It only took 48 hours, but Penn State has their first “official” candidate for the head coaching position. Jeff Lebo, who is now the coach at East Carolina, is more recently known for his 6 year stint at Auburn. While at Auburn, Lebo lead the Tigers to a 96-93 record going 36-61 in the SEC with only one postseason appearance in the NIT. Before his stint at Auburn, Lebo coached at Chattanooga going 40-20 in 2 years and 4 years at Tennessee Tech ammasing a 75-43 record.
Here is what Andy Katz had to say about the situation.
According to multiple sources, Penn State will consider East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo, who is from Carlisle, Pa. Lebo was also recruited to play at North Carolina by Fogler (Who is leading the Penn State coaching search) when he was an assistant to then coach Dean Smith. Lebo’s father, Dave, was a longtime coach at Carlisle High.
If Lebo sounds an awful like DeChellis 2.0 that’s because in a lot of ways he is. Lebo put together 2 winning seasons while at Auburn and has never made the NCAA tournament in his 13 years of coaching. His recruiting at Auburn never really got going, and averaged a 6th place finish in the SEC Western division.
The connection Eddie Fogler has with Lebo makes this recommendation less than surprising however as the two have been close friends for several years. Fogler was even hired by Auburn to help run the coaching search after firing Lebo. With Lebo’s close ties to the area and Fogler’s position in the coaching search it was only a matter of time before Lebo’s name was mentioned. In short, don’t worry. Much
If you’ve begun to bash your head against the wall, don’t hit it to hard yet. Penn State didn’t hire a well known and respected coaching service to suggest his friend and end the search there. If Tim Curley has any sense, which is saying something, Penn State will look hard to find a coach with a connection to Philadelphia or New York. That has been Penn State’s biggest problem, the ability to recruit in the city. If Penn State can pick up a coach with a connection to that area, or a city with a similar basketball hotbed, it’ll go a very long way.
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