Women’s coaching search rumor mill

It’s been mostly quiet on the women’s basketball front for Indiana, which fired Felisha Legette-Jack two weeks ago today.

But if you ask Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, who has her team aiming at a second straight Final Four berth, the Hoosiers should look no further than ND all-time leading scorer and Bloomington South grad Beth Morgan Cunningham.

“Beth would be a great fit for that job, because she was an Indiana high school player who understands what Indiana basketball is like,” McGraw told our colleagues at the South Bend Tribune. “She would be a great recruiter for Indiana, because she could work the state really well, having played for Notre Dame. She is the person that started our program and took us to our first Final Four. She made our program, and she can do that somewhere else. She’s got the drive, the intensity, the competitiveness, she’s a great coach X-and-O-wise. I think she’d be a great choice. She’s ready for the Big Ten.”

Cunningham just wrapped up her ninth season at VCU, where she is the school’s all-time winningest coach.

The other name linked, at least publicly, to the IU job is Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Matt Bollant, who was an assistant coach under Kathi Bennett at Indiana. Bollant hasn’t closed the door on leaving the Phoenix, who were 31-2 this year, but told his players last week that he pictures himself coaching in Green Bay next season, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. Bollant is reportedly making $150,000 a year at Green Bay and is under contract through 2016.

21 comments

  1. Beth Morgan Cunningham would be a great choice. Probably will cost us a few $, but it would be worth it.

  2. Beth Morgan might be good indeed. If she can recruit in the state and get a few good players nation-wide, we can rebuild. IU needs to be willing to spend some money if they want to put women’s basketball on the map.

    I write this as I watch Baylor play Tennessee in the NCAA Elite 8. There’s probably $6 million-worth of coaches down those benches.

  3. What about Vicki Hall? A true Indiana Legend… if anyone can get in state talent it would be her. She got into coaching 3 years ago after playing professional for 16 years.

  4. Can you imagine the howls of protest coming from a certain (small) portion of the Hoosier Nation if IU paid a women’s BB coach $500K to a Million a year to coach at IU. There are a lot of people that still believe Crean and Wilson are grossly overpaid. It would be fun to read their rants about how coaching compensation should be redistributed to more worthy social causes,etc.

  5. Beth would be a great coach. I remember her from high school. I believe she owns the disticnction of being the first professional basketball player to come out of Blooington High Schools. Her playing and coaching record speaks for itself. She should be on the list of coaches they go after.

  6. I too agree BMC should be a target on the list. Bollant is still the one I think that ends up in Bloomington and that ain’t bad.

  7. Beth Morgan Cunningham would be great! Podunker, IU is not going to come close to offering any coach $500,000 a year to coach at IU. Bollant is making $150,000 at Wisconsin Green Bay, I would think IU could go as high as $200,000 to $250,000 per year for 4 or 5 years if they want to get a quality coach. That will probably be the going price for a great coach. If Glass thinks he can get a quality coach for any less than that, he is sadly mistaken. It all depends on how serious Glass is about bringing IU up to the high standards of really good coaches in the Big 10! This conference is full of great coaches who know how to win. If we expect to compete at the highest level within the conference let alone the nation, we are going to have to pay the price to expect sucess. I only hope that IU is making every effort to give us what we need to compete at the highest level! Bollant and Cunningham both would recruit the state of Indiana for the great talant within our borders which has been lacking from the last coach.

  8. What a great recommendation for Beth Morgan Cunningham by the reigning #1 women’s college coach, Muffet McGraw of ND. Beth should be at the top of the list.

  9. Nothing new to actually report, but latest rumors seem to favor Bollant and Bowling Green’s Curt Miller as the co-leaders with Cunningham a third option.

  10. Beth Morgan Cunningham is far and away the best choice. She was inducted into the Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
    Bob Morgan was a great coach here.
    Let’s GO!

  11. I thought miller would be good, but I’m hearing he also has a DUI on his record. Unacceptable if you ask me.

  12. After reading Jeremy Price’s letter, I would hope Bollant would be the choice. His record is incredible at Green Bay and he coached here as an assitant under Kathi Bennent. He knows Indiana as a recruiter. If not him, I would hope for Cunningham. Get it done!!

  13. Bill savings – While I think Bollant is the better choice, Miller does not have a DUI on his record. Not sure where you heard that.

  14. I think Beth is a great coach….but….let’s think realistically here. Why would she want to come to a school that fired her dad? If I were in her shoes I would say, “no thank you.” We must get a coach that can recruit Indiana! How many Indiana players do any of these coaches currently have on their rosters????

  15. Matt Bollant just accepted the Illinois job. Not surprising considering he’s already been here as an assistant coach under KB. I was under the impression that KB didn’t have fond feelings about her time at IU. Also, recruiting to UI is probably easier than to IU considering all the competition in Indiana with PU and ND. UI is the big dog in that state.
    I hope Fred Glass can somehow pull in a top quality coach. No reason for ND and PU to be great in something and IU not to be other than in Catholic Studies and Boilers 101 respectively.
    GO HOOSIERS!!!

  16. Really hate to hear that Bollant went to Illinois, believe me when I say that he will turn them into a powerhouse! The guy is the best young coach in the country! With the state of Illinois to recruit, they will be hard to deal with!! It wouldn’t surprise me if we missed on Bollant because we didn’t offer enough money? I hope we can get Cunningham!

  17. I seriously doubt IU has less $ available than Illinois for any budget venture. Revenues from the 2010-2011 year yielded net incomes at both schools as $5.3M for IU and $1.8M for Illinois. We have to pay for firing FLJ but that is significantly less than paying for Zook, Bubbles and their womens coach. I do hate it we missed on Bollant, he is a winner. AD Glass will find a meateater for the program.

  18. Speaking of coaching hires, did anyone see that Ronald Nored was just hired as the Brownsburg HS boys bball coach?

  19. JG, Strange that Bollant will be making less than the previous coach who was making $310K. But as I stated they are already loaded with financial obligations paying them no dividends. They got themselves a deal.

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