UConn Coaching Candidates

Update: The New Haven Register is reporting that Kevin Ollie is expected to replace Patrick Sellers as an assistant coach.  That would mean that Dave Leitao would not be returning.  Leitao is reported to be pursuing other interests — in basketball coach-speak, that usually means broadcasting.

The name that’s being floated out there for Director of Basketball Operations is former UConn star Donyell Marshall.

Original post:

With Patrick Sellers and Beau Archibald out of the program, one of the hottest topics surrounding UConn are the possible replacements.

The two names that I’ve run across, which make a lot of sense, are Dave Leitao and Kevin Ollie.

Leitao, of course, has been a key member of the UConn coaching staff, regarded as a very good assistant coach and recruiter.  Some also see him as a potential replacement for Jim Calhoun; I’m not one who sees him as a viable candidate.  He struggled a bit at Northeastern, going 18-11 in his first season but only 4-24 in his second season, before returning to Connecticut.  He had some success at DePaul, compiling a 58-34 record in 3 seasons (1 NCAA appearance), then struggled at Virginia.   (Of course, a lot of coaches struggle at Virginia, and Leitao’s record at DePaul was far better than his successor, Jerry Wainwright)

Unless Jim Calhoun loses the support of the UConn administration, I would expect Leitao to return.  He will not see a high-level head coaching position any time soon, and he’s a great fit for the UConn program.

Ollie also makes a lot of sense.  He has no previous coaching experience, as he is still active as an NBA player, having managed to hang on for 13 seasons.  Ollie has always seemed like an obvious choice to become a coach, and has previously expressed interest.  He also lives in Glastonbury.  However, he may be hoping to play one more season in the NBA, and would not know for a couple of months whether that will happen.  My guess: if UConn wants him, he will become the Director of Basketball Operations.  It’s too good an opportunity and too good a fit to pass up.

Other possibilities: former UConn star Chris Smith.


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