The most recent movement: Evansville fires Todd Lickliter, giving men’s hoops its 59th coaching change in 2022
Jay Wright’s April 20 retirement announcement was one of the most surprising offseason headlines in college basketball in a long time. At 60 years old and with 28 years of head coaching life behind him, Wright decided he was done with the ever-increasing rigors of the job. Barring any change of heart down the road, which Wright said is not at all the plan, Villanova’s 81-65 loss to Kansas in the Final Four was his final game as a coach. (I went into further detail about the decision here.)
Wright’s decision also prompted two more openings on the coaching carousel this year. With his retirement, Villanova jointly announced that Wright’s successor would be Fordham coach Kyle Neptune, who just completed his first year (16-16). Neptune was succeeded by his assistant at Fordham, Keith Urgo.
On Thursday, the 59th vacancy came open: Evansville fired Todd Lickliter after three seasons and a 15-53 record. The change came later than expected, but this was rumored dating back to March. The reason for the delay was the school needing to hire an athletic director. That became official on April 21. A little more than two weeks later, Lickliter and his staff are out. Even though the May 1 transfer portal deadline has come and gone for first-time transfers to have immediate eligibility next season, I would expect any Evansville player who submits a waiver to be cleared to play immediately.
Evansville and South Carolina State are the only schools without a sitting head coach. This 2022 cycle wound up being a lot busier in the coaching ranks than anyone expected. It might take a little time to get used to all these new faces in such high-profile faces. Here is an extensive recap on all coaching movement in men’s hoops this spring.