One of the most prominent women in basketball could be going to Gainesville.
San Antonio Spurs assistant coach and six-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon is reportedly one of three finalists for Florida’s women’s basketball head coaching position, according to Swish Appeal and RealGM.com.
Hammon, who the Spurs hired in 2014, is the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major male sports leagues.
The Gators fired Amanda Butler on March 6 after 10 years at the helm. She finished her Florida career with a 190-137 record.
Chandler Parsons’ quest to validate his four-year, $94 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies is on an indefinite hold.
Memphis announced Monday that Parsons is out indefinitely with a partial meniscus tear in his left knee. The former Florida Gators star saw his last two seasons cut short by surgeries on his right knee.
The Grizzlies are still evaluating to determine “the appropriate course of action,” but sources told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that Parsons “will likely undergo season-ending surgery.”
“To suffer a setback like this after working so diligently to rebound from the injury to his right knee is obviously tough,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. “That said, we know he will continue to work tirelessly to return to the court with his teammates and contribute.”
He was shooting career-worst rates from the field (33.8 percent) and from three (26.9). His vast list of personal lows included 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 19.9 minutes.
He had hybrid micro-fracture surgery on his right knee in May 2014, then a meniscus repair less than 12 months later. The Dallas Mavericks opted not to re-sign him last summer, instead giving the same max deal to Harrison Barnes.
Parsons missed the first six games of this season and had his minutes managed throughout.
His left knee began bothering him after his debut, and he missed a month with a bone bruise after only six appearances.
His four-year run with the Gators culminated with the 2010-11 SEC Player of the Year award. The Houston Rockets drafted him 38th overall in 2011, and he spent his first three NBA seasons there before signing in Dallas.
Entering this season, he owned career averages of 14.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
On a scale of one to 10, Chandler Parsons’ 2016-17 season has been horrendous.
That’s a self-assessment, by the way.
“I suck right now,” the former Florida Gator told ESPN. “There’s no sugarcoating it. It is what it is. I’m just going to continue to work, continue to grind.”
There’s no better place to do that than on the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies, but the amount of work needed is staggering.
Parsons is in the first season of a four-year, $94 million contract, and he’s never played worse.
Every relevant statistical category has plummeted to a personal worst, including 6.2 points and 1.6 assists in only 19.8 minutes a night. His 34.0 field-goal percentage — more than 11 points below his previous low — ranks 320th among the 323 players who have logged at least 500 minutes. His 7.6 player efficiency rating ranks ahead of only seven players averaging at least 15 minutes, none of whom will earn one-third of his $22.1 million salary.
“I understand as a sports fan you want production,” Parsons said of being booed on his home floor. “You see the contract I signed with the salary I make. People expect a lot better than I’m performing right now. That’s natural, and that’s how it goes.”
The lavish lifestyle he leads on social media probably hasn’t done him any favors in his new blue-collar market. To that end, he has vowed to silence his activity there for the rest of the season.
But his on-court performance is the much greater concern. There’s a possibility this isn’t simply a slump, but rather his new norm.
Since 2015, he has had two knee surgeries and missed a month this season with a bone bruise in his other knee. The 28-year-old’s athleticism has taken a noticeable hit, and there’s no telling whether the damage might be permanent.
Parsons played for the Gators from 2007 to 2011, earning SEC Player of the Year honors as a senior. He was drafted 38th overall in 2011 and owns career averages of 13.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists over five-plus seasons with the Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
The Gators won 27 of their 36 national championship in school history during Foley’s tenure, including a title in at least one sport for the last seven years.
The collective success of all Florida sports since 1992 is unmatched in college athletics. The program won the SEC All-Sports Trophy in 24 of Foley’s 25 years as athletics director.
Foley will retire in October with the program in solid shape from a coaching and facilities standpoint. UF opened its new indoor practice facility and a $25-million academic center in the last calendar year, and O’Dome renovations will be completed this December.
Foley also dealt with four coaching changes in 2015. After firing the coach of the school’s biggest sport, Foley made what now appears to be a slam-dunk hire in Jim McElwain, who was named SEC Coach of the Year last season after winning 10 games and the SEC East title.
Foley also replaced three of the most successful coaches in school history last year with the departures of Billy Donovan (basketball), Rhonda Faehn (gymnastics) and Buddy Alexander (men’s golf). Foley also kept Texas from hiring UF baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who turned down the Longhorns last week.
Here are the five great accomplishments of Jeremy Foley’s career:
1. Year of the Gators
Foley has said the 1996 title was the high point of his time at Florida, but 2006 was the year of the Gators and will always stand out. UF became the first — and is still the only — program to win national championships in both football and basketball in a single year. It was a sign of things to come for both sports. Quarterback Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy the following year and led the Gators to another title in 2008. Basketball repeated as national champions in 2007, killing the notion that Florida is only a football school that can’t win in other revenue sports. The 2007 team consisted of six NBA draft picks.
