OXFORD — Ole Miss and men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis parted ways Friday morning after five seasons. Davis went 74-79 with the Rebels, was named Southeastern Conference coach of the year in 2019 and made it to the NCAA tournament once.
The Rebels have won just six SEC games the last two seasons combined, however, and have lost 15 of their last 17 games.
While a national search is currently underway for Davis’ replacement, here are a few names noted national college basketball reporters have cited as potential hires.
Beard, formerly the head coach at Texas Tech and Texas, was cited by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and ESPN’s Jeff Borzello as a potential candidate. Beard was fired by Texas earlier this season amid domestic violence allegations, but those charges have since been dropped. Beard went 30-5 in his lone season at Arkansas Little Rock before spending the next five seasons at Texas Tech. He led the Red Raiders to a national title game appearance in 2019 and made three NCAA tournament appearances. He led Texas to the NCAA tournament last season and coached eight games this season.
Wade was also listed by Goodman. Wade was the head coach at LSU for five seasons and took VCU to a pair of NCAA tournaments before that. With LSU, Wade made three trips to the tournament and had three 20-win seasons. Wade was fired by LSU last March due to “allegations of significant misconduct,” which included five Level I violations tied to recruiting, according to ESPN.
May was listed by both Goodman and Borzello. May is in his fifth season as the head coach at FAU and has the Owls at 25-3 this year, the most wins for the program in a single season.
Ole Miss was mentioned as a potential “good landing spot” for Pitino by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones. Pitino is currently the head coach at Iona but is most known for his time at Kentucky and Louisville, where he won a national championship with each. He’s been to seven Final Fours — his first coming with Providence in 1987 — and has a 827-292 record overall. Pitino was fired by Louisville in 2017 for allegations of “pay-for-play” with a recruit’s family, according to ESPN.
Borzello also mentioned McCasland, who has spent the last six seasons as the head coach at North Texas. McCasland has won 20 games in five seasons leading the Mean Green and led the team to the NCAA tournament in 2021.
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