Although it is the start of football season and he is dealing with a possible raid on some of his schools by the Big 12, American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco must deal with other phases of his operation, one of which includes filling the role of men's basketball Director of Operations, [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership] a position open since Dan Leibovitz left for the Southeastern Conference.
But according to sources familiar with the process, Aresco is focusing on a short list, which has former North Carolina coach Matt Doherty and assistant Big South Commissioner Jeff Jackson at the very top.
While Doherty, who is currently working as a scout for the Indiana Pacers, may have more name recognition, Jackson's pedigree makes him the front runner.
Jackson has been the Assistant commissioner of the Big South for the past two seasons, but before that, his resume included a wide variety of college basketball stops.
Jackson, who is a Cornell graduate, grew up in New York City. He was the head coach at Furman from 2006 to 2013. He was also a head coach at the University of New Hampshire from 1996-99. Between those two jobs, Jackson was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and Stanford. He also made stops at USC, St. Bonaventure and Colorado State.
The combination of 30 years as a coach and a solid two years in an administrative role, should put him at the top of Aresco's list. An announcement should be made in the next 10 days. [/membership]