Wizards

6 college coaches that could make sense for the Wizards

Wizards

The Wizards are considering a wide range of candidates for their opening at head coach and that could include some from the college ranks. Here are six coaches they could take a look at, if they choose to go that route:

Juwan Howard, Michigan

A former Wizards player, Howard just led Michigan to the Elite Eight and a Big Ten conference championship. He's very quickly on the rise and has the background as an NBA All-Star and assistant coach of the Miami Heat. Howard, though, has reportedly told teams he's not interested in coaching in the NBA. He also had a bit of a rocky tenure in Washington he would have to look past to rejoin the organization.

John Calipari, Kentucky

Calipari is one of the most decorated and well-known coaches in college basketball, and was also head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 1996 to 1999. He now has his eyes on the NBA once again, according to a report, in part because of the NCAA's changing rules. He was previously tied to the Wizards simply because John Wall played for them, but Wall or not, they now have an opening. Calipari's best selling point may be the fact he's coached a lot of the league's stars and, if he recruited them once, maybe he can recruit them again.

Dawn Staley, South Carolina

 

A legendary player and very successful coach in women's college basketball, Staley has been linked to a few NBA openings this summer, including a reported interview with the Blazers. Staley led the Gamecocks to the national championship in 2017 and three Final Fours. She's also set to coach the United States women's team in the Tokyo Olympics. She appears to be firmly in the mix to possibly become the first female full-time NBA head coach.

Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis

Hardaway, a former NBA superstar, is now finding some success at his alma mater, the University of Memphis. He has been a standout recruiter, bringing in guys like James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. That, of course, won't mean much at the NBA level, unless it comes in handy in free agency. Regardless, teams must see something in him, as per a report by ESPN he's drawing some interest. 

Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt

Another former player from the Wizards' past, Stackhouse is currently coaching at Vanderbilt where he has developed a few NBA players like Darius Garland of the Cavs and Aaron Nesmith of the Celtics. Before coaching in college, Stackhouse was the G-League coach of the year in 2017 after leading the Raptors' affiliate to a title. He was also an assistant for the Grizzlies. He has a great resume for an NBA job. 

Tony Bennett, Virginia

Unlike the rest of the names on this list, Bennett hasn't been linked to an NBA job or making the leap at all. But he would make sense for a few reasons, among them the fact he played in the league for a few years in the 90s. He's also built a powerhouse at UVA, which isn't far from D.C. And despite the reputation about his slow style of play, a lot of the numbers match up similary to Billy Donovan's time at Florida and he's been a solid NBA coach.