2023-24 NCAA College Basketball Hot Seat: Odds of Next Head Coach Fired

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

As fans across the country and at Kentucky sportsbooks bask in the glory of the bracket reveal, the other side of March is in full swing throughout much of the college basketball world.  The transfer portal opens March 18 and programs have spent their free time feverishly prepping for the chaos about to ensue.  

For teams considering a coaching change, that means last week was the optimal week to make a move in order to start assembling a new staff as quickly as possible for roster building purposes. Seven high major head coaches (Louisville’s Kenny Payne, Washington’s Mike Hopkins, Stanford’s Jerod Haase, Vanderbilt’s Jerry Stackhouse, Michigan’s Juwan Howard, West Virginia’s interim Josh Eilert and Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton) have been let go in recent days, joining DePaul’s Tony Stubblefield and Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann, who were dismissed midseason, as this cycle’s power conference carousel casualties so far.  

All seven freshly unemployed coaches were on BetKentucky.com’s last hot seat list, making it time to update the odds of the next power conference coach to be fired once again. While a couple stray sackings could occur in the upcoming days, the most obvious moves already have occurred, making this more of a primer for who will be feeling the pressure next season. With that said, let’s reset the state of college basketball’s coaching landscape.

Odds Of Next NCAAM Coach Fired

Coach Odds Pct. Chance
Johnny Dawkins, UCF +65013.3%
Bobby Hurley, Arizona State +65013.3%
Kyle Neptune, Villanova +80011.1%
Mike Woodson, Indiana +10009.1%
Andy Enfield, USC +12007.7%
Dennis Gates, Missouri +15006.2%
Rodney Terry, Texas +20004.8%
Fran McCaffery, Iowa +25003.8%
Earl Grant, Boston College +30003.2%
Ben Johnson, Minnesota +30003.2%
Porter Moser, Oklahoma +40002.4%
Kevin Willard, Maryland +40002.4%
Greg Gard, Wisconsin +50002%
Kevin Keatts, NC State +50002%
Dana Altman, Oregon +50002%
Steve Forbes, Wake Forest +60001.6%
Craig Smith, Utah +60001.6%
Matt McMahon, LSU +75001.3%
Mike White, Georgia +75001.3%
John Calipari, Kentucky +100001%
The Field +14006.7%

*Odds provided by BetKentucky.com and not available on Kentucky betting apps.

The Holdovers (Dawkins, Woodson, Enfield)

Johnny Dawkins (+650) and Mike Woodson (+1000) both appeared on the pre-conference tournament version of this list but are still hanging around. UCF has not made an announcement either way about Dawkins’s future; however, the longer it goes without word the likelier it is Dawkins returns for a ninth season with the Knights. Dawkins’ only tournament appearance at UCF came in 2019, but the team exceeded expectations in their debut season in the Big 12 this year, plus he has the highest career winning percentage of any coach since the program jumped to Division 1 in 1984.

Indiana announced Woodson will be back in Bloomington for a fourth year, but the fanbase remains up in arms over the direction of the program. Five-star recruit Liam McNeely decommitted from Indiana two weeks ago, leaving the Hoosiers as the only Big Ten team without a high school recruit in the fold for next season. Woodson faces a pivotal offseason to reshape the roster and regain support as he looks to lead Indiana back to the tournament like he did his first two years in charge.

Andy Enfield (+1200) just missed the cut for the last edition of the list but appeared in the installment before, as USC severely underperformed with a preseason top 25 roster. The Trojans’ play improved down the stretch and Enfield guided them to the previous three tournaments, but it is worth monitoring how the program transitions to the Big Ten.

Note: Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle was a surviving holdover from the last list but was removed because Oregon State is no longer a power conference job with the breakup of the Pac-12 and its impending move to the WCC for basketball plus eleven other sports.

Meanwhile, for those wanting to bet on March Madness championship contenders like Purdue, there will be plenty of Kentucky sportsbook promos.

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The Question Marks (Hurley, Neptune)

It has been an up and down nine seasons at Arizona State for Bobby Hurley (+650). On one hand, Hurley has taken the Sun Devils to three of their six tournament appearances of the 21st century, but on the other hand he has produced five seasons with a losing record, including this one. Further complicating things, Arizona State currently does not have an athletic director in place, making it hard to know how the administration feels about his performance. Hurley could conceivably also look to take another job this cycle if the right one opens up in order to escape this situation.

Kyle Neptune (+800)  only has spent two years as Villanova’s head coach, but he is finding it difficult to replicate the results of his legendary predecessor, Jay Wright. Villanova is just 35-32 since Wright’s retirement and has missed the tournament in back-to-back years, ending a streak of nine consecutive berths. The Wildcat faithful have grown accustomed to a certain level of success.  What level of patience will the program have?

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Good Year One, Bad Year Two (Gates, Willard)

Missouri’s Dennis Gates (+1500) and Maryland’s Kevin Willard (+4000) both led their schools to the 2023 NCAA Tournament in their first year on the job, but saw their squads significantly regress in year two. Missouri went 8-24 and failed to win a conference game while Maryland finished 16-17, the Terrapins' second losing season in three years after 28 consecutive winning seasons.  

