Who might replace Bezold as head coach?


Kody Kahle

Jordan Jackson dribbles the ball up the court in NKU’s match-up against West Virginia. NKU took on WVU on Dec. 7, 2014, losing 67-42.

Since the announcement of NKU’s decision to fire longtime men’s basketball Head Coach Dave Bezold, many analysts have speculated who may be in the mix to be the next Norse head coach.

I sat down and analyzed the two most common names thrown out there and why I believe they may or may not be a good fit for NKU.


Larry Davis, interim head coach at the University of Cincinnati

Sources: CBSSports.com

This would seem like a logical local fit, as UC is right across the river from NKU. Davis filled in for head coach Mick Cronin this past season as Cronin was sidelined due to a non life-threatening condition known as arterial dissection. Davis led the Bearcats to a winning 16-9 record and a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance before losing to top-ranked Kentucky in the third round.

However,I don’t believe Davis would be a good fit is for a few reasons. Firstly, due to the success he had at a school like UC, which already faced adversity after losing one of the top scorers in school history the year before to graduation, I would expect to see Davis get looks from higher Division I schools than NKU.

Even if he doesn’t get many offers, he has a nice gig at an established program at UC, where he is the associate head coach. Being an associate head coach at a school like UC is a nice stepping stone for head coaching positions at bigger schools that are able to compete right away for championships.

Chance of being NKU’s next head coach: Unlikely


Travis Steele, assistant coach at Xavier

Sources: CBSSports.com, Jeff Goodman (ESPN), CollegeSportsInfo.com

Another logical local fit, Steele is an up-and-coming assistant who shows a lot of potential as a future head coach. Jeff Goodman, college basketball analyst from ESPN, tweeted that Steele would be a good fit for NKU due to strong recruiting ties to the Cincinnati area. Steele’s career has taken him to big-name schools such as Ohio State, Indiana, and the last seven years at Xavier. He has been mentored as an assistant from the likes of current Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller and current Xavier Head Coach Chris Mack, both successful in their own right.

I believe Steele and NKU would be the perfect marriage for success. The 2004 graduate of Butler University is a young coach who could bring a lot of new energy and Division I experience to turn the Norse into a successful program, both on and off the court. His strong recruiting skills will be useful when NKU completes its Division I reclassification probation period in 2016.

His youthfulness will bring a renewed philosophy to NKU, one which will find the Norse playing at a high Division I level, with the likes of Kentucky, Xavier and Cincinnati, and competing for conference and hopefully national championships. He’s only 31 years old and could have a long career at the university.


Chance of being NKU’s next head coach: Strong

Other possible candidates:

John Brannen (Alabama interim head coach) – Successful as interim head coach at Alabama, also a native of Covington, Ky. and the Northern Kentucky area.

Dante Jackson- (current assistant coach at NKU) – Assistant coach under Bezold and Xavier Head Coach Chris Mack. Jackson has NCAA tournament experience as a player and coach, both at Xavier.