Jeff Lebo has been a member of the Auburn family since 2004, as our head coach.  However, we just found out he will be leaving us.  So who is going to take his place?  Here are some candidates…

Mike Anderson
Age: 50

Birthplace: Birmingham

Alma mater: Tulsa

Current position: Head coach, Missouri.

Career record: 176-86 (Eight seasons; four at UAB, four at Missouri)

Career highlight: Missouri advanced to the Elite 8 last season, finishing 31-7. Anderson was one of 10 finalists for the Henry Iba Award, which is given to the best college basketball coach from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Would he take it?: Anderson is a Birmingham native and a protégé of Nolan Richardson’s, so his ties to the SEC are strong. He was in the mix for the Auburn job last time it came open, but didn’t come to campus for an interview. He’s making $1.6 million per year and recently received a seven-year extension on his contract, making him the most expensive candidate at this point.

Tony Barbee
Age: 38

Birthplace: Indianapolis

Alma Mater: UMass

Current position: Head coach, UTEP

Career record: 79-49 (four seasons)

Career highlight: It’s happening right now. UTEP lost Saturday to Houston in the Conference USA title game, but the Miners are nationally ranked and set to return to the NCAA Tournament.

Would he take it?: Barbee, a former John Calipari assistant, has no ties to the South or the Southeastern conference. He is, however, making significantly less money at UTEP than he would at Auburn and wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a rebuilding project. One of the nation’s top-ranked recruiters when he coached alongside Calipari at Memphis, Barbee has stockpiled the Miners with some of the nation’s top talent.

John Brady
Age: 55

Birthplace: McComb, Miss.

Alma mater: Belhaven

Current position: Head coach, Arkansas State

Career record: 290-218 (19 seasons; six at Samford, 11 at LSU, two at Arkansas State)

Career highlight: In 2005-06, LSU started the season unranked, but advanced all the way to the Final Four thanks to the play of future NBA players Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas.

Would he take it?: Brady spent the best years of his coaching career in the SEC West. The lure of spinning a 17-14 season in Jonesboro, Ark., to an SEC job with a brand new arena would appear to be overwhelming. Plus, it’s expected Auburn will pay Brady, who is still collecting buyout checks from LSU, more than the $100,000 per season he’s making now.

Mike Davis
Age: 49

Birthplace: Fayette

Alma mater: Alabama

Current position: Head coach, UAB

Career record: 198-126 (10 seasons; six at Indiana, four at UAB)

Career highlight: One year after replacing legend Bob Knight, Davis led the Hoosiers to an unexpected trip to the NCAA Finals in 2002.

Would he take it?: Davis might be looking for a fresh change of scenery after his fourth consecutive year at UAB without an NCAA Tournament berth. It also might be nice for him to play in a conference that consistently gets more than one team to the Big Dance every year. Davis, like Anderson, was also in the mix during Auburn’s previous search.

Frank Haith
Age: 44

Birthplace: Queens, N.Y.

Alma mater: Elon

Current position: Head coach, Miami

Career record: 108-86 (six seasons)

Career highlight: As a top assistant at Texas, Haith and the Longhorns advanced to the Final Four in the 2002-03 season.

Would he take it?: Haith is a New Yorker by birth and has no SEC ties. Because Miami is a private institution, his financial situation is unclear, though athletic director Kirby Hocutt recently extended his contract.

Johnny Jones
Age: 50

Birthplace: N/A

Alma mater: LSU

Current position: Head coach, North Texas

Career record: 150-120 (nine seasons)

Career highlight: Jones, in his sixth season, saw it all come together at North Texas, as he guided the Mean Green to their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1988 after capturing the Sun Belt Title.

Would he take it?: Jones is deeply entrenched in Denton and just recently received a raise and contract extension, locking him up with the Mean Green for the next six years. Still, Jones knows what it’s like to play in the SEC and would be getting a major pay bump to boot.

Sam Mitchell
Age: 46

Birthplace: Columbus, Ga.

Alma Mater: Mercer

Current position: N/A

Career record: 156-189 (five seasons with Toronto Raptors)

Career highlight: After leading the Raptors to their first division title in franchise history and bowing out of the first round of the NBA playoffs, Mitchell was named Coach of the Year in 2007.

Would he take it?: Mitchell has been off for a year, spending time in Atlanta with his family. An active member in the community and beloved in his hometown, he’s apparently open to the idea of returning to coaching, even if it is college.

Chuck Person
Age: 45

Birthplace: Brantley

Alma Mater: Auburn

Current position: Special assistant, Los Angeles Lakers

Career record: N/A

Career highlight: In college, it was when he became Auburn’s all-time leading scorer, a record that still stands today, even with the introduction of the 3-point line. In the pros, it might have been his overall longevity, as he lasted 15 seasons and played with five different teams.

Would he take it?: Person is currently on the path to, one day, become a head coach at the professional level. But when he talked with reporters Thursday, he hinted that an offer from a major program in a major conference would be tough to overlook.

So, who are YOU rooting for?

Link: http://www.thecornernews.com/index.php/news/comments/several-names-emerge-as-top-candidates-to-replace-lebo/

Advertisements