While this year’s college basketball coaching carousel didn’t affect the Big East in quantity, it did have an impact on quality, as Xavier, the conference’s regular season champions, lost head coach Chris Mack to Louisville. That means the only new coach this year will be the Musketeers’ Travis Steele. With that in mind, here’s a look at how stable each coach’s job is moving forward to 2018-19.
Jay Wright, Villanova
While a second title doesn’t hurt, there isn’t much moving Wright out of Villanova. He has publicly stated that he can’t see himself leaving the university, and there isn’t any reason Villanova would be looking to get rid of him either. Wright has built the Wildcats into one of the elite programs in the country and might have as good a setup as any coach out there. He’s now reaching Coach K/Boeheim level in terms of association with one school.
Most likely scenario to leave: At this point, the only scenario he may leave for is the 76ers job. If the Sixers flame out the next two seasons early in the playoffs, then Wright may get a chance to take over. It’s still a long shot, but it’s not inconceivable.
Greg McDermott, Creighton
After being tied to the Ohio State job last offseason, all was pretty much quiet for McDermott this time around. He led his team to another NCAA tournament appearance despite some injury issues along the way. At 53 years old, it seems we’re in the middle of a long and happy marriage between McDermott and Creighton, during which he should continue to emerge as one of the faces of the conference.
Most likely scenario to leave: If a top level Big 12 team like Kansas or Texas threw a lot of money at him, it could happen, but those jobs shouldn’t be opening any time soon.
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
All things considered, Ewing’s first-year as coach has to be considered a success. He added some life into the program, and while they didn’t sniff any postseason play, the Hoyas showed a fight in them all year despite minimal talent. With a strong recruiting class coming in and the backing of everyone at Georgetown, he’s here to stay for at least awhile.
Most likely scenario to leave: If Georgetown isn’t NCAA tournament quality by Ewing’s third year, then the whispers will likely begin, but considering how long it took to let John Thompson III go, Ewing will likely get several years to try to get things right.
Probably not going anywhere
Travis Steele, Xavier
The newbie of the group has been at Xavier since 2008 and seems largely committed to the program. He’s a Butler grad, so it’s hard to see that being a destination job for him considering it’s a lateral move within conference. There’s always a chance Steele is a rockstar from Day 1 at Xavier, and other programs try to pry him away instantly, but his former coaching ties are to Ohio State and Indiana — two schools that seem to be set at coach for awhile. Still, Xavier has long been more of a stepping stone program for coaches than a destination.
Most likely scenario to leave: Xavier doesn’t miss a beat with Steele in charge and is again a Top-10 program. A high level Big Ten job becomes open and makes Steele an offer he can’t refuse.
Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
With a NCAA tournament win finally under his belt and a historic senior class graduating, this seemed like a good time for Williard to move on, but no team really came calling. Pittsburgh, where he played, didn’t seem to consider him, and Louisville (his dad was an assistant there) went with Mack. Seton Hall and Willard are starting to look more and more like a long-term fit.
Most likely scenario to leave: Willard looks for a change and bolts for a mid-level ACC school.
Might be here for awhile, but could be gone tomorrow
Ed Cooley, Providence
Every offseason it is a tad bit shocking that Cooley’s name is not considered for more top-level jobs considering what he’s done at Providence, a school where it’s simply not very easy to win, let alone make five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. He was somewhat tied to UConn this offseason, and eventually some big-time program is going to make him their coach.
Most likely scenario to leave: A college basketball heavyweight makes him an offer he can’t turn down. Northeast schools like Maryland and Syracuse make sense if a job ever became open.
LaVall Jordan, Butler
In his first year, Jordan immediately made his presence known at Butler and meshed with the program’s culture. He led the Bulldogs to a postseason birth and seems like a budding star in the coaching world. Still, he didn’t do anything too remarkable in his first year, and he wasn’t a popular name in the last coaching cycle. A good second year could change that, although he is a Butler grad and prying coaches from their alma mater can be tough.
Most likely scenario to leave: In his second season, Jordan sparks Butler on a deep playoff run. A Big Ten school takes notice and hands him the keys. He was an assistant at Iowa, and there may be a fit there.
Not a lock to be here in 2019-20
Steve Wojciechowski, Marquette
After missing the NCAA tournament this past year, Wojciechowski isn’t exactly as hot a name as he was a season ago, but he’s still young and just one good season away from being a coach everyone wants, especially with his ties to Coach K. This may be pure speculation, but there doesn’t seem to be that attachment between Wojciechowski, the fans, and the program as there is with other coaches in the league. It may be more surprising if he’s here in five years than if he is gone.
Most likely scenario to leave: Wojciechowski gets a good offer from any Power 5 school and takes it.
Chris Mullin, St. John’s
Last season was a lost year for Mullin, who hasn’t sniffed the NCAA tournament since coming to St. John’s. If Shamorie Ponds bolts for the pros, then the writing may be on the wall for the former Red Storm player. For the first time in his tenure with his alma mater, he’s likely coaching for his job.
Most likely scenario to leave: St. John’s is a conference bottom dweller again, and Mullin is fired.
Dave Leitao, DePaul
It’s sort of remarkable that Leitao is still here given how bad DePaul has been during his tenure, but he’s starting to recruit better and has the athletic director firmly on his side. Still, without significant improvement, this will reach a breaking point. He’s already probably been given more time for a turnaround than most projected.
Most likely scenario to leave: It’s another non-competitive year for DePaul and attendance slips. The Blue Demons look for a coach that can make sure their new arena stays packed.