Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Howland, 56, led UCLA to three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-8 but was let go following the 2012-13 season.
He was in the mix for the openings at Marquette, Tennessee and Missouri, but did not land any of those jobs.
The Oregonian reported that Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis “was in touch” with Howland “as far back as early last month.” Robinson, the brother-in-law of President Obama, was fired Monday, six weeks after the season ended.
Arizona assistant Damon Stoudamire and Montana’s Wayne Tinkle have also been mentioned, as has UCLA assistant David Grace, a former OSU assistant who has recruited well at UCLA.
“[De Carolis] wants to bring in a head coach if he can bring in a head coach,” the source told SNY.tv. “He made a move like this, you just don’t make it flying by the seat of your pants.”
Oregon State is on the hook to Robinson for $4 million over the next three years, but can theoretically pay Howland less than it might otherwise because UCLA is still paying him.
The Oregonian reported Howland would want a six-year deal worth $1.5 million annually plus $200,000 per assistant coach.
“Howland makes sense because he can take less,” the source said. “He’s already getting paid by UCLA while OSU is having to pay [Robinson].”
Howland, or whoever the next coach is, faces a major rebuilding situation at Oregon State, which hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1990 when Gary Payton was there.
Oregon State loses all five starters, including forward Eric Moreland, who declared for the NBA Draft, and guard Hallice Cooke, who is transferring, spent the weekend visiting Iowa State and is not expected to return to Oregon State.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.