Temple assistant Matt Langel and Virginia Tech assistant Bill Courtney have both interviewed for the men’s basketball head coaching position, with Wisconsin assistant Gary Close scheduled to arrive on campus early this week for his interview, a source close to the athletics department confirmed.
Langel is in his fourth year as an assistant coach at Temple under Fran Dunphy. Langel, a former All-Ivy guard at Penn, was one of the players outgoing Cornell head coach Steve Donahue helped recruit during his tenure with the Quakers as part of Dunphy’s staff. A member of Penn’s 1,000-point club, Langel played under Donahue from 1996-2000 before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach for Dunphy. After two seasons at Penn –– during which he helped guide the Quakers to two consecutive Ivy League Championships –– Langel accompanied his mentor to Temple in 2006.
Courtney is currently an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, having joined the program in June of 2009. He served as an assistant at the University of Virginia for three years, and was at Providence for one season prior to that. He also spent eight seasons as the associate head coach at George Mason under Jim Larranaga. A former Bucknell captain and team MVP, Courtney coached alongside Larranaga at Bowling Green before making the move with him to George Mason prior to the 1997-98 season. Courtney began his collegiate coaching career at American, where he worked as an assistant during the 1995-96 season.
Close is in his 23rd season in Division I and seventh as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. Close was an assistant for 13 years at Iowa under Tom Davis before joining Bo Ryan’s staff in the spring of 2003. During his time at Iowa, the Hawkeyes made nine NCAA tournament appearances, two of which took them to the Sweet 16 and one to the regional final. While at Iowa, Close coached 13 future NBA players including B.J. Armstrong, Roy Marble, Acie Earl, Matt Bullard, Ricky Davis and Ryan Bowen, to name a few. Prior to coming to Iowa, Close was an assistant for three years on Davis’ staff at Stanford. During his first season with the Cardinal, Stanford won 19 games — the most in school history since 1961-62. Close also had a hand in recruiting Stanford all-time leading scorer Todd Lichti and was named one of the top 25 assistant coaches in the nation by Rivals.com in 2007.
Close is expected in Ithaca early this week for an on-campus interview.
Coincidentally, two of the three candidates come from teams Cornell defeated in the 2010 NCAA tournament en route to its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance.
Original Author: Alex Kuczynski-Brown