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Thursday, December 12, 2002
Mason says he won't make hasty decision

Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State athletic director Ron Mason is in no hurry to hire a coach to replace the fired Bobby Williams.

After Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis withdrew as a candidate Thursday, Mason said he will not talk to candidates who are involved with bowl games until their seasons are over. Mason also said he won't make a hasty decision just to salvage one recruiting season.

"There's no rush,'' he said. "And I'm not talking about it any further at this point.''

A Michigan State source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lewis and school officials had talked about a contract, but that he was never offered the job.

When he was asked how many people he has in mind for the job, or what qualities he's looking for, Mason said: "No answers. Period.''

The Spartans have been unable to sustain any success since they were a national power in the mid-1960s under coach Duffy Daugherty. Despite consistently sending players to the NFL, Michigan State has gone to just one Rose Bowl, won three Big Ten titles and won eight or more games in consecutive seasons once since 1966.

Williams, who had never been a head coach or a coordinator before taking the Spartans' job, was 16-17 overall and 6-15 in the Big Ten. Michigan State finished 4-8 in 2002, its worst record since 1991.

He was fired Nov. 4 with three games left in season, a day after it was announced that quarterback Jeff Smoker was suspended because he had a substance-abuse problem and Dawan Moss had been accused of drunken driving.