The Louisville basketball program is at a crossroads after a recruitment scandal has led to the firings of both athletic director Tom Jurich and head basketball coach Rick Pitino. Technically, both have been placed on administrative leave, but the writing is on the wall — they're gone.
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WHAT'S NEXT: Replacements for Rick Pitino as Louisville Basketball Coach
In the aftermath of the announcement Tuesday morning, interim president Greg Postel announced that Louisville, "will work quickly to name an interim coach and athletic director, possibly within 48 hours. The status of the coaching staff will be made by the interim coach Postel said."
Within the next two days Louisville will likely pick a person to lead the basketball team into the season in a tough situation.
That person should be Tom Crean.
The reasons why Crean should be the top target are obvious — he's one of the best college coaches without a job right now.
He's 356-231 (.606) in his collegiate coaching career over the course of nine seasons at Marquette and nine more at Indiana. He's taken nine teams to the NCAA tournament — going as far as the Final Four with Marquette — and has three conference championships under his belt (one Conference USA, two Big Ten).
He's a well-respected coach, is obviously capable of doing the job, and is clearly one of the best hires Louisville could make.
BREAKING NEWS: Rick Pitino OUT at #Louisville. Tom Crean could emerge as interim head coach candidate.
— Lisa Kerney (@LisaKerneyESPN) September 27, 2017
That's all relatively obvious.
The harder question to answer — would Tom Crean want to coach the Cards right now? The answer might be no.
If Crean passes on Louisville he will get the chance to work as a TV analyst, take a year off and then likely get his pick of open jobs before next season — one of which could be a still open Louisville job after an interim coach works through the mess there right now.
Crean should be Louisville's top target. He just might not be willing to take on a job in this tough situation at this point in his coaching career.