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April 9, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Trent Johnson to LSU?

Just when you think the Pac-10 coaching carousel has ended, it’s apparently getting ready to kick back up again.
A TV station in Louisiana is reporting today that Stanford coach Trent Johnson is leaving The Farm to become the new coach at LSU. Here’s that report.
The San Jose Mercury News is also reporting Johnson is talking with LSU.
Our paper reported on Tuesday that Johnson had interviewed with LSU officials at the Final Four as part of a story that also detailed how LSU had spoken with WSU coach Tony Bennett. Bennett yesterday said he was staying at WSU, which might have been a tipoff that LSU had focused on someone else. (And trust us when we say Bennett and LSU spoke).
On the face of it, this might seem like a strange move.
But rumblings have been that Johnson has not been on the best of terms with Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. As one person told me recently “he’s not feeling the love there.”
Here’s an old blog post from Jon Wilner detailing Johnson’s contract issues with Stanford. Getting kicked out of the NCAA tourney game against Marquette also surely didn’t help Johnson’s situation at Stanford.
We’ll see where Stanford goes from here, but this is obviously an attractive opening.
What we do know is that with the departure of the Lopez Twins and now Johnson, who is a Franklin High graduate, the Cardinal will be starting over next season.
This will be the third Pac-10 coaching job to turn over this season after Cal and Oregon State (and now you wonder if Mike Montgomery doesn’t wish he had waited a few days so he could just return to The Farm).
UPDATE — Here’s an early list of potential candidates from the Mercury News.
Here’s another — Mark Few. Here’s a story from four years ago detailing how people close to Few said then that Stanford was a job he would consider. He didn’t then, but you wonder if he might not get another chance.
UPDATE NO. 2 — Trent Johnson will become only the third Pac-10 coach to win Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors and not to return to coach his team the following season. The others are Montgomery, when he left Stanford in 2004, and George Raveling, when he left WSU for Iowa following the 1983 season.

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