Almost immediately after reports said Williams was leaving Marquette for Virginia Tech, college basketball reporters were tweeting about Howland and Marquette.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman mentioned Howland along with two other names to watch out for with the job.
Names to keep an eye on for Marquette: Ben Howland, Mike Hopkins, Brian Wardle.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 21, 2014
Howland’s name was mentioned by plenty of others, making it seem like he or his agent said something to those reporters.
Ben Howland will likely be the first name to pop up at Marquette.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 21, 2014
Sources have told @CBSSports that former UCLA coach Ben Howland is expected to be involved at Marquette.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 21, 2014
Allow me to throw a Marquette name out there. How about Ben Howland? They have money and need a splash.
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 21, 2014
And then there was this from ESPN’s Andy Katz, who specifically said that Howland wants back in the Big East:
Former UCLA coach Ben Howland wants Marquette. He wants back in the Big East. He makes sense to continue similar path of play.
— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 21, 2014
Prior to coming to UCLA, Howland spent four seasons at Pitt where he led the Panthers to back-to-back sweet sixteen appearances and first-place finishes in the Big East. The Big East is not what it was now that UConn and Louisville are in the American Athletic Conference, and Pitt and Syracuse are in the ACC, but apparently it’s still attractive to Ben.
Howland took this season off after leading the Bruins from 2003-2013. His run at UCLA was highlighted by three straight Final Four appearances, but he was pushed out after failing to make it beyond the second round of the tournament the next five seasons.