5 best high major hires in 2015-16

5.  Kevin Stallings – Pittsburgh
What?  Before you flip out let me explain.  Stalling left Vanderbilt as the winningest coach in school history and went on a run of 5 out of 6 NCAA tourney berths and 7 times overall.  He holds a 455-283 record all time.  On the flip side the Vandy faithful was ready for him to go and recently he has the reputation of having teams underachieve in the tournament.  The reality is that he is a really good offensive mind that demands a lot out of his players.  Why is this a good hire?  It was time for a change of scenery and Pitt is a really good job.  Stallings recruited well at Vandy and should have that same success at Pitt.  He is also a good enough coach to go head to head with the big boys in the ACC.  The hire wasn’t overly popular but I think he will have a nice run of success and prove the naysayers wrong.
 
4.  Jamie Dixon – TCU
Could TCU have done any better?  In 13 years at Pitt he went to 11 NCAA tournaments.  The Pitt faithful were getting a little restless and 13 years is a long time so he bolted to his alma mater.  TCU hasn’t been to the tournament since Dixon played there but no matter how this one turns out the hire is one that can’t be argued against.  Dixon will seek to tap into the fertile recruiting ground of Texas and build the program up.  The school has new facilities and now has a new coach that can fulfill the status of the face of the program.
 
3. Bryce Drew – Vanderbilt
Drew comes to Vanderbilt from Valparaiso, having taken the Crusaders to two NCAA tourneys and compiled a 124-49 overall record.  Couple that with 4 league titles and this has a chance to be the best hire of the season.  Drew is the opposite of his predecessor in terms of personality and style and is a welcome breath of fresh air to the Commodore nation.  A lot of times the fit is just as important as the coach and Drew appears to be an ideal fit at an academic school in a power five league.
 
2. Chris Beard – Texas Tech
Beard made a unique move and bolted a good job for an ok job just weeks into his tenure.  While there has been much scrutiny about him leaving UNLV the way he did it appears that Texas Tech is very close to what Beard considers his dream job.  Beard was an assistant in Lubbock for 10 years under Bob and Pat Knight.  Beard is well traveled and took UALR to the tourney this year and finished with a 30-5 record, including a win over Purdue in dramatic fashion in the first round.  Beard is also a likable and passionate guy, which will play well to the fan base and get his kids to play hard for him.  Tech is a tough gig but Beard will put forth all the effort needed to make them as good as they can be.
 
1.  Brad Underwood – Oklahoma State
Underwood has an awesome resume and made SFA a team to follow and pull for during March.  Underwood’s record is unreal, going 89-14 in three years and 53-1 in Southland play.  All three years resulted in tourney berths and advanced to the second round twice.  He also appears to be a great fit at Oklahoma St.  Underwood has recruited in the same footprint and seems to enjoy small town life.  Oklahoma St. has a great basketball history and is a school you can win big at.  Underwood also employs an enjoyable style of play that kids will want to play for.  When you add all of these factors together this is easily the best hire of the season.

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