UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford still has two weeks if he’s going to meet his “end of the month” deadline to complete the process of filling his vacant men’s basketball post, but he could be in position to move quickly now.
According to multiple sources, Florida Gulf Coast coach Joe Dooley could be emerging as the focus of UMass’ search to replace Derek Kellogg, who was fired a week ago.
Dooley has led the Eagles to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. FGSU was eliminated from the tournament by Florida State, Thursday.
According to different sources, UMass has had contact with Monmouth coach King Rice as well.
Moving quickly has considerable advantages for Bamford in the current search climate.
Currently there are bigger jobs and smaller jobs open but no similar caliber vacancies to UMass, which means it’s likely pursuing candidates different from the other open positions.
That could change if the Minutemen wait. Indiana, Washington, Illinois and LSU all have openings. Their hires could create domino openings that would create competition for Dooley, Rice and anyone else UMass might be targeting.
BARBEE IN ATLANTIC 10 — UMass alum Tony Barbee could return to head coaching at a place that could bring him to Amherst on a fairly regular basis.
Barbee is reportedly a candidate at Duquesne, which fired Jim Ferry after the season.
Barbee, who scored 1,643 points from 1989-1993 at UMass, was the head coach at UTEP from 2006-2010 and led the Miners to the 2010 Conference USA title and the NCAA Tournament. He was hired at Auburn but had four losing seasons in four years (2010-14). He spent this season as an assistant coach at Kentucky with former UMass coach John Calipari.
KELLOGG THANKS — Kellogg, who’d been publicly silent since his dismissal last week tweeted out a letter to fans that began:
“At this time I would like to thank the University of Massachusetts and the entire UMass family for affording me the remarkable opportunity of serving as your head coach of the men’s basketball team. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the University, its student athletes and our community over the past nine years. I am supremely proud of our student athletes, past and present, and all they have achieved in the classroom on the court and in our community.”
For the rest of the letter go to: http://www.gazettenet.com/BLOG-Kellogg-thanks-fans-UMass-8757885
Matt Vautour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage