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LA Tech hires Konkol

Louisiana Tech hired Eric Konkol as their head coach on Monday, about a week after former Head Coach Mike White was introduced as the new coach at Florida. Konkol comes from Miami, where he was an assistant coach under Jim Larranaga.

Konkol is ready to step out from Larranaga's shadow.
Konkol is ready to step out from Larranaga's shadow.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Former George Mason and Miami assistant Eric Konkol was introduced by Louisiana Tech on Monday as the new Head Coach of the Bulldogs.

"I could not be more excited to be the men’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech University," Konkol said.  "A standard of excellence is growing here at Louisiana Tech.  It is a direct result of the collective commitment by past and current administrators, coaches and players.  Our goal is to keep pushing forward and continue to challenge for Conference USA championships and trips to the NCAA Tournament.

According to the Monroe News-Star, Konkol's salary will be for 5 years and $2 million.

Konkol's experience in growing the programs at his previous two stops will be crucial as the Bulldogs try to get back to the NCAA tournament. Miami has won 61% of their games under Larranaga, up from 56% in seven years under  Frank Haith. Even more impressive, Larranaga has gone 40-29 in ACC games, improving on Haith's record of 43-69. Miami made the Sweet Sixteen in 2013 for just the second time since rejoining Division One in 1985.

George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006 is well documented. Larranaga was able to rebuild his roster and in 2011, he directed the Patriots to a 27-7, 16-2 record and they made it back to the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Konkol's experience at both George Mason and Miami will help him as he tries to get Louisiana Tech to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. This is his chance to do it as the head coach, but he has a solid foundation. He is inheriting a team that has won 49 of their previous 50 home games.

Konkol still has to solidify his roster, by trying to keep some recruits and possible bringing in new ones. He has to bring in a staff, put together a schedule, and eventually put in his system.

With his ties to Florida, it's possible Konkol will continue the pipeline of players to Ruston from the Sunshine State. No matter where he gets players, the Wisconsin native has to put it all together quickly. He certainly has the experience and from all accounts, he has the smarts to put in a winning system.