The fallout has begun in the wake of former University of Akron basketball coach Keith Dambrot accepting the same position at Duquesne University.
The priority for the university is getting a new coach to fill what some consider one of the better jobs in mid-major basketball.
How that search proceeds hasn’t been decided, said George Van Horne, senior associate athletics director for development and marketing. He said that UA has already received strong interest, but declined to provide names.
In searching for a coach for the football program, the university engaged a consultant. UA could take that route again, but no decisions have been made.
“We’re definitely going to conduct a national search,” Van Horne said.
That could mean a number of things, but for those looking for insight, look to assistants with Ohio ties. Here are a few names that could be linked to the UA job:
•?Jeff Boals, head coach at Stony Brook, who spent seven seasons as an assistant under Thad Matta at Ohio State.
•?Geno Ford, a Stony Brook assistant and former head coach at Bradley University and Kent State. Ford was an assistant for the KSU team that made a memorable run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2002.
•?Chris Jent, former Ohio State player and current assistant coach for the Buckeyes. He was a candidate for the job recently filled at Cleveland State.
•?Lamont Paris, former Zips lead recruiter and assistant from 2005-10. He is an assistant at Wisconsin.
All of these coaches or none of them could show up on a list of candidates. UA shocked everyone when it announced Terry Bowden as football coach in 2012.
Dambrot’s staff Rick McFadden, Charles Thomas, Terry Weigand and Steve McNees will join him at Duquesne.
“Today marks a new day for Duquesne basketball,” Dambrot said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “We are here to build a program that our campus and community will embrace. We need to unite together. Everyone from our administration, faculty and staff, alums, students, and the Pittsburgh community will play a role in our success. I look forward to all the great things ahead for Duquesne.”
While the UA administration begins the search process, it will be interesting to see what happens with the remaining roster.
Seniors Isaiah “Big Dog” Johnson and Kwan Cheatham Jr. have earned their degrees and completed their college basketball careers.
But there were some rumblings Monday night from a couple of current Zips on Twitter.
Reserve guard Tavian Dunn-Martin, a freshman player, announced his intentions almost immediately after news broke Monday night.
“I would like to thank Akron for all their support and an amazing season, but I will be transferring to Duquesne with @CoachDambrot ,” Dunn-Martin tweeted.
Point guard Antino Jackson sent out a couple of cryptic tweets, including one that simply read “Decisions.”
More than a few people will be making decisions in the near future.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ.