DePaul is expected to hire Oregon associate coach Tony Stubblefield as its next men’s basketball head coach, Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times first reported on Wednesday.
DePaul and Stubblefield have reportedly agreed to a five-year contract, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported on Thursday.
Stubblefield has spent the last 11 years with Oregon, working with Dana Altman to build a successful program in the last decade. In those 11 years, the Ducks made the NCAA Tournament seven times and reached the Final Four in 2017.
Stubblefield is known as a prominent recruiter and has vast relationships throughout the basketball world. He has helped recruit several five-star players to Oregon and has assembled four recruiting classes that were ranked among the top 12 nationally — 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In 2014, however, three Oregon players — Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin — were part of a rape investigation that detalied an extensive and graphic police report. The case was later dropped. All three players were dismissed from Oregon. Stubblefield later admitted to recruiting these players and having a close relationship with them.
“It was a very stressful situation because I was very involved in recruiting those kids,” Stubblefield said in 2017. “For me, it was very personal. This was more than basketball. This was way bigger than basketball.”
Prior to coming to Oregon, the 51-year-old college coach spent four years as an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, serving as the Bearcats’ recruiting coordinator from 2006-10. In those four years, he worked for head coach Mick Cronin, who just led UCLA to the 2021 Final Four.
He also spent six years as an assistant coach at New Mexico State, at one point serving as an interim coach while head coach Lou Henson dealt with health issues. In 14 games, the Aggies went 2-12 during Stubblefield’s tenure.
DePaul has been searching for a new head coach after firing Dave Leitao on March 15. The Blue Demons have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2004 and have only recorded two winning seasons in the last 16 years.
DePaul was initially targeting New York Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne, and The DePaulia reported on Saturday that President A. Gabriel Esteban, chief of staff Steve Stoute and athletic director DeWayne Peevy met with Payne in Milwaukee on Friday to discuss a potential deal.
But several reports emerged since then that Payne decided to stay in New York, forcing DePaul to turn in a different direction.
The Blue Demons have also seen six players — Darious Hall, Kobe Elvis, Pauly Paulicap, Oscar Lopez, Keon Edwards and Ray Salnave — enter the transfer portal since the season ended. A new coach will have to rebuild the roster for next season, which still features three recruits that are coming to DePaul: Kok Yat, Ahamad Bynum and Brett Hardt Jr.
As part of building his new staff at DePaul, Stubblefield is expected to keep assistant coach Tim Anderson, a source confirmed to The DePaulia.