Not that this come to the surprise of anyone, but Utah is making a clean break to the Pac-12 as they announced today that Jim Boylen has been fired as the basketball coach:
"I feel it is time we go in a different direction with our program," said Hill. "Utah basketball has a long history of national success and I anticipate a very strong pool of candidates for the position. I appreciate the efforts of Coach Boylen and his staff, including the emphasis he placed on academics, which is an important part of our department's culture."
This decision could have sped up a year due to an alleged loan that the Pac-12 might be giving Utah to be able to buyout Boylen. Boylen had one good year as the Ute head coach in 2008-2009 when the Utes were a five seed in the NCAA tournament, but ultimately fell in the first round to 12 seeded Arizona Wildcats. The Utah basketball program as fallen so far since Rick Majerus left town. The Ray Giacoletti era was a mess once Andrew Bogut and the rest of the Majerus recruits left town, and after that the ship fell out. During his four years Boylen was 69-60 overall record with a 32-32 in Mountain West play.Utah is known as having a now once great basketball program and finding the right coach to bring them back to the level during the 90s when Majerus was running through the WAC with conference titles and deep NCAA tournament runs will be tough.
There is early mumblings that BYU head coach Dave Rose could be contacted, but that does not make sense since at this time since BYU is the better recent program. However, he is losing BYU's best player ever and going to a lesser league, so perhaps it could be the perfect time to jump because his stock would never be hire.
Other, more realistic options, are former Utah assistant Randy Rahe who is at Weber State and has led them to three 20-win seasons in four years and no losing records. The other could be current BYU women's head coach Jeff Judkins. Yes, I am aware of the many jokes that would be made, but he has done a good job at BYU and was an assistant under Rick Majerus which is a big deal in recruiting such players as Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller, Mike Doleac, Hanno Mottola, Alex Jensen, Trent Whiting, Garner Meads, Jeff Johnsen and Britton Johnsen. Judkins played at Utah and was in the NBA for five years.
So, let the search begin.