Early favorite to replace Jim Larranaga could be Bill Courtney

With Jim Larranaga now officially leaving for Miami who will be the next George Mason head coach?  One name your going to hear a lot about is former Larranaga assistant Bill Courtney.  Courtney practically built the 2006 Final Four team and still has ties to the school.  Boosters have told me he paid money out of his own pocket to travel to Cleveland to watch this year’s team in the NCAA tournament. Courtney left the program  right before the 2005-2006 season to go to Providence and watched the team he had a large hand in recruiting reach the Final Four. The university paid for him to be there during that year at the NCAA tournament.  He then moved on to be an assistant at Virginia, Virginia Tech and brief stint at VCU before becoming head coach at Cornell where he is at currently.  
Courtney would be a great hire as he is already familar with the program and the university.  There could be a few more sexy candidates out there, such as Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, a Fairfax native.  Wouldn’t that be ironic if the guy who turned down the Miami replaces the guy who took it?  Also current Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan could be a candidate. I would love to see Chris Caputo get the job but I heard rumors he’s got something else in the works, we’ll have to wait and see.
Mason AD Tom O’Connor, who I’m sure most fans aren’t happy with right now, says he wants to replace Larranaga quickly but as thoroughly as possible.

Update: The latest from the Post:

“However, a source close to the team said Courtney would be a long shot to get the job, at best.
Another possibility is Vermont Coach Mike Lonergan, a former assistant at Maryland and former head coach at Catholic, where he led the Cardinals to the 2001 Division III national championship. Lonergan was born in Silver Spring and raised in Bowie, and he attended Archbishop Carroll High School.

American Coach Jeff Jones and Virginia Commonwealth assistant Mike Rhoads are also seen by some as possible candidates.”

  • c hirsch

    Go after Blaine Taylor or Shaka Smart for shits and giggles.

    And no, I’m not serious.

  • http://www.yourturn.org/ Travis Valentine

    HIRSCH! Where’s your insight?

  • Taylormade703

    I’ve done research on Bill Courtney and watched a video of him being interviewed a year ago. As an alum, I would endorse his hire. He comes off as a class act and very intelligent, sort of in the mold of Coach L. He’s also from Springfield and went to Lee HS, so he’s got local ties. And he was a GMU assistant for Coach L. for 7 years. I say hire him! http://www.cornell.edu/video/index.cfm?VideoID=723

  • Jphubba

    Tommy Amaker? Surely not. A blatant cheater at Harvard, an utter failure at Michigan. His Michigan teams were the laughingstock of the Big Ten — stupid players stupidly coached.

  • Coachmac08

    Other possibilities: Mike Lonergan (Vermont), Mike Gillian (Longwood), Jeff Capel, Mike Rhoades (VCU asst), Derek Kellogg (UMass). I like Lonergan & Gillian more than Courtney.

  • Charlie T

    Happy for Coach L. Great memories,good times plus always consistent on and off the court. Do hope for the best with the rest of the coaches. As for a new hire I am sure there is a lot higher level of interest then there was in years past.

  • David Houck

    I WANT STEVE “Wojo” WOJCIECHOWSKI to be the next head coach.. in a perfect world
    - He’s from the Maryland/DC area
    - He’s a young, experienced coach (Shaka Smart)
    - He has worked with the guards and big men at Duke
    - He ran the Duke Program while Coach K and Chris Collins were coaching the USA FIBA team and Olympic Team
    - Most importantly, he will always have the “GREATEST” college basketball coach of all time to get advice from, plus.. he might bring some of Duke’s basketball operations people along with him.. not to mention the recruiting

  • ChemistCorner1

    O’Connor better get this hire right or he will not be around much longer – such a dipshit to not pony up for Coach L and not follow though on his promise to upgarde the facilites.
    Coach L was the best thing going for the CAA and much more of a proponent for the league than our own crappy commissioner – best of luck to him. The CAA is going to miss the voice that was working toward making us a 2 bid league for quite some time.

  • College Hoops fanatic

    This team should definitely look at the coach at Long Island University, Jim Ferry. He has developed a top notch program with national recruiting in a very poor conference and at a poor location in that conference. He is young, energetic and has proven success as a head coach. It’ll cost you money as he turned down the Manhattan job for a presumed raise, and was also rumored at Towson, but George Mason may be the job that entices him out of Brooklyn. This is a great pick. Don’t dismiss it!

