Head Coaching Candidates for UTEP Men’s Basketball
With the news today that Rodney Terry left UTEP for an assistant coaching position at the University of Texas, the Miners are suddenly looking again for men's basketball head coach. Here is a list of names that UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter could be looking at to take over the program.
Chris Jans (NMSU 2017-Present) - all Chris Jans has done since arriving at New Mexico State is win. He amassed 83 victories with the Aggies in his first three seasons with the program and a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament. This past season, he endured a move to Phoenix, a pair of COVID pauses for his program, and injuries to numerous starters and he still took NMSU to the WAC title game against Grand Canyon. Prior to his time in Las Cruces, Jans spent the 2014-15 season as the head coach at Bowling Green and he led them to 21 wins and the CIT second round. He worked under Gregg Marshall as an assistant coach at Wichita State from 2007-14 and again from 2015-17.
Tony Barbee (Kentucky assistant coach, 2014-Present) — Never say never, right? Barbee succeeded Doc Sadler at UTEP in 2006 and help lead the program to the NCAA Tournament in 2010, while boasting an 82-52 overall record with the Miners. He left for the Auburn head coaching gig in 2010, but never had success with the Tigers. Barbee was fired after four seasons and finished with a record of 49-75 (.395), which was the lowest winning percentage of any Tigers head coach that stayed for more than two seasons. Maybe Barbee could get back into the head coaching ranks after spending seven seasons with Kentucky. Imagine if he rejoined the program that he once helped lead to reach many successes?
Joe Golding (Abilene Christian, 2011-Present) — Golding has been at Abilene Christian for a decade now and though his overall record isn’t the most impressive (158–144), he’s led his program to an NCAA Tournament appearance in two of the last three tries. He has West Texas connections, which works in his favor. He was a hot name for the Texas Tech head coaching job. Would he consider coming to El Paso and leading UTEP as a program builder?
Billy Gillispie (Former UTEP Head Coach, Tarleton State 2020-Present) - Billy Gillispie is back in Division 1 college basketball and he led Tarleton State to a 10-10 record, including wins in seven of their last nine games. Obviously, Miner fans have deep affection for Gillispie after the program's turnaround more than 15 years ago. He might not be as hot a name as he was the first time around, but he can recruit in Texas. If there ever was a school that would entertain a reunion for Billy Clyde, it would be UTEP.
Marvin Menzies (UNLV 2016-19 and NMSU 2007-16) - UTEP fans are familiar with the 59-year old coach since he spent 9 seasons with their I-10 rivals. He took the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament in five out of six seasons and he went 198-111 with NMSU. From there he moved to UNLV, but he was just 48-48 in three seasons with no trips to the postseason. Menzies spent the 2019-20 season as an Associate Head Coach for Dan Majerle at Grand Canyon University, but the entire coaching staff was fired last spring.
Kimani Young (UCONN 2018-Present, Minnesota 2013-18) - Kimani Jones Young is a name that is familiar with UTEP hoops fans that followed the program in the 1990s. He arrived in El Paso in 1992 and by the time he graduated in 1998, he became one of only 22 players to break the 1,000-point mark. He transitioned into college coaching with Richard Pitino at FIU and later at Minnesota. He joined Dan Hurley's staff at UCONN in April of 2018 and he was promoted to Associated Head Coach last September. Young has spent the last nine seasons working his way up the ladder in college basketball coaching and he is the only former Miners player to be active as a college assistant.
Greg Foster (Indiana Pacers, Assistant 2020-Present) — Former UTEP forward and NBA player Greg Foster has put together an eight-year career in the NBA as an assistant, including stops with the 76ers, Bucks and Hawks. The 2001 NBA champion is now with the Pacers, but has previously suggested that he would be interested in coaching at the college level with the right opportunity. Foster would be someone that knows the game through and through, though he lacks the college experience. Though, former players turned coaches like Michigan’s Juwan Howard, who was an assistant with the Miami Heat before leading the Wolverines to the Elite Eight, have proved otherwise.
Tim Hardaway (Detroit Pistons Assistant 2014-18) - Tim Hardaway Sr. starred for UTEP before his All Star NBA career with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat. Following his playing career, he coached under Stan Van Gundy with the Detroit Pistons for four seasons. Hardaway joined 600 ESPN on SportsTalk back in late February and he admitted that the UTEP head coaching position is a dream job for him. He was interested in the opening prior to Rodney Terry getting hired and then he wanted to join Terry as an assistant coach on his staff. Hardaway would certainly bring star power to the job, but he lacks coaching experience in college basketball.
Jerome Tang (Baylor Assistant 2003-Present) - Jerome Tang has been an assistant coach for Scott Drew since he joined Baylor in 2003. During those 18 seasons, he has helped Drew build Baylor into postseason powerhouse while helping to recruit their eight Top 25 consensus classes. Tang was promoted by Drew to Associate Head Coach in 2017. Prior to his time at Baylor, Tang spent 10 seasons as head coach at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas. He led Heritage to four state championships in his 10 seasons.
- Royal Ivey (Brooklyn Nets assistant coach, 2020-Present) — The former Longhorns star and current NBA assistant was rumored heavily for the Texas opening, though the Longhorns simply couldn’t pass up on hiring Beard. If he were still interested in coaching at the college level, maybe UTEP would be a place to start his career.
- Paul Weir (New Mexico, 2017-2020) — Weir was out as the Lobos’ head coach at the end of a disgruntling season where they sat at 6-14 overall, 2-14 in the Mountain West. Previously, he spent nine seasons as an assistant coach for NM State and then became the head coach in 2016, when the Aggies went 28-6 and made the NCAA Tournament. Due to his recent rough finish with New Mexico, don’t expect him to be atop the list of candidates for UTEP.
- Greg Marshall (Wichita State, 2007-2020) — Following a resignation in November 2020, amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse at Wichita State, Greg Marshall has not received any interest as a head coach. However, that could definitely change if a school looked hiring someone that has experience winning at the mid-major level. Still, this seems too soon after the abuse scandal to be a hire that Jim Senter would execute for UTEP.
- Kyle Keller (Stephen F. Austin, 2016-Present) — The blemish on Kyle Keller's resume is seeing his program vacate wins, including all 117 men's basketball wins from the 2014–15 to 2018–19 seasons because of an administrative error. Besides that, Keller is a proven winner at the mid-major level and holds a strong 104–46 overall record. With the exception of the 2018-19 season, Stephen F. Austin has finished in the top three of the Southland conference every year he's been with the program.