Another coach enters the search
We know, courtesy of the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle, that North Texas coach Johnny Jones has been contacted and is expected to interview for the Tigers' gig this week.
I haven't yet been able to confirm this on the record, but we believe Jones will be on campus Thursday for an interview. He will be the first candidate to meet face-to-face with athletic director Jay Jacobs.
So who is this guy?
Here's what UNT has been doing ...
2000-01: 4-24 (year before he arrived)
2003-04: 13-15, 8-8
2004-05: 14-14, 6-9
2005-06: 14-14, 6-9
2006-07: 23-11 10-8 (made NCAAs)
2007-08: 20-11, 10-8
2008-09: 20-12, 11-7
2009-10: 24-9, 13-5 (made NCAAs)
Jones is 47 years old. He played at LSU from 1980-84. He also coached under Dale Brown and played a significant role during the days of Shaquille O'Neal, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Randy Livingston. He spent time as an assistant at Memphis prior to John Calipari's arrival and spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant at Alabama.
What can we glean from his record? There are two explanations. One is that he's a decent mid-major coach who occasionally takes a team loaded with experience and challenges for an NCAA bid. Call it Jeff Lebo Syndrome.
The other is that Jones is a guy who needed a few years to learn how to build teams and now has reached a certain level of celestial understanding. He has at least 20 wins in each of his last four seasons, which is significant given the UNT context.
Which is it? I really don't know.