The College Basketball Hiring Class of 2009: Where are they now?

In the Spring of 2009, many coaches were hired.  What are they doing now?

How did the coaches hired in Spring 2009 fare?  Are the coaches still where they were hired?  Are they out of the business altogether?  Let’s find out!

Anthony Grant

Anthony Grant was hired by Alabama in 2009.  How did things turn out for him?

He was fired by Alabama in 2015 and replaced by Avery Johnson.  Grant would join Billy Donovan in Oklahoma City as an Assistant Coach and then become the Head Coach at Dayton in 2017 after the departure of Archie Miller.  Dayton is 10-11 this season.

Buzz Peterson

The former Head Coach at Tennessee landed at Appalachian State.

He would leave after one season in Boone to trade the mountains for the beach.  He did not even leave the Tar Heel State to do it.  Peterson was fired by UNC Wilmington in 2014 and was replaced by now North Carolina State Head Coach Kevin Keatts.

Peterson is now the Assistant General Manager for the Charlotte Hornets, a perfect landing spot for someone nicknamed ‘Buzz’.

Sean Miller

Sean Miller left Xavier to take the Arizona job.  Arizona was in need of a bit of a turnaround.  Miller delivered after a first season that was a bit rocky.

Miller’s staff was wrapped up into the FBI Investigation as Assistant Coach “Book” Richardson was arrested and fired for his apparently illegal recruiting efforts in landing Jahvon Quinerly.

Business as usual remains as more developments await this season and going into the postseason.  A lot may be revealed to be tainted.

Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas was hired by FIU to turnaround their Men’s Basketball Program as he was looking to repair his own image.  Thomas was a failure of a Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations with the New York Knicks and in 2006, the New York Knicks settled a $11.5 Million sexual harassment suit that involved his misconduct.

Thomas’ run at FIU was disastrous on the court and he was fired in 2012.  Thomas would become involved with NBA TV and then become the Team President and part-owner of the New York Liberty of the WNBA.  Thomas would become a Champagne importer as well through his own business organization.

Charlton Young

Charlton Young was up-and-coming Georgia Tech assistant known for his ability to recruit.  He was hired to be the Head Coach at Georgia Southern.  Young traded Atlanta for Statesboro and the advantages of recruiting to the ACC and to a major city in the United States were no longer there.

Charlton Young was fired by Georgia Southern in 2013 and he is now an Assistant Coach at Florida State where he is back to doing what he does best – recruit.

John Calipari

John Calipari needs no introduction.  He is a Hall of Famer and he finally won a National Championship.  He did it all at Kentucky where he gets to do exasperated and brutally honest interviews talking how tough it is to coach a new set of 18 Year Olds every season that go on to playing in the NBA.

Calipari is a recruiting and coaching machine with a system that is relatively plug-and-play.

Kentucky is 16-5 this season and on their way to another NCAA Tournament berth and likely much more as they grow.

Josh Pastner

Pastner took the Memphis job in 2009 after Calipari’s departure for Lexington, Kentucky.  Pastner’s run at Memphis was rocky to say the least and there were very unhappy moments associated with his tenure.

Pastner’s relationship with Memphis was fraying and he jumped to take the Georgia Tech Head Coaching job.  Pastner is presently at Georgia Tech where he is enjoying what he calls life, which includes:  Getting blown out in back-to-back seasons against Georgia, hating golf, telling opposing fans where to stick it and feuding with his so-called friends over possible NCAA violations.

Josh Pastner is having a great time!

David Carter

David Carter was hired in 2009 to replace Mark Fox who departed Nevada for the Georgia Head Coaching job.  Carter was on Fox’s staff in Reno and he had six seasons without an NCAA Tournament appearance.

The step up in conference from the WAC to the Mountain West may have been too much for Carter and his staff to handle.  Carter was fired in 2015 and he would immediately jump back to his alma mater to be an Assistant Coach under Randy Bennett at Saint Mary’s.

When Yasir Rosemond left Georgia for Alabama in 2017, Carter rejoined Fox as an Assistant Coach at Georgia.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett left Washington State after turning them around from an also-ran under his father, Dick Bennett, to the Sweet 16 in two seasons.  His first season in Pullman resulted in a Round of 32 appearance.

Bennett jumped to Virginia and Washington State never made the NCAA Tournament since.

It took the Hoos three seasons to make the NCAA Tournament with Bennett, but from the 2013-14 Season going forward Virginia has been a bracket mainstay winning the ACC Championship.  Bennett’s defenses are becoming legendary with the stifling Pack Line Defense being among the Top 10 in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency every season since 2013-14.  This season, UVA has an 81.1 adjusted defensive efficiency rating.

Shaka Smart

Smart took VCU to the Final Four in 2011 in what was a special year for Men’s Basketball in the City of Richmond.  He went to NCAA Tournaments in subsequent seasons, but was never able to match that magical run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  It seemed like he did all he could do at VCU and while more seasons of consistent NCAA Tournament appearances would make VCU the Gonzaga of the Mid-Atlantic, he opted to bolt for Texas.

Smart’s outspoken political nature would not necessarily fit just anywhere, but his brand of politics works in Austin.  Smart is helping to Keep Austin Weird.

Smart is on pace for another NCAA Tournament berth in his third season at Texas after a disastrous second season.

Ken Bone

Ken Bone’s claim to fame was coaching Klay Thompson.  With Thompson, the team was a threat to upset just about anyone, but failed to do anything more than serve as semifinalists or finalists in also-ran tournaments.

Once Thompson went to the Golden State Warriors, the carriage that was carrying Washington State Basketball became a pumpkin and the program returned back to the wilderness.

Bone became the Associate Head Coach at Montana and then was plucked out of Missoula by Mark Few to become a special assistant at Gonzaga.

This is a different Ken Bone…

Chris Mack

Chris Mack succeeded Sean Miller.  Mack’s run at Xavier is arguably better than Sean Miller’s.  Mack is facing better competition in the Big East and delivering results.  Xavier is once again poised for another NCAA Tournament appearance and possible under-the-radar run.

Mark Fox

Mark Fox has quite a bit of history.  He’s the first UGA Men’s Basketball Coach to win 20 or more games in three straight seasons.  Currently, he is also the longest tenured Power Conference Men’s Basketball Coach at one particular school to not win an NCAA Tournament game.

At a school that does not care about Men’s Basketball and featuring a base that really does not like Men’s Basketball, he’s known for the following to the general public:

  1. Painting himself up for Football Games.
  2. Promoting the Football Team.
  3. Conveniently having the team out of the headlines just in time for Spring Football.
  4. Looking like an internal auditor.

Mark Fox knows his audience well.  For the casual observer, Fox disappears in mid-to-late February and re-appears in September to cheer the Football Team onto victory.  Fox gets the most amount of attention in early February for doing what is in his job description and then everyone stops caring because the weather warms up and there’s Football news to consume.  Mark Fox is the Groundhog.

Mark Fox has not inspired anyone to be optimistic about the present or the future, which is emblematic of an Athletic Department and Boosters stuck in the past.  “How far in the past?” is the disturbing question, there are some who think that the glory days were before 1961 and the more contemporary minds (the majority) are stuck in September 1981.

3 comments

  1. I think the world of Coach Fox, and up until this year, I had great hopes for the BB program. But it appears we have gone backwards this year, and I wish that wasn’t the case. I still hope he is able to put it all together and make UGA relevant again, and I will support him come what may! Good luck coach!

  2. I’ve seen enough. I like Fox but he is a stubborn coach. I think we have enough talent to win 20+ games and be a threat in the early rounds of the NCAAs, but not with Fox as the coach.

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