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The case for Trent Johnson as the next ASU men’s basketball coach

TCU head coach Trent Johnson has appeared in the Sweet 16 with different schools. He can take ASU.

TCU Trent Johnson coach column
Texas Christian head coach Trent Johnson tries to get his point across at the end of the first half aganst Texas Tech at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Texas Tech defeated TCU, 60-49. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Editor's Note: As ASU continues its search for its next head coach, State Press writers pitched their best ideas on who should replace Herb Sendek. Read others here.

Here's why Katlyn Ewens thinks former TCU coach Trent Johnson should be the next to take over the Sun Devils:


  • Played for Boise State from 1974-78
  • Coached Boise High School for five years
  • Was an assistant coach for 12 years at Utah, Washington, Rice and Stanford
  • He was the head coach for Nevada 1999-2004
  • Returned to Stanford as head coach from 2004-08, winning Pac-10 Coach of the Year his last season
  • Coached LSU from 2008-12, leading them to SEC regular season champions in 2009
  • Currently coaches TCU and has since 2012

Why he’s right for the job:

The Sun Devils need some rebuilding, and Johnson has that experience from his three years at TCU. This past season, the Horned Frogs were competitive after a not winning a single Big 12 game the previous season. He hasn’t had much success within the Big 12 conference, going 6-48 in the past three seasons, but was successful in the Pac-10 when he coached at Stanford, the alma mater of ASU’s athletic director. Bringing Jonson here would not only help the Sun Devils but Johnson as well. ASU would have a coach familiar with their conference as well as experience rebuilding a team, and Johnson might find more success back on the West Coast.

Why he wouldn’t accept the job offer

Johnson has been working on rebuilding the Horned Frogs and reportedly still has three years left in his contract with a base salary of $1.5 million, with incentives. He is in the process of reconstructing that team and still has three years to finish that project. In order to snatch Johnson, ASU would have to make a convincing financial offer, which just doesn’t seem likely. Jeff Capel seems to be the most likely candidate anyway, and Johnson hasn’t shown any desire to leave the Horned Frogs just yet.

Reach the reporter at or follow @katlynewens on Twitter.

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