcats? He’s hungry for an opportunity.
Rob Lanier-Tennessee Asst.
In only his second year at Tennessee, the Vols are already feeling the impact of the presence of the new coaching staff. Coach Rick Barnes and his staff are having a great year. Assistant head coach Rob Lanier has a lot to do with it.
Lanier is considered a big time recruiter. He’s responsible for the recruitment of players from Chris Mihm and T. J. Ford to Myles Turner and Bradley Beal. Combining Lanier with The Pavilion at Ole Miss could bring in some big time players. Big time players that can win will pack the house. I think Lanier would be a good hire.
Steve Prohm-Iowa St. Head Coach
This is a name that has been thrown around as a possible target. Steve Prohm would be a decent choice. Although he is not having a great year, this year is likely an outlier. Prohm is a proven winner. He was a winner at Murray State while only losing 10 conference games is four years. Prohm has also shown he can win at a Power 5 school. He took the Iowa State Cyclone to the Sweet 16 during his first season.
Prohm went to the University of Alabama and was an assistant at Murray State before being named head coach. The Rebels landing him is a longshot. He has a contract extension lasting until 2022. Plus he is making $2 million a year. That was slightly more than what A.K. was making, so the administration will have to up the pay.
I don’t think Prohm would leave Ames for Oxford. However, it would not hurt to put out feelers to see if he’s interested. The Ole Miss administration would have to be willing to make a significant investment in the basketball team’s coaching staff. Are they willing to do it?
What do you think? Who do you want the Rebels to go after? Let us know.