It hasn't been a good offseason in Murray, Kentucky. First the Racers star guard Cameron Payne decided to bolt the OVC power after a tremendous sophomore season for the NBA. Then came the news yesterday that four year head coach Steve Prohm, who flirted with Alabama and other job openings earlier this spring, is headed to coach a loaded Iowa State squad.
Prohm is tee'd up nicely for success in Ames as he inherits a Top 10 team but what does this mean for the team he left behind after four tremendously successful years? Murray State is now faced with a late and unexpected search for a new head coach. Several names are beginning to pop up around the country for the Racers vacancy.
Matt McMahon, Louisiana Tech, Associate Head Coach
The most popular name right now is that of former Racers assistant Matt McMahon. McMahon has been with Prohm from the beginning at Murray but left a few weeks ago to be the Associate Head Coach at Louisiana Tech to coach with friend and new Bulldogs' head coach Eric Konkol. McMahon has been touted as one of the nation's top mid-major assistants after previous stops at Appalachian State and UNC Wilmington. Needless to say, he's ready for a head coaching gig and he would allow the Racers to have some continuity,
William Small, Murray State, Assistant
Another continuity hire would be to elevate current assistant William Small. Small has also been at Murray State for Prohm's full tenure and has a relationship with the former head coach since his days at Southeastern Louisiana. Small also has spent time at UTEP and Western Kentucky and would be a viable option for the Racers at this point.
Dusty May, Florida, Assistant
One of the more intriguing names out there with ties to the program is new Florida assistant Dusty May. May has spent the last six seasons as an assistant at Louisiana Tech and Matt McMahon is actually filling his shoes for the Bulldogs in a weird twist of fate. McMahon was previously at Murray in 2006-07 and has also spent time at UAB, Indiana, and Eastern Michigan. He's another guy who is primed for a shot at a head coaching vacancy.
Popeye Jones, Indiana Pacers, Assistant
Another name you're sure to hear pop up every now and then, no pun intended, is that of Racer legend Popeye Jones. The former two-time OVC Player of the Year has been an assistant with the Indiana Pacers since 2013. He also spent time as an assistant and a player development specialist for Avery Johnson with the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets. It's hard to peg him into the a college head coaching role given his lack of experience but his name certainly will bring some intrigue.
Staying in the family, a guy who might get a look is former Murray State star Chris Shumate. Shumate was under for Racers' boss Mick Cronin at Cincinnati since 2007 before spending a year under Donnie Tyndall at Tennessee. Shumate would be a bit of a stretch and you have to wonder if the stench of the mishap of Tennessee will carry negative effects despite him being implicated in any way...
Yet another former Murray State assistant who was there with Mick Cronin. Since his time at Murray State Savino, who has heavy ties to the New York area, has been an assistant at Rutgers and Cincinnati. Before joining Cronin's staff in Murray he spent time at New Mexico, St. John's, Seton Hall, Quinnipiac, and East Carolina.
Surely other names will pop up in the Racers search for a new head man and we'll keep you posted.