CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- David Blackburn expects to name a new University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach by the end of the week, and it appears the Mocs' new athletic director has narrowed his search down to three.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports is reporting through sources that Virginia Commonwealth assistant Will Wade, Alabama assistant John Brannen and former Georgia head coach Dennis Felton are the finalists to replace John Shulman.
Parrish reports a hire could be made any day, with Wade appearing to be the front-runner.
Wade is a Nashville native and graduate of Franklin Road Academy. He served as an assistant at Clemson and Harvard before being hired as the first member of Shaka Smart's staff at VCU in 2010. He pulled in Harvard's first-ever top 25 recruiting class in 2008 before helping Smart lead the Rams to the Final Four in 2011.
Brannen is a former Marshall standout who led the SoCon in scoring while playing against the Mocs in the 90's. He was an assistant at VCU before following Anthony Grant to Alabama, and is credited with recruiting the class that anchored the Rams' run to the Final Four two years ago under Smart.
Felton carries, by far, the most experience of the group. He is currently an executive with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs after head coaching stints at Georgia and Western Kentucky. He led the Bulldogs to the SEC Tournament title in 2008 during the controversial tornado-marred event at the Georgia Dome, but was fired the following season.
He also served as an assistant at Providence, Clemson, Delaware and Tulane.
Former Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansberry, Wichita State assistant Chris Jans and Miami (FL) assistant Eric Konkol were among the other candidates considered, according to Parrish, but are no longer in the running.
The Mocs have been without a head coach since parting ways with Shulman on March 20 after nine seasons. The search was delayed until UTC hired a new athletic director.
Blackburn was hired two weeks ago, and is also searching for a new women's basketball head coach to replace Wes Moore. He said Monday he plans to have both posts filled in the next seven-to-ten days.
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