Runnin’ Utes Coaching Search: Sources Say Johnnie Bryant Out, Focus On Craig Smith
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Another candidate has taken his name out of consideration for the Utah Runnin’ Utes head coaching position.
Former Utah guard and current New York Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant has pulled his name from consideration for the Runnin’ Utes head coaching job, sources close to the situation told KSL Sports. Sources also indicated that the focus of the search has shifted to Utah State head coach Craig Smith. This comes less than 24 hours after Utah Jazz assistant coach and former Utes forward Alex Jensen took his name out of the running.
Bryant has quickly moved up the coaching ranks, starting as a player development coach for the Utah Jazz before moving to an assistant coach. He left the Jazz after the 2019-20 season to become the associate head coach for the New York Knicks. Bryant played at Utah from 2004-07 under Jim Boylen.
Smith is a rising star in the profession. Since becoming the head coach at South Dakota beginning in 2014, it looks like all Smith does is win. When he arrived in Logan, he quickly revived the Aggies basketball program and led the team to three straight Mountain West Tournament Championship game appearances, including two titles.
Smith has quickly adjusted to recruiting on the west coast and is bound to take a job at a higher level program sooner rather than later. His name has been in the rumor mill, linked to the vacant head coaching job at Oklahoma.