rom the hot seat to the hot list?
It wasn't that long ago when people were wondering whether University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Bruiser Flint would be the head coach anywhere for the 2000-01 season. As of Thursday, however, Flint is one of several names being listed as potential candidates for the vacant head-coach opening at the University of Miami.
Reached at home Tuesday, Flint neither confirmed nor denied the rumor that gained momentum when ESPN's Andy Katz listed Flint among six potential candidates.
"I'd really rather not comment on it," Flint said. "I don't think there is anything to any of it."
Still, after his uneasy spring, Flint was glad to even see his name on the rumor mill.
"It just shows that some people appreciate what you've done," Flint said.
Katz also listed Hofstra's Jay Wright, South Florida's Seth Greenburg, Delaware's Mike Brey, Old Dominion's Jeff Capel and Tulane's Perry Clark. Mentioned elsewhere have been Dayton coach Oliver Purnell, former college coaches Bobby Cremins and P.J. Carlesimo and ex NBA great Rick Barry.
The position opened when Leonard Hamilton left to become the coach of the NBA's Washington Wizards.
In four years as UMass' head coach, Flint has a 71-57 record. His first two teams reached the NCAA Tournament, before the 1998-99 team struggled en route to a 14-16 campaign. The Minutemen are coming off a 17-16 season in which they advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and received a bid to the NIT.
The coaching carousel could have several spins left before the summer is out. The NBA's New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors both have coaching vacancies. The Nets reportedly are interested in St. John's Mike Jarvis, while the Raptors also could look to the college ranks.
* * *
After weeks of being a UMass assistant coach in an unofficial capacity, Chuck Martin was officially hired to Flint's staff Wednesday.
Last year Martin served as an assistant at Manhattan under former Virginia assistant Bobby Gonzalez, who was considered a strong recruiter under Pete Gillen.
Prior to Manhattan, Martin worked for Hoop Group as well being the director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp, where he made several contacts that could be valuable in recruiting.
"He has great contacts in New York, which will be really helpful," Flint said. "He knows a lot of the AAU coaches down there."
Martin has UMass connections as well. After graduating from Monmouth in 1993, he served as an assistant coach at La Salle Academy in Manhattan, before moving to St. Raymond's in the Bronx in 1995. St. Raymond's produced former and current Minutemen Dana Dingle, Charlton Clarke and Kitwana Rhymer.
* * *
UMass senior Monty Mack has until the end of the summer to complete his degree credits to earn back his extra year of eligibility. According to Flint, it shouldn't be a problem.
"He had an incomplete in one course and just needs to finish some work and he'll be all set," Flint said.
Under NCAA rules, any player who is academically ineligible to play as a freshman can regain his lost year of eligibility if he fulfills graduation requirements in four years.