Pac-12 basketball: The Hotline's midsummer coaching hot seat breakdown



Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes

The NBA draft is over, the transfer portal is closed and rosters are being finalized across the Pac-12.

One area has total clarity: The lineup of head coaches.

For the first time in four years, the conference experienced no turnover at the top of its men's basketball programs.

The same group that won just 66.7% of its nonconference games and produced just three NCAA Tournament bids is back for another season.

Next spring might not be as calm for the collective.

By our count, five coaches enter the 2022-23 season with their jobs potentially on the line.

Here's our breakdown of seat heat for all 12.

(Salary figures are estimates and taken from published reports or university disclosures. Coaches listed alphabetically by school.)

Arizona's Tommy Lloyd

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $3.8 million

Key stats: 18-2 in conference in his first season … first Pac-12 coach in history to win 18 league games thanks to the expanded schedule … named National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press

Seat heat: Liquid nitrogen

Comment: Signed an extension this spring that elevated him to the top salary tier in the conference after a stellar rookie year. We think of Lloyd's job security as the polar opposite of Kevin Sumlin's the moment he walked off the field after the 70-7 loss to ASU.

Arizona State's Bobby Hurley

Signed through: 2023-24 season

Average salary: $2.4 million

Key stats: 60-67 in conference through seven seasons … two winning seasons in league play … owns one NCAA Tournament victory and two appearances with the Sun Devils

Seat heat: Just this side of sizzling

Comment: Hurley's mid-tenure momentum was derailed by COVID and roster turnover (via the transfer portal). A strong finish to the '22 regular season pulled him back from the brink. But if ASU falls short of the NCAAs next spring, we expect the end of an era in Tempe.

Cal's Mark Fox

Signed through: 2023-24 season

Average salary: $1.65 million

Key stats: 15-43 in conference through three seasons … one of only two coaches in Cal history to lose 20+ games (overall) in back-to-back years (the other: his immediate predecessor, Wyking Jones)

Seat heat: Cal degree required to calculate

Comment: Fox spent one year performing meatball surgery on the mess Jones left behind and two years coaching in a pandemic that impacted his program more than most. He has one of the toughest jobs in the conference, but absent significant improvement in '23, Cal will be forced to move on.

Colorado's Tad Boyle

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $2.4 million

Key stats: 118-100 through 12 seasons (11 in the Pac-12) … finished in fifth place of better eight times … five NCAA Tournament appearances … 20+ wins in four consecutive seasons

Seat heat: Nonexistent

Comment: Boyle is one of the top coaches in the league and a master of player development. If every program were run with the steady hand and expertise on display in Boulder, this would be one dull conference. Nothing to see here. Move along, people.

Oregon's Dana Altman

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $3.8 million

Key stats: 143-75 through 12 seasons … seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four in 2017 … three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year … 12 consecutive 20+ win seasons

Seat heat: Whatever he says it is

Comment: Last season was a modest disappointment considering the established expectations. But Altman should have the Ducks back in the NCAAs next spring. Might it be his final spring? He just turned 64, so the retirement option cannot be dismissed. We'd bet against it, but only with a nickel.

Oregon State's Wayne Tinkle

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $2.9 million

Key stats: 53-95 in conference through eight seasons … two NCAA bids … just completed one of the worst seasons in school history (3-27/1-19) … above .500 in league play once (10-8 in 2019)

Seat heat: Rising rapidly

Comment: Perhaps no coach in conference history changed the trajectory of his tenure more in a three-week span than Tinkle did in March '21. On one hand, this is an extremely difficult job. On the other, the cost of retention can sometimes outweigh the cost of dismissal.

Stanford's Jerod Haase

Signed through: Unknown

Average salary: Unknown

Key stats: 52-60 in conference through six seasons … no NCAA Tournament bids or opening-round byes in the Pac-12 tournament … above .500 in league play once (11-7 in 2018)

Seat heat: Cooler than anywhere else on Earth

Comment: Only at Stanford would a Power Five coach retain his job after six seasons without an NCAA bid. We believe two things are equally true: Haase's program has been smacked around by the NBA Draft and the transfer portal; and the Cardinal has underperformed its talent.

UCLA's Mick Cronin

Signed through: 2027-28 season

Average salary: $4.1 million

Key stats: 40-17 in conference through three seasons … overall win totals in Westwood (chronologically): 19-22-27 … reached the Final Four in ' 21 and the Sweet 16 last season

Seat heat: Similar to early Wooden or mid-Howland

Comment: Cronin is the top-paid coach in the conference after signing an extension this spring — one designed to prevent deep-pocketed Eastern blue bloods from poaching the Cincinnati native. But the pressure to replace John Wooden is forever. At some point, Cronin might decide he wants out.

USC's Andy Enfield

Signed through: 2027-28 season

Average salary: $3.3 million

Key stats: 84-82 in conference through nine seasons … has gone 11-7, 15-5 and 14-6 the past three years in league play … set school record with 25 regular-season wins in 21-22

Seat heat: Ice cold

Comment: After back-to-back-back 20-win seasons and a new, six-year contract — and with all eyes on Lincoln Riley — Enfield has more job security than any USC basketball coach in decades. Only multiple mediocre seasons could raise the seat heat. Check back in March '24.

Utah's Craig Smith

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $2.1 million

Key stats: 4-16 in conference through one season … winning percentage (.200) was Utah's worst since its first year in the Pac-12 … lost six league games by five points or less

Seat heat: Chilly with a chance of thaw

Comment: The bar was low for Smith's rookie year, yet it played out even worse than expected. He's another clunker away from any discernible heat and at least two from being in real jeopardy. But in the interest of context, we should point out that kickoff in The Swamp is just 68 days away.

Washington's Mike Hopkins

Signed through: 2024-25 season

Average salary: $2.9 million

Key stats: 45-48 in conference over five seasons … named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in each of his first two years and led UW to the NCAAs in '19 … since then is only 20-38 in league play

Seat heat: A random sidewalk in Phoenix, today

Comment: After two wretched seasons, Hopkins did enough just enough in '22 to secure his return. By next spring, the cost of termination will be lower, UW's nerves will have recovered from the football chaos, and Hopkins probably will need an NCAA Tournament bid to fight off the mob.

Washington State's Kyle Smith

Signed through: 2026-27 season

Average salary: $1.4 million

Key stats: 24-33 in conference over three seasons … just led WSU to its first winning record (11-7) since the Tony Bennett era in the late 2000s … 4-2 against Washington

Seat heat: Sub-zero

Comment: The threat of Smith leaving for another job — one outside the Pac-12, presumably — is exponentially greater than the potential for palpable internal pressure. In other words, the situation in Pullman is rapidly taking on the same hue it had during the Tony Bennett era.

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Jon Wilner
Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline is brought to KSL.com through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group.

Jon Wilner has been covering college sports for decades and is an AP Top 25 football and basketball voter as well as a Heisman Trophy voter. He was named Beat Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Football Writers Association of America for his coverage of the Pac-12, won first place for feature writing in 2016 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and is a five-time APSE honoree. You can follow him on Twitter @WilnerHotline or send an email at jwilner@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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