Larranaga is a lesser-known candidate to many, but George Mason was reportedly interested in him for its head coaching opening last year to replace former Tech coach Paul Hewitt. (Jim Larranaga was the school’s longtime coach.) In 2013, Larranaga reportedly interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coaching job. When Celtics coach Brad Stevens briefly left the team in January to visit a former player who was gravely ill, Larranaga filled in for him. Larranaga also reportedly interviewed for the Celtics job in 2013 before team president Danny Ainge hired Stevens.
Stevens, of course, led Butler to two Final Fours and made the jump to the NBA in year, and his retaining of Larranaga stands as an endorsement on its own. The team made Larranaga the lead assistant to Stevens in 2014.