Monday, March 3, 2008
Former Razorbacks coach has had dialogue with Arkansas State
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Nolan Richardson says he is talking with Arkansas State officials about the school's basketball coaching vacancy.
Richardson has been out of college coaching since being fired by Arkansas in 2002. He made his remarks after a luncheon Monday in North Little Rock.
"I have visited with them, and I will have some more visitations with the [athletic director] and the chancellor," Richardson said. "I will have some more dialogue with them here in the next day or so."
The job has been open since Dickey Nutt resigned two weeks ago. Arkansas State spokesman Jerry Scott said the athletic department had no comment on potential candidates.
Richardson coached Arkansas to a national championship in 1994, but was fired in 2002 and later lost a discrimination lawsuit against the school. Richardson has stayed in the Fayetteville area since then and has been supportive of Stan Heath and John Pelphrey, the two men who have coached the Razorbacks since he left.
Richardson's recent coaching experience includes a pair of stints at the international level, coaching national teams from Panama and Mexico.
When the Arkansas State job came open, he said he could entertain the idea of coaching there. On Monday, Richardson was asked if he had applied for the job.
"Applying is one thing, and being able to discuss the job is another," Richardson said.
Richardson, 66, made it clear he still has an itch to coach.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be Arkansas State," Richardson said. "It's, 'Am I through coaching?' That's the bottom line. I thought I was, and then I went over to Panama, and then I went to Mexico City. And I'm saying, 'Well, wait a minute. I've had six years of vacation. I'm saved up. I can work some more.'"
Arkansas State has never been able to draw as many fans as the Razorbacks, but Richardson said he believes the program has the potential to attract a large following.
"Winning can do a lot of things," Richardson said.