Memo to the next Utah State basketball coach, whoever you are: Don’t buy a house. Rent a small apartment. Or look into a hotel room a la Rick Majerus. Maybe consider a tent.

One more thing: Make sure your new contract has an exit clause.

Because you won’t be staying long.

Nobody does.

You might remember that I wrote about USU’s latest (former) coach, Danny Sprinkle, a few days ago. That guy is outta here. He was hired away by the University of Washington and given a $22 million contract. He won the lottery.

Sprinkle was the coach at Utah State for 50 weeks — or 353 days. Not even a year. Not long enough to warm up the chair in his office. The Aggies essentially hired an office temp. Again.

USU is Stepping Stone U. Before Sprinkle, there was Ryan Odom. He stayed all of two seasons before taking a job offer from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Before Odom, there was Craig Smith, who stayed three seasons before taking a job offer from Utah.

That’s three coaches, covering six seasons, all hired away by other schools. USU has had to find a new coach three times in four seasons. Smith, Odom and Sprinkle remained on the job three years, two years and one year, respectively. The next coach is going to stay, what, three months?

What’s next for Aggies now that magical season is over and their coach is on the move?

You know a coach is about to dump the Aggies for another suitor as soon as he is, well, successful. The Aggies had won 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Smith’s third season when he bolted for Utah. They had won 26 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Odom’s second season when he bolted for VCU. They had won 28 games and the Mountain West Conference championship, as well as earn an NCAA bid, in Sprinkle’s first season when he bolted for Washington.

A fed-up Aggie sent this email: “If I was given the job of AD at Utah State my first criteria for hiring a coach would be: whatever you do, don’t take first place. Work hard, compete with everyone, put a good product on the floor, go to the tournament once in a while, but above all don’t win the league. We don’t want to start over every year, so just be pretty good, not great.”

Actually, only Sprinkle won a regular-season conference championship; the other two claimed second-place finishes. It didn’t matter — they were still swept off their feet by other schools as if they had just won the trophy. USU is running a farm team for head coaches. The Aggies are happy to help — thanks for noticing us.

When the Aggies hire their next coach (reports Wednesday had Toledo’s Tod Kowalczyk as the front-runner), they should have one requirement. He must be a Utahn. The only coaches who remain at Utah State are from Utah — Dutch Belnap (six years), Rod Tueller (nine), Stew Morrill (17) — or USU alumni from Southern Idaho — Ladell Andersen (10), Kohn Smith (five).

Sprinkle is a native of Washington. He was born in Pullman. His father played football for the University of Washington. He’s a lifelong Huskies fan who confessed recently, “I would leave some … Utah State games to go watch the Husky game.”

Tod Kowalczyk reportedly front-runner for Utah State job

Odom’s move to Virginia Commonwealth was also a return home. He grew up in North Carolina and attended college in Virginia. He was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech and American University.

Craig Smith, from the Midwest, is the only one of the three who didn’t move closer to home, making the move to Utah to coach at a school with a higher profile.

When news broke that Sprinkle was the latest coach heading for the exit, a newspaper went with this headline: Can Utah State rebound from Danny Sprinkle’s exit?

The Aggies are fairly coach-proof. With one exception, they have thrived no matter who was wearing a suit on the bench. Larry Eustachy had a winning percentage of .649 for five seasons, and after he took a job at Iowa State, he was replaced by Morrill, who became the winningest coach in USU history (.720%). Morrill retired and was replaced by Tim Duryea, who was fired after three seasons, and then he was followed by Smith, Odom and Sprinkle, who have produced six consecutive winning seasons and four seasons with 26 or more wins.

The Aggies seem to recover even under the worst of circumstances. Following the 2023-24 season, 13 players left the team. Not a single player returned to the team who had scored a point. Sprinkle wasn’t hired until April and was well behind in recruiting. The Aggies were picked to finish ninth in the Mountain West Conference. They finished first and won 27 of 32 games, including a first-round matchup with TCU in the NCAA tournament — the school’s first tournament win in 13 years.

The Aggies will be fine without Sprinkle. Bring in the next guy (and rent him a room).

Utah State head coach Danny Sprinkle looks on during overtime of a game against Fresno State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. After guiding the Aggies to their first outright MWC title in program history and a first-round victory in the NCAA Tournament against TCU, Sprinkle was hired to fill the coaching vacancy at the University of Washington this week. | Ian Maule