This isn’t where you want to see your name if you’re a head coach. It’s the dreaded "Hot Seat," where coaches are getting a little warm on the seat of their pants and have to perform this season or else they could be facing the unemployment line soon
I’m not saying they are going to get fired, but the bottom line is, they can’t afford to have a bad year. In some cases, it’s on the court and in others, it’s off of it.
Here are a dozen guys who are facing some pressure this year:
COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT
Bruce Pearl, Tennessee: If anything happens, he’s history in Knoxville. His seat is plenty warm despite the team’s on-court success because of the recent self-imposed sanctions following an NCAA investigation that still hasn’t been closed as of yet. Pearl, who isn’t allowed to recruit off-campus for a full year, wasn’t truthful to the NCAA, and that’s a huge no-no.
Sidney Lowe, N.C. State: He’s brought in a talented freshman class, so there’s plenty of optimism around Raleigh. But Lowe hasn’t taken his alma mater to the Big Dance in any of his four seasons since taking over the program in 2006. In fact, N.C. State hasn’t finished higher than ninth (last season) in the ACC under Lowe’s watch — and now, he’s got a new athletic director who may want to bring in her own “guy.”
Karl Hobbs, George Washington: To think that a few years ago Hobbs was considered one of the hottest up-and-coming coaches in the country. That was just back in 2007 following three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. However, the Colonials have had three straight sub-par seasons with a 35-50 overall record, and Hobbs has some pressure to win this year.
Mick Cronin, Cincinnati: He took over a program in shambles in 2006 and has led it back to where it’s competitive (they went to the NIT last season) but has yet to lead the Bearcats to the NCAA tournament. This is Cronin’s fifth season (61-68 overall), and Cincinnati has yet to finish better than 10th in the Big East.
Doc Sadler, Nebraska: First of all, let’s get one thing straight: This is a tough job. Sadler has actually done an admirable job in his four seasons in Lincoln with a 70-58 overall mark, but the Cornhuskers just can’t have a repeat of last season in which they went 2-14 in Big 12 play.
Ed DeChellis, Penn State: He’s been the fixture on the "Hot Seat" and again, this is no easy task to win at Penn State. A couple years ago, the Nittany Lions won 27 games and went to the NIT but followed it up with 20 losses and a 3-16 record in Big Ten play last season.
Matt Doherty, SMU: The former North Carolina player and coach took a step forward last season with a 14-17 record and a 7-9 mark in C-USA play, but he’s 30 games under .500 in league play and there’s been no postseason in his four seasons in Dallas — and I’m not sure if there’s a sign of it anytime in the future.
Mike Davis, UAB: He hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the administration, and he also hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament — a place that Mike Anderson went three consecutive times before leaving for Missouri — in his four seasons at the helm. Then, there’s the fact that he always seems to be struggling just to put a team together.
Larry Eustachy, Southern Mississippi: He won 18 games last season, but four of them came against the likes of Cal State-Bakersfield, Dillard, Spring Hill and William Carey. In six seasons, Eustachy has still yet to get to the NCAA tourney or even the NIT.
Pat Knight, Texas Tech: I’m not sure how fair it is since he’s only been at the helm for 2 1/2 years, but the Red Raiders need to fare better in league play after going 4-12 last season and 3-13 in Knight’s first full season in charge.
One-third of the CAA: Towson’s Pat Kennedy, Delaware’s Monte Ross, Georgia State’s Rod Barnes and Drexel’s Bruiser Flint all need a strong showing this year. Ross is 39-86 in four years, Flint is 43-50 over the last three seasons, Barnes is 33-61 in his three years at the helm and Kennedy is nearly 50 games below the .500 mark in his six-year tenure at Towson.
Keno Davis, Providence: This may be premature, but a combination of off-the-court issues and a 12-19 mark last season has Davis needing to get things going. This is only his third season, but he needs to get moving in the right direction or else the Friar faithful will start to lose its patience.