May 25, 2024

Doug Gottlieb hired as Green Bay men’s basketball coach: Radio host steps onto court to lead the Phoenix


The likely final college carousel addition in this 2024 cycle just might be the most unexpected of them all. Green Bay has hired sports radio host and former Oklahoma State standout point guard Doug Gottlieb to be its next men’s basketball coach, the school announced Tuesday. It’s a splashy move for the Horizon League program, which is making its third coaching hire in five seasons and has one NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly three decades.

The contract is for five years. 

Gottlieb is a well-known and occasionally controversial sports media personality due to his oft-unfiltered opinions, but his reputation as a basketball analyst has long been held in high regard. Gottlieb has been a studio and in-game commentator on college basketball for the past two decades in his time at ESPN, CBS Sports and Fox Sports. He’s also been public over the years about his desire to get into college coaching; Gottlieb interviewed for the Oklahoma State job in 2017 and in fact was one of the finalists for the Green Bay opening in 2023.

He lost out last year to Sundance Wicks, who just left the Phoenix to be the coach at Wyoming after authoring a 15-win turnaround in 2022-23 at Green Bay. 

As part of the terms of his employment, Gottlieb will continue to host his nationally syndicated daily radio show for Fox Sports Radio, Phoenix athletic director Josh Moon told CBS Sports. It’s an unprecedented arrangement: Gottlieb will be a Division I coach and a member of the media simultaneously. 

“What he’s doing now is a two-hour radio show. Balancing that is no different than what others folks have dabbled in in this area,” Moon told CBS Sports. “This is different — I’m not saying it’s the same — but the commitment for that in terms of how many hours in the day, Doug can balance that with where he’s at in his career. His challenge is going to be: how do you balance the takes, the opinions and things that drive that process. That’s what he’s going to have to figure out.”

With his unique position of coaching and having a national microphone, CBS Sports asked Moon if Gottlieb would be permitted give opinions on his radio show about players, coaches or matteres college basketball, in addition to offering NCAA Tournament picks and/or predictions. 

“They’ll (Fox Sports) have to work through that with what it looks form the radio side, and us from our side,” Moon said.

Moon quickly made his way back to Gottlieb after he had to find a replacement for Wicks, who on Monday left after one season with Green Bay to be the coach at Wyoming. Gottlieb has no coaching experience in college but has coached grassroots/AAU teams from California for a number of years and previously served as an assistant and head coach at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Gottlieb was born in nearby Milwaukee. His late father, Bob, coached the UW-Milwaukee Panthers from 1975-80.

It’s an outside the box hire and sure to draw a lot of attention, if not some skepticism. Gottlieb is well-known across basketball and has connections going back decades, but he is the rare person hired to run a D-I program despite never previously working on a college bench.

“We went down the road with Doug pretty far last year,” Moon said of the 2023 coaching search. “Getting to know him more, understanding what he’s about, how much passion he has for this sport and for coaching. His background — being someone in his professional career that he’s always won — obviously connected and can move the needle for us and be creative, outside the box as a mid-major institution the crazy, crazy world of college athletics.”

The 48-year-old Gottlieb started his career at Notre Dame but was a three-year standout at Oklahoma State from 1997-2000. His 947 assists are 11th most in men’s NCAA Division I history.





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