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NCAA D-I basketball : Top-five 2014 coaching hires

Buzz Williams
Buzz Williams
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Doc Sadler became the 34th “new” hire hen Southern Miss formally introduced to replace Donnie Tyndall on May 1. Tyndall left the Golden Eagles for Tennessee, which had an opening after Cuonzo Martin bolted for California.

Sadler, the 34th “new” coaching hire this year, spent last season as an assistant coach at Iowa State after spending the previous season alongside Bill Self at Kansas.

The 53-year-old Sadler coached Nebraska for six seasons from 2006-12, leading the Cornhuskers to three appearances in the NIT. He also coached UTEP for two seasons, leading the Miners to the NCAA tournament in 2005. Sadler has a 149-107 record as a Division I head coach over eight seasons.

While Sadler is a nice hire he is not one of the top coaching hires in college basketball. The following is a list of the top-five in Division I basketball this season.

Maine, Coppin State and Florida A&M still have head coaching vacancies.

Buzz Williams
Buzz Williams Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Buzz Williams

1. Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech

In a surprising move, Buzz Williams ditched winning at Marquette to try to rebuild a floundering Virginia Tech program.

Williams, who replaced James Johnson, compiled a 139-69 record in six season at Marquette, including going 17-15 last season. He led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet 16 three times. Marquette also shared the Big East regular season crown in 2012-13.

Overall, Williams is 153-86 as a head coach.

Virginia Tech finished last season with a 9-22 mark, including 2-16 in the ACC. The Hokies, who were 22-41 under Johnson, have not had a winning season since 2010-11. Virginia Tech last made the NCAA tournament in 2007 but lost just one senior from last year’s club.

Williams has no problem recruiting players not ranked among the elite of the elites. And while it won't be an easy job in Blacksburg, Williams seems to relish being doubted or under the radar.

Kelvin Sampson
Kelvin Sampson Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Kelvin Sampson

2. Kelvin Sampson, Houston Cougars

Kelvin Sampson returned to college basketball after a six year hiatus due to a show-cause penalty for impermissible phone calls, he made while coaching at Oklahoma and Indiana.

Sampson, who replaces James Dickey, takes over a program with a rich history that has fallen on tough times in the last two decades. The Cougars have made 19 NCAA tournaments, but just one of those appearances has come since 1992 and they finished 17-16 last season.

Sampson, 58, got his first collegiate head coaching job at Montana Tech where he served from 1981-1985. He then moved onto Washington State (1987-95) before going to Oklahoma (1994-2006) and Indiana (2006-08).

Overall, Sampson has a 496-271 record as a head coach. He has made 13 trips to the NCAA and led the Sooners to the Final Four in 2001-02.

Prior to being hired by Houston, He had been an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets since 2011. He also previously was part of the staff with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Sampson is expected to be able to land recruits -- especially ones from the talent-laden Texas.

Bruce Pearl
Bruce Pearl Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Bruce Pearl

3. Bruce Pearl , Auburn Tigers

Auburn University is giving Bruce Pearl a chance to redeem himself. Pearl, who has been out of coaching since he was fired from Tennessee, was given a show-cause penalty that is due to expire in August for lying to NCAA investigators.

Pearl replaces Tony Barbee, who went 14-16 and 6-12 in the SEC last season. Barbee was 49-75 in four seasons at Auburn.

Pearl spent four seasons at Milwaukee and took the program to two NCAA tournaments -- including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005. He was hired at Tennessee in 2005 and was 145-61 in six seasons with the Vols.

Overall as a Division I coach, Pearl has compiled a 231-99 record and has led his teams to eight NCAA appearances.

Pearl has proven he can win at different levels, he can recruit different areas, and he's a terrific promoter and marketer for a program.

Danny Manning
Danny Manning Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Danny Manning

4.Danny Manning, Wake Forest

Danny Manning is a big name in college basketball and took Tulsa to the NCAA tournament last year. He spent six seasons under Bill Self at Kansas and is 38-29 as a head coach. The 47-year old also played 15 years in the NBA.

Manning plans on implementing a coaching style that centers around defensive intensity as well as developing the player as a person. Communication is also a big part of his philosophy whether it is with his players, alumni or administration.

Manning has a lot of work ahead of him after replacing Jeff Bzdelik. Bzdelik not only lost a lot of games in his four seasons with the Demon Deacons, he lost support, not just from fans and boosters but from the students and donors who had always supported the program through hard times.

Wake Forest, which went 51-76 under Bzdelik, finished with a winning record last year for the first time in four years.

Manning knows the history of the Demon Deacons, growing up in Greensboro, N.C., well and plans on getting them back to those good times. Wake Forest has won four ACC regular season crowns, four ACC tournament crowns and over 20 NCAA tournament appearances.

Cuonzo Martin
Cuonzo Martin Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cuonzo Martin

5. Cuonzo Martin, California

Martin was on the hot seat at Tennessee before going 24-13 last year and leading the Vols to a Sweet 16 appearance. He replaces Mike Montgomery, who retired after six seasons with the Bears.

California was 130-73 record under Montgomery. The Bears finished 21-14 overall last season, 10-8 in the Pac-12.

Martin had a lot of success replacing after replacing Bruce Pearl He averaged 21 victories, which includes a 24-13 mark last season when the Vols reached the Sweet 16. Overall, the 42-year old was 63-41 in while in Knoxville.

Martin previously served as coach at Missouri State, going 61-41 in three seasons, including win totals of 24 and 26 in his final two seasons. In 2010-11, Martin guided Missouri State to the regular-season Missouri Valley championship and was named the conference's Coach of the Year.

Martin, who is an outstanding recruiter, should enjoy a more relaxed fan base and milder weather in the next five years in Berkley

Frank Haith
Frank Haith Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Frank Haith

Other coaching hires:

Frank Haith is the next most intriguing hire as he left Missouri for Southern Miss. Haith was with the Tigers for three seasons, going 76-28 and reaching two NCAA Tournaments. Other good hires include Saul Phillips, previously at North Dakota State, was tabbed by Ohio, Mike Dunlap by Loyola Marymount and Russ Pernell at Central Arkansas. Orlando Antigua (South Florida) and Steve Wojciechowski (Marquette) are the most interesting first-year hires.

Donnie Tyndal: Tennessee

Kim Anderson: Missouri

Dan D'Antoni: Marshall

Dana Ford: Tennessee St.

Keith Walker: Delaware St.

Billy Wright: Western Illinois

Jon Coffman: IPFW

Tony Jasik:Jacksonville

David Richman: North Dakota State

Jim Fox: Appalachian State

Bobby Collins: Maryland-Eastern Shore

Jim Christian: Boston College

Steve Wojciechowski: Marquette

Brian Fish: Montana State

Ernie Kent: Oregon

Orlando Antigua: South Florida

Jason Gardner: IUPUI

Kevin Keatts: UNC-Wilmington

Mike Rhoades: Rice

Craig Smith: South Dakota

Chris Jans: Bowling Green

Jimmy Lallathin: Kennesaw State

Tic Price: Lamar

Heath Schroyer: Tennessee-Martin

Mike Dunlap:Loyola Marymount

Russ Pennell: Central Arkansas

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