Mid-major jobs are coming open nearly by the day as we continue the first week of March. They’re also starting to close.
Saturday morning brought the first full-time mid-major hiring of this year’s cycle: Northern Illinois and Rashon Burno. The Arizona State assistant is leaving the desert after six years to take his first college head coaching job. Burno, 43, formerly played at DePaul.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” Burno said Saturday. “I believe I am aligned with what their vision is for the future, not only for men’s basketball but also for the entire student body. I was very impressed with the overall vision and that made it easy for me to want to be at NIU.”
Here’s what else has happened as of late. On Friday, Central Connecticut announced five-year coach Donyell Marshall — an in-state legend from his UConn playing days — would be stepping down. The CCSU opening comes after Eastern Illinois, UAlbany, Denver and Binghamton all severed ties with their coaches earlier in the week. At Binghamton, Tommy Dempsey’s contract was not renewed after nine seasons, so assistant Levell Sanders is taking over on an interim basis for the 2021-22 season.
Industry sources tell CBS Sports that at least a dozen mid-major jobs should come open in the next two weeks. With small conference tournaments ongoing, there will be more movement over the weekend as well.
In bigger news, New Mexico and Paul Weir will make an amicable split at the end of the season. Weir has two years left on his contract but will move on in light of a bumpy four-year run. The Lobos are 58-62 since he got the job.
“This is the perfect time for a transition in Lobo Basketball,” Weir said in a statement. “I can’t imagine a more optimal epoch than now for all of us to embrace a fresh start.”
Elsewhere, Wichita State promoted Isaac Brown, making him. Brown signed a five-year deal and, as the school noted, is “the first Black men’s basketball coach ever to lead a Division I program in the state of Kansas.” A source confirmed the contract is worth $6 million before incentives.
Brown, 51, has the Shockers overshooting preseason expectations. The program was previously roiled in controversy, as former coach Gregg Marshall — the most accomplished coach by a wide margin in Wichita State history — resigned in November after media reports and an internal investigation revealed numerous allegations of physical, verbal and racially insensitive behavior from previous seasons. Brown steadied the school and kept the program headed in the right direction.
As we do every hiring cycle, CBS Sports will keep you updated with the latest news, intel and movement on the college coaching carousel. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a much slower turnover process a year ago; the only change in a Major Seven conference was Wake Forest splitting with Danny Manning and hiring Steve Forbes. Three major coaching jobs have already come open (with Wichita State now closed) and there’s potential for another half-dozen to join the fold in the next five weeks.
Every time there is movement, this story will update. Bookmark it and check back often.
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