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ACC coaching changes follow similar pattern

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As Virginia Tech moves through its untimely search for a new basketball coach, plenty of names have been bandied about as potential replacements.

In Jim Weaver’s press conference Monday, he mentioned several "big-name candidates" had shown interest in the job. Just how big? Some people think VCU head coach Shaka Smart may have interest in the job, but it's common knowledge how unlikely that scenario is. The broad range of candidates is due partially to the timing of the search, as well as the uncertainty of just how desirable the job is. Weaver said Monday he is "not ruling out" a young head coach or up-and-coming assistant.

For the first time in program history, Tech is searching for a new Head Hokie (I had to do it) as a member of the ACC.

It's hard to tell what direction the Hokies will go, but here's a look back at the types of coaches hired in the league over the last 20 years.

Here's a list of coaches each ACC team has hired since 1990, followed by their previous job. See if you notice a trend.

Boston College

1997 - Al Skinner (Rhode Island HC, 1988-1997)

2010 - Steve Donahue (Cornell HC, 2000-2010)


1994 - Rick Barnes (Providence HC, 1988-94)

1998 - Larry Shyatt (Wyoming HC, 1997-98...asst at Clemson 1994-97)

2003 - Oliver Purnell (Dayton HC, 1994-2003)

2010 - Brad Brownell (Wright State HC, 2006-2010)


Coach K...enough said.

Florida State

1998 - Steve Robinson (Tulsa HC, 1995-97)

2003 - Leonard Hamilton (Washington Wizards HC 2000-01, Univ. of Miami HC 1990-2000)

Georgia Tech

2000 - Paul Hewitt (Siena HC, 1997-2000)

2011 - Brian Gregory (Dayton HC, 2003-2011)


2011 - Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M HC, 2007-2011)


1990 - Leonard Hamilton (Oklahoma State HC, 1986-1990)

2000 - Perry Clark (Tulane HC, 1989-2000)

2004 - Frank Haith (Texas Asst., 2001-2004)

2011 - Jim Larranaga (George Mason HC, 1997-2011)

NC State

1990 - Les Robinson (East Tenn. St HC, 1985-1990)

1996 - Herb Sendek (Miami (Ohio) HC, 1994-1996)

2006 - Sidney Lowe (Detroit Pistons Asst., 2005-2006)

2011 - Mark Gottfried (Alabama HC, 1998-2009)

North Carolina

1997 - Bill Guthridge (UNC Asst., 1967-1997)

2000 - Matt Doherty (Notre Dame HC, 1999-2000)

2003 - Roy Williams (Kansas HC, 1988-2003)


1990 - Jeff Jones (UVA Asst., 1982-1990)

1998 - Pete Gillen (Providence HC, 1994-1998)

2005 - Dave Leitao (DePaul HC, 2002-2005)

2009 - Tony Bennett (Washington St. HC, 2006-2009)

Virginia Tech

1991 - Bill Foster (Miami HC, 1985-1990)

1997 - Bobby Hussey (Va Tech Asst., 1992-1997)

1999 - Ricky Stokes (Texas Asst., 1998-1999)

2003 - Seth Greenberg (South Florida HC, 1996-2003)

Wake Forest

2001 - Skip Prosser (Xavier HC, 1994-2001)

2007 - Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest Asst., 2001-2007)

2010 - Jeff Bzdelik (Colorado HC, 2007-2010)


So there you have it, in the last 22 years, there have been 33 coaching changes among the 12 ACC programs, with the Hokies in the midst of the 34th.

Of those 33 hires, 27 were of current college head coaches. One was of an NBA assistant, and five were of college assistants. Of those five college assistants who were hired, three were promotions from within the program (and Gaudio's case was highly unusual with the tragic death of Skip Prosser mid-summer).

You'll notice two of those hires of assistants were made by Virginia Tech while the Hokies were members of the Atlantic 10. It's quite a different job today than it was 15 years ago.

Coaching in the ACC is a lifelong accomplishment for virtually everyone in the profession. To earn a job in the prestigious league, you have to pay your dues. Will the Hokies be able to lure a proven head coach, like virtually all of their peers have done over the past two decades? Weaver certainly thinks so.

May this serve as the gauge of success when the search is complete and the Hokies have a new boss.