Since Mike Brey announced his intention to leave Notre Dame in January, several names have emerged as his replacement. Our own Nick Shepkowski made his own shortlist immediately after Brey’s announcement. While it’s good to keep all options open, it seems the list is starting to shrink. At least that’s what ESPN’s Pete Thamel said he believed during the most recent episode of College GameDay:
For all we know, this list could be completely bogus if none of the four get the job. But when he makes a living covering college basketball, you’re sure to hear some whispers about who the next coach might be. For argument’s sake, let’s assume that this list is legitimate and that the search will narrow down to these four. So we can debate who would be the best candidate for the Irish in the long run:
Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State
March 10, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry gestures to his team during the first half at the United Center. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Shrewsberry seems to be the favorite to land the job for most people. His Nittany Lions not only missed out on a shocking Big Ten Tournament championship by the skin of their teeth, but already has its stamp on the state of Indiana. The Indianapolis native had stints as an assistant coach at Butler and Purdue, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He was also a head coach at Indiana University South Bend, so hiring him would be a homecoming in more ways than one.
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State
March 11, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann gestures during the first half at the United Center. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Like Shrewsberry, Holtmann has also made his mark on the Hoosier State, playing NAIA baseball at Taylor and serving three seasons as a coach at Butler. He then made the jump to Ohio State, where he won Big Ten Coach of the Year as a freshman and has held steady ever since. His streak of 20-win seasons just came to an end, and this year’s Buckeyes are NIT bound, so maybe a change of scenery will do him good.
Matt Langel, Colgate
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 18: Head coach Matt Lagel of the Colgate Raiders looks on against the Wisconsin Badgers in the first half during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Fiserv Forum on March 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Here’s a trainer definitely ready to take the next step. Langel has 202 wins in 12 seasons with the Raiders, and the most recent season has been incredibly kind to him. He has led the Raiders to five straight Patriot League regular season championships and four of the last five conference tournament championships. His 26 wins last season are a career high.
Darian DeVries, Drake
Drake University men’s basketball coach Darian DeVries calls his players during first half action against Valparaiso at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, December 29, 2022.
DeVries is another coach who appears to be ready for the next challenge of his career. He just led the Bulldogs to their second NCAA Tournament in three years, and the five years he’s been in charge marks the only stretch in which the program has had five straight 20-win seasons. His having been an assistant to Greg McDermott at Creighton also helps.
The story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire