Spurned: Marshall not interested in USF job
TAMPA -- Winthrop's Gregg Marshall, brought to USF's campus Friday and thought to be the top choice as the Bulls' next basketball coach, has reportedly told athletic director Doug Woolard he is not interested in leaving his native South Carolina.
The Rock Hill Herald reported for Monday's editions that Marshall, 44, had more than one conversation with Woolard on Sunday, ultimately deciding not to pursue the challenge of making USF a competitive team in the Big East.
“Doug Woolard is a good man, and he’s going to put together a program that will be successful,” Marshall told the Herald. “But it’s just not something I was ready to move on at this point.”
Winthrop, which has gone to the NCAA Tournament seven times in Marshall's nine seasons, had offered him a 10-year contract worth about $400,000 a year, and some reports had the school offering to name its basketball court after him.
South Alabama coach John Pelphrey is the only other current head coach who has acknowledged contact with Woolard during the selection process. He met with Woolard on March 16 but has also been mentioned as an outside candidate for the opening at his alma mater, Kentucky. Woolard requested permission from Connecticut to speak with associate head coach Tom Moore, an assistant under Jim Calhoun for 13 seasons, including two national championships with the Huskies.
Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery, who has taken the Salukis to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row, was also thought to be a potential match for the Bulls. Woolard is an SIU grad, but SIU athletic director Mario Moccia said Thursday that USF had not contacted him to request permission to speak with Lowery.
ESPN.com reported that ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, who coached at St. John's but has been out of coaching since 2002, would also be considered.