Mocs already on the search for McCall replacement

Matt McCall gives instructions to his team in the 2016-17 season. UMass hired McCall away from the Mocs. UTC is already looking for his replacement.

Once again, the Chattanooga Mocs are looking for another men's basketball coach.

After only two years on the court, Matt McCall is gone.

UMass made a lucrative offer the Mocs couldn't match and one McCall couldn't refuse.

McCall made a huge splash when he arrived in Chattanooga two years ago.

His team posted 29 wins, including victories over Georgia, Illinois and Dayton.

They won the SoCon and went to the NCAA Tourney.

Athletic Director David Blackburn said, "This is a hard time because we liked Matt. And we didn't want to lose anybody. But sometimes, it's not a loss, but it's a growth for someone."

Blackburn added he wants to move methodically, quickly, but not hastily, for McCall's replacement. "The quicker the better because it helps ease the mind of the recruits that may be coming, ease the mind of the players that are here now, the staff, the community, my own mind."

On campus, students were glad for McCall, but sad for the program. Junior wrestler Bryce Carr looked at it this way, "I felt like he was a good coach. Just sad news for the university. Guess we'll find somebody new and rebuild I guess."

UMass fired Derek Kellogg after a 15-18 record.

They hired Pat Kelsey, but he turned them down at the last minute and returned to Winthrop.

Blackburn said potential candidates have already emerged. "We have astronomical interest. The challenge is to pare that down and to get the right fit."

He realizes UTC can't compete with million dollar offers, but adds the budget and private donations are increasing.

The school has hired search firm Parker Executive.

They're looking for a candidate with specific abilities. Blackburn said someone who..."knows how to identify talent. Match that talent with whatever philosophy they have and recognizes what good looks like."

He adds because of youth, next year may be a transition season but feels the program is poised to elevate really high.

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