Tim Jankovich agrees to join SMU

Updated: April 27, 2012, 12:16 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich has accepted a coach-in-waiting position under SMU coach Larry Brown, the school announced Thursday.

The deal is expected to be in the range of $700,000 per year, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.com on Thursday.

There is no time limit on when Jankovich would take over for the 71-year-old Brown.

"Tim was highly recommended by Kansas coach Bill Self, and I am very excited to have him at SMU," Brown said in a statement. "The number and quality of coaches interested in coming to SMU has been tremendous; and to get someone with his experience and success as a head coach is invaluable."

Jankovich had been mulling over an offer to be Brown's coach-in-waiting, or at the very least his top assistant coach, since Brown took the job last week.

Jankovich gave himself a self-imposed deadline of Thursday afternoon to make a decision. Illinois State hadn't been publicly or privately pressuring him to do so.

Brown said Wednesday night he was confident Jankovich -- who also is a former head coach at North Texas -- would take the job and that he would agree to a contract.

Brown said the SMU administration was impressed with Jankovich when he interviewed for the job before Brown. Jankovich was endorsed by Self, whom he worked for before going to Illinois State.

"Bill called me and said you should consider hiring Tim and I said, 'If you think he's the right guy for me, then I will,' " Brown said.

Brown already had hired former Illinois assistant and Self player Jerrance Howard to his staff. Multiple media reports said Thursday that Brown had hired Ulric Maligi from Houston, who would solve Brown's need for a Texas assistant.

Brown said Howard told him they needed to hire someone with strong Texas ties. Brown said he also was entertaining looking at former NBA players Eric Snow and Derrick Coleman for assistant coaching positions.

Brown said he has received plenty of interest in his staff positions. Brown met with the SMU team over the weekend but individual workouts were over. He invited former SMU coach Matt Doherty to the news conference introducing him because he wanted the current players to see that Doherty (a fellow North Carolina alumnus) cared about the team.

Brown said he was going to take his NCAA mandatory recruiting test Friday morning.

Brown said Jankovich didn't have to be a coach-in-waiting, but he said SMU wanted a standing head coach next to him on the bench.

"Tim is the right guy and there's nothing in the contract that says there is a time limit,'' Brown said. "He didn't wait. The school didn't want it. I'm 71 but I don't feel like there is a time limit.''

Illinois State finished 21-14 this past season. The Redbirds lost in overtime to Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game and then won an overtime NIT game at Ole Miss before losing in overtime at Stanford.

The Redbirds finished in a five-way tie for third in the Valley at 9-9 but were expected to be one of the title contenders next season with Creighton as the favorite.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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