Athletic director Joe Parker said he will use a search firm to find Larry Eustachy’s replacement and hopes to make hire within 30 days
FORT COLLINS — Larry Eustachy’s career at Colorado State didn’t end well, but it doesn’t seem to have negatively affected the way potential replacements are viewing the job.
"What I’m encouraged by is the outreach that we’ve seen and the number of people who have expressed interest in this job is, not overwhelming, but it illustrates to me we have a very good opportunity," CSU athletic director Joe Parker said Friday as he discussed the end of Eustachy’s time in Fort Collins before looking ahead to the future.
Parker said he’d like to make the hire within 30 days, that he will use a search firm and will take advice from a small advisory committee, although he’s not sure yet just how much that committee will be involved in the process.
Eustachy was one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the Group of Five conferences, set to make more than $1 million next year before resigning last Monday. His replacement likely won’t make nearly that much.
"I don’t know that we need to be at that level again," Parker said, adding that the average head coach in the Mountain West makes about $600,000 a year. "I think we may have an opportunity to economize a little bit there. If you look at the salary pool for our assistant coaches, I believe it still is the highest in the Mountain West. I think that’s important to give them that pool to resource themselves the right way and get them the right level of coaching talent around them."
Talk of CSU women’s basketball legend Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, taking the job has swelled since it became clear Eustachy was on his way out. Sources have told the Reporter-Herald Hammon doesn’t have a great relationship with Colorado State and her coming back to coach the men’s program in Fort Collins is highly unlikely.
When asked if he was open to a female candidate, Parker smiled and said: "I’ve thought a lot about that. The most frequently recommended candidate probably. I’m not closing the door on any thought at this time."
Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker, center, interacts with a fan during the men’s basketball game against New Mexico last Wednesday at Moby Arena. (
Michael Brian / Loveland Reporter-Herald)
Other possible candidates include:
• South Dakota head coach Craig Smith, a former CSU assistant under Tim Miles.
• Drake head coach Niko Medved, a former CSU assistant under Tim Miles.
• Oklahoma assistant Chris Crutchfield, whose athletic director at OU, Joe Castiglione, has a close relationship with Parker.
• Utah assistant DeMarlo Slocum, a former CSU assistant under Tim Miles.
• Weber State head coach Randy Rahe, a former CSU assistant under Stew Morrill.
• East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes.
• Northern Colorado head coach Jeff Linder, a former Boise State assistant.
Parker said a previous connection to Colorado State is a plus but not a requirement.
"If our fan base had some familiarity with the person, I think that helps initially gain some traction within the community," he said. "I don’t think it’s a necessary requirement, but it’s one that if we can marry it with all the other things we want in this coaching role, I think it’s a plus."
Parker also said he met with the basketball team Friday to get feedback from players on what they want out of CSU’s next head coach.
"They want someone that is an experienced winner. They want someone who can identify talent. That’s something that was clear," Parker said. "They want a coach that invests in the relationship the coach has with the players. They want someone that holds them accountable.
"They want someone who can help them perhaps make the next step in their career if they continue to play basketball through the relationships that coach may have."
The athletic director also said players expressed a desire for a coach who has a balanced philosophy and isn’t just about defense. In terms of what he’s looking for specifically, Parker said he prefers someone who played the game collegiately and who grew up with a parent or family member who coached.