Depaul's Coaching Vacancy...

Looks like one of the A-10’s better coaches is the front runner for the vacant Depaul position. I’ve heard Jerry Wainwright speak on a couple of occasions and he’s a great person/coach. He has Chicago ties so I’m betting he goes.

U of R: Coach set to leave?

A week after Dave Leitao departed DePaul to become the University of Virginia’s basketball coach, the University of Richmond’s Jerry Wainwright has emerged as the leading candidate at DePaul.

Sources last night said Wainwright, 58 and UR’s coach for three seasons, will visit the Chicago school Monday with his wife, Debbie. DePaul may meet with other candidates - Western Michigan’s Steve Hawkins is one - then announce a new coach Thursday or Friday.

“There’s nothing that in any way resembles ‘You have a job.’ Could they be interested? I guess. I don’t know. They haven’t really stated much to me,” Wainwright, a native of the Chicago area, said yesterday afternoon.

“I know any number of people at [DePaul]. I’m friends with them, people I grew up with. I’m flattered that my name would be associated with something in my hometown. But as you and I are talking, there is nothing I would consider concrete in anything.”

UR Athletic Director Jim Miller chose not to comment. Wainwright’s eldest son, Brett, and his two grandchildren live in Chicago. In that area, Wainwright spent 18 years as a high school coach. He was involved with DePaul’s coaching search in April 2002, in his final days as UNC Wilmington’s coach. Wainwright withdrew before Leitao was hired.

Leitao’s annual compensation at DePaul was worth about $600,000. Wainwright makes approximately $400,000 a year as UR’s coach.

Wainwright’s Spiders teams, members of the Atlantic 10 Conference, went 16-13 (NIT bid), 20-13 (NCAA bid), and 14-15.

Wainwright is an excellent coach/teacher. As a long time assistant at Wake Forest, many of the players he recruited showed dramatic improvement each season.

When I posted this tidbit with my A-10 news thread on Friday, Wainwright had yet to be contacted by DePaul. Certainly would be a good hire for the Blue Demons if they go with him. According to the Sun-Times, he has emerged as the favorite to replace Dave Leitao. Still, DePaul is interviewing others, including Western Michigan’s Steve Hawkins over the weekend. Wainwright gets his chance to woo DePaul when he interviews today in Chicago.

DePaul may be leaning to Wainwright

Biggest question is how would Wainwright’s departure affect Richmond’s incoming class.

With Bob McKillop’s name surfacing as a possible successor to Wainwright should the latter end up at DePaul, I wonder what would happen if the Davidson position becomes vacant. Would Matt Doherty pull a Bobby Lutz and go after the Wildcats job? Hmmm…