Catching up: Hipsher up for head coach jobs?
Greetings from New Orleans, where I'm covering the women's basketball regional games here, first with Louisville-North Carolina and then Oklahoma State-LSU this afternoon. Still lots going on back in Tampa, so I'll do my best to cover things from here and keep you guys posted ...
-- First, basketball assistant Dan Hipsher, formerly a head coach at Stetson and Akron, is in the same position as was another USF assistant Dan -- football's McCarney -- in that he'll be considered for a number of openings that would give him his own team again. It looks like the first team that will interview him is Jacksonville State in Alabama -- the Anniston Star, whose site requires a subscription (unusual among newspaper sites these days), reports that Hipsher is among nine candidates and will be among the first interviewed. He confirmed his interest in the job to the newspaper.
Given his history in Ohio, both at Akron and in nine seasons as an assistant at Dayton, I wouldn't be surprised if his name comes up at Toledo as well. One name that has been mentioned there is former Stan Heath assistant Oronde Taliaferro, who was on Heath's staff at Arkansas but joined the staff at Oklahoma last season. Taliaferro would also make sense at Detroit.
-- Big win for USF baseball last night, with freshman Randy Fontanez shutting down Georgetown, holding the Hoyas to four hits in eight innings in a 2-1 win. It's worth noting that the Hoyas' lone run was scored by Sean Baumann, brother of USF reserve (and Yankee grand slammer) Eric Baumann.
Something else we'll look into: Fontanez took the Friday night start normally held by senior Daniel Thomas, who was not scheduled to pitch this weekend despite having no injuries. It's the second time Thomas has gotten a weekend off in the past four weekends.
It's incredible how much of an impact Lelo Prado has gotten from first-year Bulls -- less than a third of his starting lineup this season has been players who were at USF last season. Only two regular hitters -- Joey Angelberger and Addison Maruszak -- were Bulls before this season; Mike Consolmagno and Charles Cleveland have combined for a starter's at-bats, but are hitting .213 and .154 on the year.
-- With this new contract, where would you rank Jim Leavitt among the Big East football coaches? I'm guessing not many of you went as low as fifth, which is what Tom Dienhart of the Sporting News thinks in his offseason ranking of the league's eight coaches. Dienhart calls him "kooky," then writes that Leavitt "can coach you out of your coach's shorts with an unmatched package of emotion and energy." Given the prose, I guess he just really likes the top four coaches in his rankings. Syracuse's Greg Robinson can just be excited not to be last on the list, which goes to West Virginia's Bill Stewart.