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Eastern Michigan Coaching Options (This Time With Substance)

The two names being floated out there are being publicized for diametrically opposite reasons: one wants it, and it wants someone else. Just like the game of love.

We know that Eastern Michigan has contacted Texas Southern University regarding the availability of Tony Harvey, who has turned around Texas Southern University to the tune of back-to-back winning seasons. TSU even won the SWAC regular season championship this year, appearing in the NIT. Harvey was likely tapped because of his Michigan connections; he grew up and played high school ball in Benton Harbor.

And then there's Jim Boylen, another Michigan native (Grand Rapids), who was fired from Utah this year. We don't know if EMU has reached out to him, but likely not as he took the proactive measure of saying he's interested. Boylen was fired after four so-so seasons with the Utes, and before that he was a longtime Houston Rockets assistant throughout the 90s, which means he was part of the back-to-back NBA champion coaching staff under Rudy Tomjanovich. Yep. Eastern Michigan sounds about right for him.

Much like we talked about Stan Joplin earlier this year, it comes down to rising star vs. retread. Harvey could be that. The SWAC is one of the weakest Division I conferences, so SWAC → MAC would be akin to MAC → ACC. Meanwhile, Boylen is looking to land on his feet, and I'd have no problem if the MAC were to break his fall. But the directional coaching ladder is one of their biggest differences. Similarities include their age (both in their mid 40s) and their heritage (state of Michigan).

Your Stan Joplin rumors, meanwhile, haven't gained any traction whatsoever and appear to be a sportswriter's pipe dream, albeit a pleasant one.