Wyoming fired basketball coach Heath Schroyer on Feb. 7th and Wyoming is still without a coach. Since then, the fan support has been behind former UTEP, Texas A&M and Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie as they set up a Facebook page to show their support. Gillispie is off the table as he is heading back to Texas as he is now officially the new head coach for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Not hard to argue with Gillispie heading back to Texas since that is where he was most successful.
The search for a new coach has been kept under wraps with little official info coming out. There has been support for Old Dominon's Blaine Taylor who has done a solid job at Old Dominion. Over the past five seasons he has had no losing seasons and four of 20 wins or more. He is from Montana and has one heck of a mustache! Plus, his salary is manageable for Wyoming at $212,000.
Then there are the plane watchers (so take this for what it's worth) from Wyoming's Rivals site that said a Wyoming plane was headed to the area. The plane landed in Richmond, Virginia which is the home of VCU and Richmond, so the Pokes may also be looking at VCU's Shaka Smart and Richmond's Chris Mooney.
Then there is SportsbyBrooks who is reporting that former Oregon head coach Ernie Kent is to be the front runner with both Wyoming and Kent having mutual interest in the job. Kent coached at Oregon for 13 years and made five NCAA tournament appearances. He is a West coast guy which would help in recruiting and is a semi-big name.
Prior to the Kent rumor, here were are candidates listed by Brooks as:
...rumored candidates throughout the process have been former Wyoming head coach and current Florida assistant Larry Shyatt, BYU assistant Dave Rice, USF assistant Jeremy Cox, St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap and Kansas assistant Joe Dooley.
The big shock is the salary that is reportedly to be offered to Kent which is $450,000 base salary per year with an extra $200,000 per season for media and appearance fees, plus a $500,000 signing bonus. That is a massive jump from the $160,000 base salary that Heath Schroyer was making.
There is no expected timing for an announcement of a new head coach, but if it is Kent I am not sure what Wyoming is waiting for outside of interviewing a few more head coaches just to be sure. However, if it is either Richmond's Mooney or VCU's Smart then Wyoming will be waiting until their season is over.