Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is the hottest commodity in college basketball coaching this offseason, and he seems to have his eyes set on a plum job: Head coach at Texas.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports writes that Marshall is ready to pounce on the position that will be vacated by outgoing coach Rick Barnes, with Texas likely to also have interest in Marshall donning burnt orange:
(Texas's) list could and likely will start with Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall. He’s been choosy and driven some hard bargains that ultimately have led to him staying at Wichita for eight seasons, and it’s worked out splendidly for him – his record over the last three years is 95-15, with one Final Four and one undefeated regular season.
But this is the kind of job the Wichita State coach doesn’t turn down. There is no reason why the right coach shouldn’t turn Texas into a perennial top 10 program – and get rich(er) in the process.
Sources told Yahoo Sports that Marshall already had signaled Alabama not to waste its energy putting together a whopper offer for his services, because he had his eyes on Texas. So this conceivably could be a short courtship – if anything can get done simply in Austin.
The reasoning for Marshall wanting the Texas job is obvious: It's a gig at the biggest, most powerful school in the second-biggest state in the country, and in arguably the most powerful athletic department in the country. And yet Barnes steered the Longhorns to just one Final Four in his 17 years heading the program, despite making the NCAA Tournament field in all but one of those seasons.
Clearly, there's a lot of untapped potential at Texas, and that's even without considering the top-flight talent the state has been producing of late, including at least two top-10 players by the estimation of the Recruiting Service Consensus Index in the last three recruiting cycles. Texas landed just one of those eight total players, Myles Turner — and he was named the 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
And Texas should be more than able to trump an offer "in excess of $3 million per year" that Alabama was reportedly ready to make, according to CBS Sports's Gary Parrish. Per the USA TODAY Sports database of college basketball coach compensation, Barnes had a salary of $2.25 million in 2014-15, with a maximum bonus of $790,000; that total compensation could have gotten Barnes over the $3 million per year line, and Texas, sustained by massive football revenues, will have no issue giving Marshall more if it wants.
Of course, given the job's other significant positives, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson may not even have to break the bank for Marshall. Plus, a $3 million salary to coach at Alabama wouldn't necessarily put more money in Marshall's pocket than, say, a $2.5 million salary to coach at Texas, because the Lone Star State doesn't have a state income tax.
Barnes never fully got Texas over the hump. Marshall is only one of many coaches who would love a chance to try to do that — and, right now, he would seem to be at the top of the list to get that chance.
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