The last time Marquette fired a head coach the Golden Eagles were still in Conference USA, Dwyane Wade was an unknown high school sophomore in Illinois, and Steve Wojciechowski hadn’t started his coaching career. Before Marquette fired Wojciechowski on Friday, nine days after the completion of his seventh season as head coach, they hadn’t fired a head coach since Mike Deane was dismissed after the 1998-99 season.
“I’m confident that our history of success and our commitment to developing young men who are leaders on and off the court will attract the highest caliber of coaching talent,” Golden Eagles’ athletics director Bill Scholl said in announcing a move that comes after Wojciechowski missed the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time.
“I’m told there was a scenario on the table that [Wojciechowski] could’ve come back if he changed his staff,” Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported on The Field of 68. “And he didn’t change his staff. He didn’t want to bring in another veteran coach who could help him. He basically said, ‘I’m out.’ “
Porter Moser “covets” the job, Goodman added. Moser grew up 100 miles south of Milwaukee in Naperville, Ill., was an assistant at Milwaukee for one season (1995-96), and has spent the last 10 years transforming Loyola Chicago from a Horizon League doormat to Missouri Valley power and annual NCAA Tournament contender. Moser rejected St. John’s advances two years ago and has turned down several other interview requests and job offers since the Ramblers’ 2018 Final Four run in 2018. Marquette could at least double or triple his current low seven-figure salary and offer him a chance at annual Final Four contention.
Marquette might go after two current high-major coaches, Shaka Smart and Nate Oats, both of whom are Wisconsin natives. John Beilein may also be mentioned, along with Winthrop head Pat Kelsey, VCU head coach Mike Rhoades, and Drake head coach Darian DeVries.
Under-the-radar candidates might include BYU head coach Mark Pope, Tulane head coach Ron Hunter, and Milwaukee Bucks’ assistant Charles Lee. Pope is thriving in one of the most comfortable jobs in college basketball and could be in the mix at Utah if he wants a high-major promotion without a cross-country move. Still, the 48-year-old Kentucky has shown a willingness to jump at opportunities and might be interested in a Big East job with loads of resources.
Hunter might be an aggressive hire if Scholl can’t sell the former Milwaukee assistant to Marquette stakeholders. And Lee is the wild card. In his third season on Mike Budenholzer’s staff, the 36-year-old played on Bucknell’s tournament team that beat Kansas in 2006 and began his coaching career with the Bison in 2012. He hasn’t coached in college since leaving Bucknell in 2014 but is highly regarded in NBA circles and could be worth a look if Marquette is willing to look past a lack of college experience.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM