Interesting comments. Had two thoughts. I would agree that it is hard to be a lifer at a mid-major. However, I think you get to a certain age, where you are unlikely to move on, and become a lifer. Reed is far too young for that at this point. But, I would call a guy like Fran O’Hanlon at Lafayette, a lifer. He has made the NCAA’s and had some good teams, but he has been there probably close to 20 years, has local ties, and probably isn’t going anywhere. Plus, he is in his mid 60’s, now. But, he never jumped when he may have been able to, after back to back NCAA’s, in the late 90’s. Perhaps, he is a lifer, by default, but that can happen.
Second thought is the next move for a mid-major guy. And, when I say mid-major, the PL would be near the bottom of the mid-major totem pole. It is almost impossible to jump from the PL to a BCS type conference. I look at the guys who jumped recently and they all stepped up to a mediocre level. Jeff Jones left American and ended up at Old Dominion. A better job, but probably the 5th best job in Virginia (behind UVA, Va Tech, VCU, Richmond, maybe others). Billy Taylor jumped to the MAC, at Ball State, and flamed out there. I’m sure there are others. Can’t think of anyone that jumped recently that had a ton of success. Flannery probably could have jumped after his success at Bucknell to a decent level, but never did. Perhaps because he played at Bucknell and was a PA guy, he had no desire to leave. You have to be young and in demand, and the window can often be only a few months. If you miss it, it may not come back. Maybe a guy like Paulsen could move up a level, based on his success at Bucknell. You probably have to make a deeper NCAA run to get a ton of interest, like the Florida Gulf Coast guy who jumped to USC after their run. One upset might not do it, although a Sweet 16 would.
The current coach at Wichita State, Gregg Marshall, has to be the hottest commodity at this point. A Final Four followed up by an undefeated season, coming out of the Missouri Valley, I would think the big boys are salivating for him. Also, a guy like Greg McDermott looks to be jumping up. His son is leaving and he has really elevated Creighton. Unfortunately, for him, he flamed out in his big chance at Iowa State. Maybe he sticks around Omaha.