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Louisville putting on full-court press for Pitino

Published Sep. 9, 2005

Rick Pitino wants his next coaching job to be his last, and Louisville is the only job at which he's looking. For now.

The former Kentucky and Boston Celtics coach visited with retired Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and toured the Louisville campus Wednesday with his 18-year-old son, Richard.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, who met with Pitino in Miami last weekend, has said Pitino is the only candidate for the job.

Pitino didn't say when he would decide his future, but denied he's biding his time to see what other jobs open. Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said he wanted to talk to Pitino after firing Brian Ellerbe.

"I'm really not thinking about any other jobs," Pitino said. "I have to take my time and make sure I'm making the right move, but it isn't because of other job openings, that's not the case at all.

"This is a big decision for me, because I wanted Boston to be my last coaching job and this certainly will be."

Pitino flew to Louisville on Tuesday night from Dayton, where he worked as a television analyst in the NCAA opening-round game. He will work for CBS through the Final Four and has said he will not accept a coaching job until next week, at the earliest.

"Tom and Louisville deserve an answer," Pitino said. "I've told Tom from Day 1, I just have to get through this NCAA Tournament. I signed a contract with CBS and I'm really looking forward to doing this tournament."

Pitino backed off earlier statements that he's upset that some Kentucky fans feel jilted by his decision to even consider coaching the Wildcats' archrival.

"I can't get too carried away with the UK fans thing," Pitino said. "There is a very small minority in every form of society that make much more noise than the other people."

MORGAN STATE: The school fired coach Chris Fuller, a week after the Bears ended the season with a 6-23 record. Fuller, 50, compiled a 53-118 record in six seasons as coach.

TEXAS TECH: A divided campus awaits Bob Knight.

Anticipating his arrival today, at least 58 faculty members added their names to a petition against hiring the former Indiana coach. There are roughly 900 faculty members at Tech.

Vendors selling T-shirts in favor of Knight, meanwhile, cashed in on the dispute. "Mr. Knight, we love your style!" read one. "Techsans for Knight! Supporting discipline and the American Work Ethic!"

Fired six months ago after 29 years with the Hoosiers, Knight will tour the campus and meet with administrators about possibly succeeding James Dickey, who was fired last week.

Asked about the petition Wednesday night on Bob Costas' On the Record show, Knight said, "I'm not sure I know a single person or have ever met a single person on the Texas Tech faculty, and I would certainly, if I coached there, reserve judgment about the faculty until I meet them."

Whether he becomes the next Tech coach, Knight said Wednesday night, "depends on how they feel and how I feel about the things that we talk about."