The field of candidates to be the next Southern Miss men’s basketball coach has been narrowed to two.
Southeastern Louisiana head coach Jay Ladner and Texas Tech assistant Mark Adams are the finalists for the job after the search committee conducted interviews with four coaches on Tuesday in New Orleans, the Sun Herald has learned.
Ladner and Adams are set to meet with USM president Rodney Bennett on Wednesday as the school moves closer to naming a replacement for Doc Sadler, who stepped down after five years on April 11.
Sadler has since been hired as an assistant coach by new Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg.
Southern Miss assistant Clarence Weatherspoon, a legendary former player for the Golden Eagles, and former Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy also interviewed for USM job on Tuesday, but did not quite make the list of finalists.
There’s a good chance that USM could announce a new head coach by the end of Thursday.
Ladner, 53, is 76-88 in five years as the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana and won the junior college national title at Jones County Junior College in 2014.
Ladner, a Hattiesburg native, coached for 20 seasons on the high school level at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, leading the Rockachaws to a record of 511-189 and the 2010 Class 4A state title.
Adams is a former head coach at Texas-Pan American and Div. II West Texas A&M. He was credited by Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard for helping direct a Red Raiders defense that held opponents to an average of 55.8 points a game during the team’s run to the national title contest.
Adams, a 1979 graduate of Texas Tech, has also won a junior college national title at Howard College in Texas and has been with Beard’s staff since the 2015-16 season at Little Rock.