One of the first names that came up when North Texas went looking for a men’s basketball coach after future North Texas Hall of Famer Johnny Jones left for LSU was Danny Kaspar.
And why not?
Kaspar is a UNT graduate and was terrific at Stephen F. Austin. He has a 465-192 career record.
I talked to him about the UNT job when it came open.
UNT went with Tony Benford instead. That was also a perfectly reasonable decision considering his connections with Tony Mitchell, Chris Jones and Jordan Williams from his time as an assistant at Marquette, where he recruited the Dallas area. His style also fit UNT’s players who played in Jones up-tempo system.
Kaspar is a defense first coach.
The decision became relevant again this week when Texas State hired Kaspar.
There was a very vocal batch of older UNT alums who would have liked to have seen Kaspar and his old-school style come to Denton.
I thought back then that Kaspar is a great coach who wasn’t the right fit for UNT at that time. I’m not backing off that opinion now.
But I am going to point out that following Kaspar and how he does at TSU just became really interesting.
Kaspar moved up just a smidgen in the world of college basketball. It was going to be tough for him to make a huge jump because he is going to be a tough sell due to his style and age (58).
All Kaspar does is win, though.
If he keeps on winning and UNT can’t return to the level of success it enjoyed under Jones with Benford guiding the program (and there is a chance UNT could get back on track pretty quickly), the question will always be there.
Could Kaspar have succeeded at UNT?
We can only guess now and watch how he fares at TSU.