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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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April 9, 2008 10:05 AM

Trent Johnson to LSU?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Just when you think the Pac-10 coaching carousel has ended, it's apparently getting ready to kick back up again.

A TV station in Louisiana is reporting today that Stanford coach Trent Johnson is leaving The Farm to become the new coach at LSU. Here's that report.

The San Jose Mercury News is also reporting Johnson is talking with LSU.

Our paper reported on Tuesday that Johnson had interviewed with LSU officials at the Final Four as part of a story that also detailed how LSU had spoken with WSU coach Tony Bennett. Bennett yesterday said he was staying at WSU, which might have been a tipoff that LSU had focused on someone else. (And trust us when we say Bennett and LSU spoke).

On the face of it, this might seem like a strange move.

But rumblings have been that Johnson has not been on the best of terms with Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. As one person told me recently "he's not feeling the love there.''

Here's an old blog post from Jon Wilner detailing Johnson's contract issues with Stanford. Getting kicked out of the NCAA tourney game against Marquette also surely didn't help Johnson's situation at Stanford.

We'll see where Stanford goes from here, but this is obviously an attractive opening.

What we do know is that with the departure of the Lopez Twins and now Johnson, who is a Franklin High graduate, the Cardinal will be starting over next season.

This will be the third Pac-10 coaching job to turn over this season after Cal and Oregon State (and now you wonder if Mike Montgomery doesn't wish he had waited a few days so he could just return to The Farm).

UPDATE --- Here's an early list of potential candidates from the Mercury News.

Here's another --- Mark Few. Here's a story from four years ago detailing how people close to Few said then that Stanford was a job he would consider. He didn't then, but you wonder if he might not get another chance.

UPDATE NO. 2 --- Trent Johnson will become only the third Pac-10 coach to win Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors and not to return to coach his team the following season. The others are Montgomery, when he left Stanford in 2004, and George Raveling, when he left WSU for Iowa following the 1983 season.

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Posted by Mix

11:00 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Do you think Monty will back out and go to Stanford...?

Is there any language in his contract that would make that move impossible or extremely painful..?

Posted by IBC2991

11:26 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Tony Bennett spoke with LSU out of professional courtesy alone, he was not seriously interested in that job despite repeated efforts the Seattle media (and UW fans) to make us think otherwise.

The Indiana job Tony gave strong consideration to, but all the other jobs out there linked to him in recent weeks (LSU, Marquette, Cal, etc.) were an unsubstantiated rumors and nothing more.

Posted by Randy

11:36 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Fascinating article by Wilner. Now that Montgomery accepted the Cal job and Johnson bolts to LSU, Bowlsby is left with egg on his face. Looks like timing is everything. Does he have someone in mind other than Montgomery?

Posted by TuBob Shakur

11:42 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Basic question: Has Monty actually signed a contract with Cal? My understanding is that these contracts typically take weeks to work out. So, it's possible that he's simply reached an agreement in principle with Cal....

Anyone know?

Posted by Bob Condotta

12:03 PM, Apr 09, 2008

TuBob --- That's a really good question and I don't really know the answer.

This story
says Monty signed a contract, but sometimes people use sign the same as agree. I'd have to think, however, that Montgomery knew there was a chance Johnson would leave since it sounds like it's been a pretty open secret down there of some differences so he might have already crossed that bridge.

Posted by GoDawgs

1:56 PM, Apr 09, 2008

Bob, your "Update No. 2" doesn't make sense. Do you mean only second Pac-10 coach that reached the Sweet 16?

Posted by Brian

2:17 PM, Apr 09, 2008

or Bennett's comments yesterday may have set the ball rolling for LSU to act on its second or third choice....kind of like IU did after Bennett publically announced his decision not to pursue conversations further. I guess we will never know

Posted by Randy

5:39 PM, Apr 09, 2008


Gotta think Bob meant the 3rd coach or there were only 2 other coaches. Since he name 2 previous departures, my advanced math tells me Johnson would be the 3rd.

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