2. Billy Donovan hire
After tasting Final Four success in 1994, Foley wanted to make the Gators relevant in basketball and set them up for long-term success. He entrusted 31-year-old Donovan with that task despite him having just two years of head coaching experience at Marshall. The 1996 hire proved to be prescient, as Donovan transformed Florida into a powerhouse program. In addition to the two national titles, UF had four Final Four trips and four straight Elite Eight appearances under Donovan as well as 10 combined SEC championships in his final 14 years. He also gave Foley his formula for hiring new coaches.
3. All-sports dominance
While basketball will go down as Foley’s most notable success, it’s not his legacy nor his most impressive sport. Foley’s ultimate goal was creating championship programs in every sport, including some new ones. He did both. Women’s tennis and men’s track and field each won six national titles under Foley. They had a three-peat in gymnastics from 2013-15 and also went back-to-back in softball, one of three women’s sports Foley started at Florida. Soccer captured the 1998 national title in the program’s fourth year (also now has 14 SEC titles), and lacrosse won five straight conference championships after its inaugural season in 2010.
4. Running a clean program
Foley has preached about following NCAA rules and running a clean program since the day he took the job. He worked for the UAA in 1984 when the football program was placed on two years probation and had its SEC title stripped that season. The football and basketball programs were again hit with two years probation in 1990. Both of those programs were cleaned up under Foley’s watch, paving the way for their championship success. “We’ve had our issues and we’re not perfect, but when we raise the trophies, we’re doing it the right way. I think that’s important for the University of Florida,” Foley said in a Q&A with FloridaGators.com.
5. Fixing failed football hires
Foley’s few detractors during his time as athletics director pointed to the failed football fires of Will Muschamp (2011-14) and Ron Zook (2002-04). Foley not only owned up to those mistakes, he fixed them. “What must be done eventually must be done immediately,” Foley famously said after firing Zook midway into the season. He replaced him with Urban Meyer, who won twice as many national titles as Steve Spurrier in half the number of years. In hindsight, Foley should have pulled the plug on Muschamp after his 4-8 record in 2013, but he still rebounded with the McElwain hire. UF has made it to the SEC championship game in four of the seven seasons post Muschamp and Zook.
Other notable Foley accomplishments, according to a Florida press release:
Florida has ranked in top five nationally in all-sports rankings in 17 years of his 24 years at the helm of the program and in the top 10 every year. Five times since 1997-98, Florida has turned in its all-time high finish of second, including four of the last six rankings. It is expected Florida will again finish among the nation’s top 10 when the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings are released later this month. Gator teams have recorded 271 top 10 national finishes under Foley.
More than half of the program’s 229 SEC titles have come under Foley, as Gator teams have claimed 130 league titles. The Gators collected the 2015-16 men’s, women’s and overall SEC All-Sports Trophies, marking the 15th sweep for the Gators as Florida is the only league team to take all three in a single season.
Florida averaged a NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 85.2 percent since it started in 11 years ago — the second-highest in the league over that time frame. The Gator athletic program is the only league school to place 100 or more student-athletes on SEC Academic Honor Rolls each of the last 19 years. Under Foley, UF student-athletes have been honored as Academic All-Americans 105 times, the highest total among sitting athletics directors and fifth best in the nation since 1992.
Florida’s attracted and supported a coaching staff that certainly stands among the nation’s overall top personnel. Coach of the Year honors have been collected at the conference level 111 times and 28 times at the national level.
He also oversaw a budget that grew from $30 million in the 1991-92 academic year to $119.3 million for the upcoming season. Each year under Foley, Florida has posted a balanced budget, and is one of 24 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs to post positive net gains in 2014. The athletic department, which served 366 student-athletes in 1992, now has 479 for the 2015-16 academic year.
As chief financial officer for the University Athletic Association (UAA), Foley has spearheaded a number of capital improvement projects in the athletic department involving every athletic facility, including two expansion projects to the football stadium. Florida has invested $307 million in capital improvement projects since 1999 and currently has $90 million invested in current projects. The UAA is currently waiting on the results of a major facility feasibility study that will address facility improvements in a number of sports with emphasis on football, baseball and softball.
Canyon Barry, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, told ESPN he would transfer from the College of Charleston to Florida.
Barry reportedly chose UF over his father’s alma mater, Miami, Cal, Kansas, Louisville and others. He averaged 19.7 points points in 13 games at guard for Charleston. After redshirting his freshman season, he made the Colonial Athletic Association’s All-Rookie Team in 2014.
ESPN ranks Barry as the No. 2 transfer player available this offseason.
Charleston grad transfer Canyon Barry told ESPN he will head to Florida. HUGE get for the Gators.