Hoffmanwatch continues, and picks up steam.
Danny Manning has taken the Wake Forest job, and it's official. So the door to an attractive upper-mid-major job is open.
Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley has Tulsa ties, insofar as he was an assistant at Kansas of a former Tulsa head coach, Bill Self.
And that's about it, but that's more than enough to get the rumor mill going and add his name to the list of candidates.
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Self hasn't been at Tulsa since 2000. Dooley never has. Maybe in the city, but not a university employee.
Neither has Mercer's Bob Hoffman, but he's spent most of his career in Oklahoma, and took two players from the state to Mercer.
Tulsa reportedly offered Manning a million to stay, close to double his original salary. After two seasons.
Even $750,000 would triple the salaries of Dooley and Hoffman, and it's a better basketball program by a chunk than Mercer and FGCU.
The Tulsa World's initial list, as published on Tulsaworld.com Friday:
* Brett Ballard: Age 33. Manning’s top assistant at TU. Ballard formerly was the head coach at Baker University, which competes at the NAIA level.
* Lou Dawkins: Age 43. A former Golden Hurricane guard, Dawkins connected on the 3-point shot that stunned Oklahoma State in the 1994 NCAA Tournament. Since winning two state championships as a high school coach in his home state of Michigan, Dawkins has for three seasons been an assistant at Northern Illinois.
* Joe Dooley: Age 48. Recently completed his first season as the Florida Gulf Coast head coach, recording 22 victories before an NIT first-round loss to Florida State. He was East Carolina’s head coach for four seasons during the ‘90s and was a Bill Self assistant at Kansas for 10 years.
* Doug Gottlieb: Age 38. The former Oklahoma State point guard was an ESPN Radio host, did ESPN college basketball analysis and now does studio and game work for CBS. He has no coaching experience, but two years ago he expressed interest in becoming Kansas State’s head coach. It is believed that Gottlieb inquired about the TU job two years ago, and he might be intrigued again.
* Barry Hinson: Age 52. A Marlow native who now is the head coach at Southern Illinois. Hinson formerly was the head coach at Bishop Kelley in Tulsa, at Oral Roberts and at Missouri State.
* Bob Hoffman: Age 56. An Oklahoma City native and currently the head coach at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Hoffman recently attracted national attention when he and Mercer stunned Duke in an NCAA Tournament game. Hoffman formerly was the Oklahoma Baptist University head coach and an Oklahoma assistant.
* Norm Roberts: Age 48. A former St. John’s head coach and a Bill Self assistant at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas.
* Donnie Tyndall: Age 43. In three seasons as the Southern Miss head coach, Tyndall has led the Golden Eagles to combined records of 85-23 overall and 38-10 in Conference USA play.
* Brad Underwood: Age 49. In his first season as the Stephen F. Austin head coach, Underwood and the Lumberbacks achieved a 29-game win streak that included an NCAA Tournament conquest of Virginia Commonwealth. Underwood played at Kansas State and was a Frank Martin assistant both at K-State and South Carolina.
* Michael White: Age 37. Considered a rising star. In three seasons as Louisiana Tech’s head coach, White has a record of 74-31. For seven seasons, he was an assistant at Ole Miss.
* Pooh Williamson: Age 40. A Beggs native and the point guard for Tubby Smith-coached Tulsa teams that in 1994 and 1995 surged to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Williamson was the Hurricane’s interim head coach during the 2004-05 season. He since has been an assistant at Wichita State, Texas A&M and TCU, and he currently is a member of Smith’s staff at Texas Tech.
One thing that's to Hoffman's advantage: he'd retire at Tulsa. If Oklahoma State opened up next year, it wouldn't matter because he couldn't leave after one year.
As all officials will attest, he moves well on the sideline and has tremendous lung capacity. His basketball knowledge, before and during games, is remarkable.
And Tulsa is 90 minutes from Oklahoma City, where Hoffman is from.
The good news for Mercer: it's a pretty attractive list, for the most part, and Tulsa has broad options.
The guess here is we can eliminate Ballard (not enough experience, and could go with Manning); Gottlieb (job's way to good for a rookie coach), Dawkins (no college head coaching experience and only three years as a college assistant); Underwood (shouldn't one have a second really good year to make a jump?; OK, no); White (just signed a contract extension, and Louisiana Tech has potential to be a quality mid-major very quickly, giving White better opportunities in a year or two).
It'll be a wrenching weekend for all involved.