Buzz Williams recently left as the coach of the Marquette basketball team, and they have already been working on his replacement. Ben Howland, a former coach of UCLA, has been contacted, and has shown interest in the position.
Ben Howland has expressed interest, and has already met with Marquette in regards to their recent opening as the head basketball coach. He has been a coach for many years, and is among a handful of NCAA Division I coaches to take three different teams to the NCAA tournament.
Howland has previously coached UCLA, Pittsburgh, and Northern Arizona, taking each of them to the tournament. He was most recently the coach of UCLA, lasting from 2003 until 2013, and then he became the first men's coach in college basketball history to be fired shortly after winning an outright power-conference title.
Buzz Williams was the coach of Marquette for six seasons, and after departing his position at Marquette, he has been hired as the coach of Virginia Tech. Ben Howland took the Bruins to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2006 to 2008.
According to ESPN, a handful of others have also emerged as candidates including that Syracuse coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins and former Marquette player and assistant Brian Wardle, who is currently the head coach at Green Bay, are also in the mix. Dayton's Archie Miller has also emerged as a candidate, according to sources.
Over the course of his tenure at UCLA, Ben Howland achieved a record of 233-107 in a decade with the Bruins. However, following the Final Four appearances, the team failed to advance past the second round, and did not make the tournament in 2010 or 2012.
Sources have also said that Howland is eager to return to coaching, and that he holds the Marquette program in high regard. Returning to the Big East, and having the opportunity to return to a program that prides itself on its basketball program is intriguing for the former coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Ben Howland to Marquette would be a Slam Dunk Hire
— Kyle Grinolds (@Kgrinolds) March 23, 2014
Big question is where Ben Howland lands this offseason. Former UCLA coach isn't good at sitting around. Wants back in -- ASAP.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 18, 2014
Ben Howland has not coached in the Big East in many years, and while it has changed dramatically in recent years, it is a conference that he has experience with. He has not received an offer yet, meanwhile UCLA made the tournament this year as a No.4 seed. Following the dramatic change in the Big East, Marquette surprisingly struggled, and were unable to even make the semifinals of their tournament.
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