Just as quickly as he came, Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin has already been promptly eliminated as a potential replacement for Brian Gregory by Mike Bobinski. In fact, Bobinski shot down the very idea of Martin having been a candidate in the first place, calling the rumors a "complete fabrication" and "100%, unequivocally untrue" among other things. The veteran Athletic Director came off as more than a little bit frustrated, likely justifiably so for one reason or another -- either getting truly shot down by potential candidates or having the fans think that he's getting shot down by potential candidates due to erroneous reports must get old in a hurry. I'm choosing to maintain faith in Bobinski throughout the process because I trust his track record wholeheartedly, but it's time to get moving.
One factor that could negatively impact the search is the Phoenix Suns' to hire current Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who led the the Wildcats to a national title just days ago, as the new head coach in the desert. It may seem obscure, but don't be mistaken about the potential impact of a job opening at Villanova. One beneficial thing that Mike Bobinski and company have going for them is the fact that the Tech job is unarguably the best available, but Wright departing from 'Nova would change that immediately; any big-time candidate put Tech second on their wishlist behind Villanova. Who knows, maybe we can hire former Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek to fill the job. He's an absurdly good X's and O's coach, having made a subpar Suns roster competitive for years, and should be an excellent recruiter given his ties to the NBA as both a coach and a player. To be perfectly honest, Hornacek been my dream candidate since he was fired by Phoenix. Just make sure that no one reports him as a frontrunner for the job -- recent history dictates that he'd be ruled out immediately if just once "source" mentions him.
Paul Johnson made a big splash (well, big by spring practice standards) a few days back when he announced that rising sophomore TaQuon Marshall would be making the move from A-back to quarterback for the upcoming season. It isn't often that someone has a better shot at playing time as a signal caller than a running back, but that very well could be the case for Marshall -- he was so bogged down in the depth chart that there was some speculation of him taking a redshirt season. That very well still could happen, but it would be under much nicer circumstances this time around as he'd likely be considered the heir to Justin Thomas.
Heading back to the coaching search for one final article, Ken Sugiura just secured some interesting quotes from Bobinski about five minutes ago (from 7:30 PM on Thursday) wherein the Athletic Director remarked on the search winding down. From Bobinski, via the AJC:
We are now in really the last stages of [travelling to meet candidates]. Folks have emerged as those that are most interested and most likely to fit our circumstances and we will bring that to a conclusion just as rapidly as we can.
Yes! Go for the kill! Unless the people we're "zeroing in on" are questionable candidates, of course. In that case, let's wait this out for another few days and tell the boosters to get hopping. We need a swimming pool full of money to throw at the next eligible candidate.
Who is your dream candidate for the head coaching job?