Will Porter Moser Leave Loyola-Chicago? Here’s What History Tells Us
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Porter Moser, Loyola-Chicago
Three years after taking his Ramblers to the Final Four, Porter Moser is back again with Loyola-Chicago, this time in the Sweet 16.
The fact that Moser came back is remarkable…or that’s at least the prevailing characterization when a coach of a smaller program returns after having national success.
Well, how about this, Ramblers fans? It’s not true.
The Action Network looked at smaller programs who at least made it to the Sweet 16. Over the last 15 seasons, college basketball coaches who took their lesser known, often lower-budget team to the Sweet 16 returned 71 percent (20 of 28) of the time for the next season.
There were 28 teams that fit in our criteria and the only coaches who left after those Sweet 16 seasons were Eric Musselman (Nevada, 2018), Chris Holtmann (Butler, 2017), Andy Enfield (Florida Gulf Coast, 2013), John Groce (Ohio, 2012), Steve Donahue (Cornell, 2010), Darrin Horn (Western Kentucky, 2008), Todd Lickliter (Butler, 2007) and Bruce Pearl (UW-Milwaukee, 2005).
Moser stayed, as did Gregg Marshall at Wichita State after taking his team to at least the Sweet 16 twice in consecutive years (2013, 2014). Steve Fisher also stayed at San Diego State after reaching the Sweet 16 twice (2011, 2014) and John Calipari stayed at Memphis after an Elite Eight in 2007 and a title game loss in 2008. And who can forget about Brad Stevens, who in 2010 and 2011 brought the Bulldogs to two straight championship games.
Archie Miller left for Indiana, but that was three years after Dayton’s run. Lon Kruger spent plenty seasons more in Las Vegas before leaving UNLV, who he brought to the Sweet 16 in 2007, for Oklahoma.
Jim Larranaga miraculously brought George Mason to the Final Four in 2006, but didn’t take the Miami job until 2011. Shaka Smart took VCU to the Final Four in 2011, but didn’t leave for the University of Texas until 2015 and Josh Pastner waited six years before leaving Memphis for Georgia Tech.
Four coaches who brought their teams to at least the Sweet 16 are still coaching those teams. Bob McKillop, on the shooting of Steph Curry brought his Davidson Wildcats to the Elite Eight. Ben Jacobson took Northern Iowa to the Sweet 16 in 2010. Randy Bennett’s St. Mary’s Gaels made it to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and Chris Mooney is still at the helm of Richmond, who he brought out of the Round of 32 in 2011.
“I think a lot of coaches have seen deals and looked at money and, at least in the immediate future, decided that you don’t mess with happy or your relationship with your athletic director,” said a Power Five athletic director. “Chasing the dollar isn’t always the best move.”
John Giannini was a lifer at LaSalle and coached five more years after the Explorers’ 2013 run before retiring to become athletic director. And Jim Les (Bradley) and Chris Lowery (Southern Illinois) are the only coaches on the list who remained at their school and eventually fired.
Coaches Who Didn’t Leave
Porter Moster, Loyola (2018)
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State (2013, 2015)
Archie Miller, Dayton (2014)
John Giannini, LaSalle (2013)
Steve Fisher, San Diego State (2011, 2014)
Chris Mooney, Richmond (2011)
Shaka Smart, VCU (2011)
Brad Stevens, Butler (2010, 2011)
Randy Bennett, St. Mary’s (2010)
Josh Pastner, Memphis (2010)
Bob McKillop, Davidson (2009)
Lon Kruger, UNLV (2007)
John Calipari, Memphis (2007)
Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois (2007)
Jim Les, Bradley (2006)
Jim Larranaga, George Mason (2006)