The Indiana Hoosiers had a couple of boosters spend a lot of money this offseason to get head basketball coach Archie Miller out of Bloomington, paying his $10 million buyout and funding the search for a new head coach after another dismal season. The Hoosiers have been connected with some big names, most notably Brad Stevens who has publicly shut down rumors a number of times since the job came open, as well as former Ohio State coach Thad Matta, current Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser, and others.
However, as they repeatedly failed to land an established or rising star thanks in large part to the apparent dysfunction among power brokers in Bloomington, a familiar name continued to emerge as part of the search. Mike Woodson, who played under Bob Knight in the late 70s at Indiana, has been a candidate for the last two hiring cycles, and it appears the former Hawks and Knicks head coach and current assistant in New York is on his way back to Indiana. Numerous reports have stated that the two are deep in talks and that Woodson is expected to accept the job once the formal offer is presented.
Hearing that former #iubb star & Knicks and Hawks assistant coach Mike Woodson has emerged as the frontrunner to be the next Indiana basketball coach.Advertisement
— rickbozich (@rickbozich) March 28, 2021
Source tells me IU and Mike Woodson are close to deal that will make Woodson IU’s next head coach. #iubb
— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) March 28, 2021
Mike Woodson is in talks with Indiana to become the Hoosiers’ next head coach, sources told ESPN. Nothing done yet, but the two sides are in discussions and there is belief a deal can be agreed.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 28, 2021AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisement
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 28, 2021
The reported deal is a 6-year contract for Woodson.
Knicks assistant Mike Woodson is finalizing a six-year contract to become the coach at his alma mater Indiana, sources tell ESPN. Formal announcement expected today. Woodson was a Hoosiers star under Bob Knight.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 28, 2021Advertisement
Matta, who had reportedly not been able to take over as coach due to an issue with his physical — a report the school denied — will still be joining the program as an associate AD.
IU is hiring former Butler and Ohio State coach Thad Matta as associate AD for men’s basketball administration. Matta will assist an IU staff that will be led by new coach Mike Woodson.
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) March 28, 2021
It’s an interesting hire, if for no other reason than Woodson has never coached at the collegiate level. He spent nearly a decade as an assistant in the NBA after his playing career ended before serving as head coach in Atlanta, building the Hawks into a perennial playoff squad, and then had three seasons in charge of the Knicks, before returning to being an assistant in L.A. and then back in New York. Woodson has a very good track record of building teams into competitive squads, and that’s what Indiana needs right now. Still, he’ll have to adjust to life as a college coach, with all of the other things that come from that away from just simply coaching the team, and how he recruits will be as big of a factor in whether he’s successful as anything else. We’ll soon find out how that works, but his NBA experience could be helpful and the Hoosiers, who love sticking with their past, have someone with deep ties to the program.