Furman head coach Niko Medved is set to become the new head coach at Drake, the university announced on Sunday.
Interim head coach Bob Richey will lead Furman, which has tied a school record with 23 wins already this season, against St. Peters Wednesday night in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. In Medved’s final game as the head coach of the Paladins on Saturday afternoon, Furman was able to fend off a stingy second-half test from Campbell en route to a 79-64 win.
Medved, who returned to Furman four years ago after stints at Minnesota and Colorado State, was charged with taking over a program that had won just seven games the year prior to his arrival. All he did was completely revamp the program, establishing numerous records in the process.
He not only made himself an attractive candidate as a young head coach, but also helped make the potential job opening at Furman a far more attractive one than when he arrived on campus prior to the 2013-14 season.
In his four seasons as head coach, Medved posted a 62-70 overall record, winning 42 of those games in his final two seasons. Medved was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year this season, leading the Paladins to 10-straight wins at one juncture, and a school-record 12 road wins. In his final two seasons at the helm, Medved helped the Paladins to an impressive 25-11 record against Southern Conference competition and led the program to its first regular-season Southern Conference title since 1991.
After a trying first couple of seasons at Furman in which he went just 17-42, Medved began to see his hard work pay off in the 2015 Southern Conference Tournament, where his 10th-seeded Paladins advanced to the championship game.
In the 2015-16 season, Medved helped Furman to the CIT, its first postseason appearance since 2011. The Paladins also won their first postseason non-conference tournament games in 40 years.
Medved has coached back-to-back player of the year honorees each of the past two seasons in Stephen Croone and Devin Sibley.
During his first stint at Furman, Medved was one of former head coach Larry Davis’s top assistants and recruiters, and helped procure Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball Eric Webb, who chose Furman over Minnesota. That 2003 signing class was one of the best in the recent history of Furman basketball and included the likes of Moussa Diagne, Robby Bostain, Malaye Ndoye, Quan Prowell, Eric Webb.
Davis departed for Cincinnati to join Mick Cronin’s staff following the 2005-06 season, leaving Medved with the interim tag.
Medved was not retained by incoming head coach Jeff Jackson and then moved on to Minnesota for one season before eventually joining Larry Eustachy’s staff at Colorado State. He helped lead the Rams to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2012 and ‘13 and eventually returned to Furman following Jeff Jackson’s resignation following the 2012-13 season.
While associate head coach Richey will get a chance to lead the Paladins in an interim role, listed below are potential candidates for the suddenly attractive job opening in Greenville.
Potential Short List of Furman Coaching Candidates:
—Bob Richey (Furman Associate head coach)
—Jay McAuley (Furman assistant)
—Dustin Kerns (Wofford Associate Head Coach)
—Kyle Perry USC Upstate (Associate Head Coach)