Oregon men’s basketball is on a search for a new head coach after firing Ernie Kent. The Ducks finished 16-16 on the season and 7-11  in conference play, in a year where the Pac-10 conference was notably weak.

Phil Knight, an Oregon booster and more importantly the CEO of Nike, already has a coach in mind. To say Knight has input on the situation would be an understatement, since it will be Knight who helps cash out the new coach’s paycheck. And according to Forbes.com Knight is #73 on the list of the world’s richest men, which leads one to believe that yes, the wallet will come out in a generous fashion.

According to OregonLive.com, the top four choices for the job are Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon, Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon, and Florida’s Billy Donovan.

You’ll notice that Tubby Smith is not on that list, meaning the University of Oregon athletic department will face a tough decision on whether or not to go ahead and pick their guy, which could mean alienating Knight, or letting one of the richest men in the world call the shots.

It’s definitely a possibility that all four of those candidates will reject the offer, leaving a major drop-off in available big name coaches. The Ducks hope to make the hire, whoever it may be, by April 3-5.

Advertisements