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The University of Georgia is on the hunt for a new head coach for their men’s basketball team. On Saturday UGA parted ways with Mark Fox after nine seasons and two NCAA tournament bids. The Bulldogs went 18-15 overall and 7-11 in the SEC during the season. It marks the third straight season they have missed the big dance.
Now comes the time for a new direction. Will the Bulldogs go for a huge name or will they take a chance on a lesser known coach? Athletic director Greg McGarity already has interviews scheduled with former Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean. The team will not accept a bid to the NIT if given an invitation. Their sole purpose in the next few days/weeks will be to fill their head coach position and get an early head start on recruiting.
In State Fix:
A guy that should get heavy consideration for the job is current Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter. His Panthers are the only team in the state to get a chance to play in the NCAA tournament. They finished 24-10 overall, going 12-6 in the Sunbelt and winning the conference championship.
Hunter has been great for the Panthers, going 147-84 in seven seasons. this will be the second time he has won the Sunbelt conference championship and it’s his second bid to the NCAA tournament.
Coach Hunter would be a great fit in Athens as well. He already has a knack for in-state recruiting, as there are 11 players on his roster from Georgia. With greater rescources at his disposal he could lure big time talent from other states. He has a great offense that spreads out opponents and he preaches tough defense.
He is also great at handling top talent on his roster. Leading scorer D’Marcus Simmonds is an immense talent that has come into his own as a sophomore. Under the tutelage of Hunter, Simmonds has improved his shot selection, decision making, and rebounding from his freshman season. He is a legitimate NBA prospect and he can thank his head coach for the direction he’s provided.
Hunter has never worked in a big time conference before. If anybody deserves a shot at a big time school, it’s him. He instills hard work, rugged play, and holds his players accountable. Of course, the team will go through the proper channels and interview a few candidates. Ron Hunter is a steal if they can lure him away from Georgia State.