Here’s the report from Pete Thamel:
Sources: Cleveland State's Dennis Gates has emerged as the target in Missouri's search. A deal isn't done, and there's still administrative steps to take. But there's clear mutual interest between both parties.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 19, 2022
I’m going to stick with my plan to write about Matt McMahon for tomorrow morning, but I wanted to get this up and out.
There’s a lot to like about Dennis Gates. You can read more on his Bio here: Dennis Gates vs Jeff Linder, Rock M Nation College Coaching Search Bracket
Gates is an experienced recruiter, and a former reserve guard for California in his playing days. He pivoted quickly into coaching taking GA positions at Marquette under Tom Crean, and Florida State under Leonard Hamilton. Coaching stops at Cal, Nevada, and back to Florida State where he and Hamilton built what most consider to be the current model of Seminole basketball. Then he took the job at Cleveland State and within one year had won the conference. The Vikings won the Horizon League again this year, but were bounced in an upset in the conference tournament and went to the NIT, where they lost a close game to Xavier.
He’s charming, he can recruit, he’s got a good pedigree.
Now for the bad. The Horizon League is a bad league these days. 10 years ago it was the 13th best league, but Butler and Valparaiso left, and it’s been downhill since. That isn’t Gates fault, obviously. All he’s done is beat who’s there. The point was rather his competition level isn’t quite the same.
On top of that, he spent the bulk of his time under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. If you’re looking for influences, Hamilton’s approach to coaching is built very much on a level of toughness and defense more than winning through offensive wizardry. He’s recruited well, and they play fast and play hard. But sometimes scoring and shooting are problematic.
Obviously the tweet wasn’t that Gates was agreeing to terms. But these types of reports are the ones that lead into reports where a deal is in place. So buckle up. The coverage is just getting started. In the meantime, here’s his Into Press Conference from Cleveland State:
UPDATE 03/19/2022 (12:41 pm): Dave Matter has confirmed Thamels report that Gates is the primary target and a principle agreement seems to be in place.
Missouri is prepared to hire Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates as its next men’s basketball coach, pending approval from the UM System Board of Curators, sources confirmed Saturday. The Board must give 24 hours notice before holding a closed executive meeting to approve the contract. As of noon Saturday, the Board had not issued that notice. Terms of a proposed deal are unclear. Gates is under contract at Cleveland State through 2027 with a salary of $550,000.
ESPN first reported Friday night that Missouri had targeted Gates for the job. On Saturday morning, a plane owned by longtime Mizzou donor Richard Miller was scheduled to leave his company’s headquarters in Pittsburg, Kansas, and fly to Cleveland then head to Columbia Regional Airport. But the plane never made it in the air, according to flight records.