  • ByGeorge06

    VCU went to Final Four cost us now! Knew it from the beginning, anytime when your competitor wins, we lose!!!
    For those of you still think VCU going to Final Four can benefit entire CAA – WAKE UP, it may benfit CAA bottom feeders but not the top programs like Mason and now you go what you wished for.

  • College Hoops fanatic

    Another NEC coach to pursue is Tom Moore from Quinnipiac, dont know if you can afford him but he came up under Calhoun at UCONN adn has built QU into a team that competes for a tourney bidevery year. QU is shooting for the stars with the hope of going into the A10 and is paying their coaches accordingly.

  • Coachmac08

    No offense, but Wojo would not be a good hire. Name one Duke assistant that has gone on to have any real success. Tommy Amaker, Quinn Synder, Johnny Dawkins are all busts.

    And I agree with By George…stop this madness of rooting for all mid-majors, GMU fans! They are our competitors…their success will always cheapen our own in every way from coaches’ salaries to recruiting and historical contributions, etc. We might have been the first, but in this day and age, that only carries so much weight, especially with new recruits, who (this coming year) were 11 years old when we made the final four.

  • Hampton Roads Mason Fan

    Mike Rhoades VCU asst, all this guy does is win, as a player and RMC, I think he should get a look

  • Taylormade703

    But he was at VCU. It’d be like Carolina hiring Wojo.

  • David Houck

    The Notre Dame Basketball Coach was a Duke Assistant for 8 years. I’d say being the Big East Coach of the Year is real success. Amaker, while i don’t want him, was the Ivy League Coach of the Year i believe last year or the year before. Besides, Wojo has the fire and intensity to succeed as a coach. We need a young coach who can mix it up with the players in practice and can relate to them. Look what kind of relationship a young Shaka Smart had with his players.

  • Gmurocks

    Doesn’t matter who GMU gets. They’re gonna leave like the rest of them. GMU is and always will be a stepping-stone to bigger and better things for coaches till it moves into a big name conference.

  • Rj234

    Mike Rhoades is a winner period. Anywhere he has been he has won. As a player national championship. As a coach consistent winner. He’s our guy.

  • CG51

    Type your comment here. Agree 100% on Rhoades. Saw him in action at RMC. First class.

  • Honolulu Jeff

    Bite the bullet and make the offer we should have made to Coach L. to Brad Stevens (Butler) or Mark Few (Gonzaga). Because of Coach L. we are no longer a school that should be rummaging through the LIU’s, Quinnipiac or even the Vermont’s of the world. If you don’t want one of our awesome assistants like Chris Caputo or Eric Konkol then step up and grab a guy of our caliber. Act second rate and you’ll become second rate.

  • Coachmac08

    Good call on Mike Brey…everyone else, busto.

    So Brey vs. Snyder, Amaker, and Dawkins. Hmmm. I’d have a one in four shot of picking a winner. And if you think Wojo equates to Brey, he’ll be gone in three years (which is fine by me as long as he wins).

    Here’s the other thing….Brey went to Delaware for his first job. Worked his way up to that Notre Dame gig. Amaker, Snyder and Dawkins all went to big time BCS schools and the results were epic fails. GMU’s profile is closer to Delaware’s than it is to the likes of Michigan, Missouri and Stanford, but do we want a young coach to be learning on the job when we have one of the best recruiting classes coming in and great group coming of age? I say get an experienced coach who has a track record of success to keep this baby humming. Mike Lonergan is the only guy for this job. I would accept Mike Gillian because of his past ties to GMU. But if they hire some retread like Jeff Jones or some rookie assistant with no head coaching experience, it will take us a while to recover…unless you’re convinced that Wojo is the next Brad Stevens. Let me save you some time…he’s not.

  • big mamma

    Why are we not looking it Eric Konkol? We need to stop and ask the players what do they think about this game that is bring played. Go Mason. If we pick to wrong Coach how many players will leave

  • Baller

    How about Mike Brey? Coach of the year at Notre Dame!