South Carolina Interested in Hiring Amaker

Published by Jacob D. H. Feldman on March 21, 2012 at 3:12AM
TOMMY BOY

Seth Davis reported that South Carolina is interested in hiring Tommy Amaker, the Harvard basketball coach who led the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946.

Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker has gained national recognition for his ability to recruit highly touted prospects for the Crimson. Now that the team’s season has ended, the tables will turn as other schools try to recruit the former Duke star to become their next head coach.

On Sunday, the University of South Carolina’s daily newspaper listed Amaker as one of three “realistic” options to replace the recently-fired Darrin Horn as head coach. The possibility of Amaker returning to the South was substantiated by college basketball expert Seth Davis, who tweeted: “I’m hearing that South Carolina has potential interest in hiring Harvard coach Tommy Amaker to fill its coaching vacancy.”

The Gamecocks went 10-21 this season and lost 11 of their last 12 games. The team’s 2-14 SEC record was its worst in 20 years and USC hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2004. All of this is to say that the Gamecocks are looking for an upgrade.

Amaker’s name has been thrown around along with those of Shaka Smart of VCU, Gregg Marshall from Wichita State, and Tubby Smith, the former Kentucky coach and current leader at Minnesota, in addition to several others. Amaker has ties to the area after growing up in Virginia and playing as well as coaching at Duke University in North Carolina.

In other Amaker-related news, the Harvard head coach has been announced a finalist for both the Hugh Durham Award and the Ben Jobe Award—two very distinguished coaching honors. The former of these is given to the leading coach from any mid-major Division I basketball coach and the he latter to the top minority DI men’s hoops coach. Amaker is competing against 20 other finalists for both awards.