Credit: Texas Athletics

Hot Seat Watch: Big 12

Breaking down the job status of every coach in the Big 12 conference

The Big 12 has been dominated by Kansas in recent history but a new power has emerged with the rise of Texas Tech in the last couple of seasons. No one should expect the Jayhawks to be knocked off of the conference mountain top at this point but it is no longer a race to see what team will be finishing second in a given year. A rarity in college basketball with no first year coaches and many well established names leading the way, there are still a few coaches who could be out of the job with another down year in 2019-2020. We broke down the job status of every coach in the Big 12. The tiers are Ice Cold, Not In Jeopardy, Warm, Hot, The Honeymoon Phase, and Coaches who could see their sanctions leading to a change in their job status.

Ice Cold:

Chris Beard (Texas Tech)

Career Record: 106-36

Record at Texas Tech: 76-31

Beard is one of those coaches who just wins everywhere he goes, and his tenure at Texas Tech has not been any different. He has led the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight and a national championship game appearance in the last two seasons. In April the coach signed an extension that keeps him under contract through the 2023-2024 season. At this point he is staying in Lubbock unless he chooses to head to another school or to coach at the professional level.

Bob Huggins (West Virginia)

Career Record: 788-337

Record at West Virginia: 270-151

Huggins is from Morgantown, played collegiality for the Mountaineers and he has led the team to some of the most successful seasons they have had in school history. Last season was not a great with the team going 15-21, but the team had been to four consecutive four NCAA tournaments before that. He is a legend in West Virginia and the smart money is on him retiring on his timetable as the coach in Morgantown.

Not In Jeopardy:

Scott Drew (Baylor)

Career Record: 338-220

Record at Baylor: 318-209

Drew has somewhat quietly become one of the longest standing coaches with a single team in the last twenty years, coaching at Baylor since 2003-2004. There are coaches in that time span that have had more success but his track record at the school has been very solid, especially when you consider the history of the program. There are questions with whether or not he put together a championship team but he should not have to worry about his job status at this time.

Steve Prohm (Iowa State)

Career Record: 187-82

Record at Iowa State: 83-53

Taking over the program after Fred Hoiberg left for the NBA was no easy task when you are attempting to maintain that same level success. With the exclusion of the 2017-2018 season he has led the to three fairly successful seasons in his first four years on the job. Now that the players are fully his recruits it will be much easier to accurately assess his job performance going forward, but for the time being his job is safe.

Bruce Weber (Kansas State)

Career Record: 463-244

Record at Kansas State: 150-89

Weber is a seasoned veteran in the coaching world who has led the Wildcats to some solid seasons in his seven years at the helm. The team went to the Elite Eight two years ago after knocking off Kentucky in the sweet sixteen giving fans hope that Weber has the ability to lead Kansas State to the Final Four. It has not been a perfect run Manhattan and there are surely fans that would like to see a new direction, but there is no reason to think he does not have job security heading into this year.

Jamie Dixon (TCU)

Career Record: 396-164

Record at TCU: 68-41

Dixon had a good run a Pittsburgh before coming to TCU, where he played his college ball, and he has the program in a decent place after three seasons on the job. The postseason success has yet to come with the team missing the NCAA tournament two of his first three seasons, but there are some expectations that this year will end with a tournament appearance. If he continues to hover around 20 plus wins and not competing at a high level within the Big 12 then his seat could warm, but the administration is going to see this hire through in the near future.

Lon Kruger (Oklahoma)

Career Record: 639-403

Record at Oklahoma: 160-105

Kruger came in and immediately brought a culture change that led to more success on the floor after taking over the job in 2011. He led the team to the Final Four in 2016 but they have yet to have the same level of regular season or postseason success since. For a university that is considered a football school it is not always easy dealing with the shadow of a perennial national championship contender on the gridiron, and he has built a solid program despite that. The last three seasons have not been what the fans or the administration want to see as far as regular season wins and losses, but he should not have to fear for his job at this point.

Hot: 

Shaka Smart (Texas)

Career Record: 234-122

Record at Texas: 71-66

Smart was one of the most highly sought after coaching candidates in the country for multiple seasons after building the VCU program to a mid major powerhouse, but he has just simply been underwhelming as the coach at Texas. Entering his fifth year on the job the Longhorns have made two NCAA tournament appearances and they won the NIT championship last season which is not an accomplishment that many fans care about at a school like Texas. For years Rick Barnes was maligned for the lack of postseason success, and it is ironic that the coach who replaces Barnes has had trouble just getting to the NCAA tournament. It should also be noted that Texas recruits at a high level with multiple NBA players over his first four seasons, so there is really no excuse as to why they should at the very least be limping into tournament appearances. If the 2019-2020 campaign is another NIT appearance or a first round exit in the NCAA tournament with limited success in the regular season, Smart could be looking for his next job after the year is over.

Could Warm Due To NCAA Issues:

Bill Self (Kansas)

Career Record: 680-211

Record at Kansas: 473-106

There is no doubt that Self is one of the top recruiters and coaches in all of college basketball, however the program is currently under investigation by the NCAA and it does not seem possible that they will come out completely unscathed. His on the court success has been matched by very few coaches around the country so as long as nothing more comes out regarding the scandal he will likely be in Lawrence for many years to come, unless he leaves for the NBA.

Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State)

Career Record: 33-35

Record at Oklahoma State: 33-35

Boynton has not gotten the Cowboys off to a great start on the court, and he has dealt with the firing of an assistant coach who was caught up in the Adidas scandal. The school has since voiced their support for the coach but if they do no improve on the court or more negative information comes out, his seat could get very hot. The team went 12-20 last season after an NIT appearance in his first year, which when coupled with the potential of sanctions puts him outside of the usual honeymoon phase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow me on Twitter