Missouri is set to enroll the nation’s fourth-ranked recruiting class per the 247Sports Composite and Maryland brings in their second-highest rated recruit of the internet rankings era in Derik Queen, but both coaches will need to retool in a major way or things could go south quickly.

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3 Years, No Tournaments, Losing Record (Grant, Johnson, Smith)

Boston College’s Earl Grant (+3000), Minnesota’s Ben Johnson (+3000) and Utah’s Craig Smith (+6000) each took over programs that are not traditional basketball powers during the 2021 offseason. All three sport a sub .500 winning percentage at their school (Grant - .485, Johnson - .430, Smith - .490), but posted the best season of their tenure this year. Continuing to build momentum will be critical for this group as a year four regression could spell trouble given their overall records.

3+ Years, No Tournaments, Winning Record (Moser, Forbes)

Selection Sunday proved to be painful for Oklahoma’s Porter Moser (+4000) and Wake Forest’s Steve Forbes (+6000) as they sought their first tournament berths with their programs.  

Oklahoma finished as the committee’s first team out of the field, and while Wake’s resumĂ© did not hold up as well at the end, the Demon Deacons owned some of the best predictive metrics of any team to miss the tournament. Both coaches have shown the ability to win in some capacity, but at some point programs expect the postseason results to come.  

Moser ranks ahead of Forbes on the list despite one less year on the job due to any potential administrative fallout stemming from rumors connecting him to DePaul and the fact Lon Kruger took Oklahoma to seven berths in an eight-tournament span before his retirement. Whereas Wake has made just one tournament in the past decade and Forbes has a better record than Danny Manning, who he replaced.  

Conference Tournament Week Winners (Keatts, Altman, Gard)

NC State’s Kevin Keatts, Oregon’s Dana Altman and Wisconsin’s Greg Gard (all +5000) each faced some degree of questioning heading into their league tournaments last week. Then Keatts and Altman went out and led their teams on improbable runs to claim their conference tournament titles, stealing bids from bubble teams in the process.  

There was some chatter that both coaches needed to make the tournament to feel secure about their jobs, but this should put any talks of change to rest. In fact, Keatts even received an automatic two-year contract extension through 2030 thanks to the Wolfpack’s ACC Tournament victory.

Gard merely guided Wisconsin to the Big Ten title game rather than winning the whole conference tournament like Keatts or Altman, but the Badgers were in a better position to begin with heading into championship week. Wisconsin earned a five seed in the NCAA Tournament and three wins in Minneapolis helped appease a fanbase that was growing apprehensive after the team lost eight of its final eleven regular season games following a 16-4 start. 

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2 Years, Barely .500 or Worse (McMahon, White)

LSU’s Matt McMahon and Georgia’s Mike White (+7500 each) have both failed to break through in a competitive SEC since being hired two offseasons ago. The Tigers are 31-34 under McMahon while the Bulldogs sit at 33-32 under White, although both engineered 60+ spot improvements on KenPom between year one and two.  However, that still left both programs in the 90s in the rankings this season and nowhere near the bubble conversation.  

With the SEC getting deeper with the addition of Texas and Oklahoma next year, both coaches would benefit from continuing to show improvement or a quick hook could come.

The Wildcards (Terry, McCaffery, Calipari)

The final three coaches on the list do not fit quite as neatly into one bucket, but each presents a unique situation to watch.

Rodney Terry (+2000) took over the Texas job as an interim last year following Chris Beard’s midseason suspension and subsequent firing. Terry then led the Longhorns to a Big 12 Tournament title and the team’s first Elite Eight appearance in fifteen years.  This earned Terry the job on a permanent basis, but things did not go as well on the court this season.  

Texas still received a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament, but the Longhorns fell from second in the conference standings last year to tied for seventh this season.  If Terry’s results do not hold up, the university could make a move faster than most due to the circumstances surrounding his hiring, which left the school feeling like they had to give him the job at the time.

An under the radar gig to monitor, Fran McCaffery (+2500) has achieved plenty of success during his 14-year tenure at Iowa, but the program missed the tournament this year after making each of the previous four tournaments and the current outlook for next season does not look much different than this year. Plus, while McCaffery has produced seven total tournament appearances at Iowa, he never has guided the Hawkeyes past the round of 32. This could be a program that feels like it is time for a fresh start at a certain point despite a stable past.

Finally, let’s address Kentucky head coach John Calipari (+10000). Big Blue Nation is starved for a postseason run with the Wildcats failing to reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2019. Kentucky’s path to the Sweet 16 and beyond this year looks fairly manageable, but some fans will be clamoring for change if they fail to achieve sufficient tournament success. However, even if the Wildcats bow out early again, do not expect a move given Calipari’s history and the fact that the university would owe him over $30 million if he was fired this year.

Thanks for continuing to follow BetKentucky.com for all the latest coaching carousel updates.  


Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for BetKentucky.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.

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