Monday, April 13, 2009
Xavier closing in on next coach
CINCINNATI -- Xavier expects to have its next basketball coach within a couple days.
Athletic director Mike Bobinski said Monday evening that he has wrapped up interviews and will talk to school officials in the next couple days about who will succeed Sean Miller as head coach.
Miller left for Arizona last week. Bobinski has interviewed several candidates, including Miller's top assistant, Chris Mack.
"We're in the final stages of the process," Bobinski said, in a phone interview. "My intention is to meet within the next day or two with the president [Rev. Michael Graham] and others to discuss where we are."
Xavier's basketball banquet is Wednesday night. Bobinski would like to have the new coach in place beforehand.
"That's not a deal-breaker, but optimistically we'd like to have it done," he said.
Xavier went 27-8 last season and reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament before losing to Pittsburgh. The Musketeers will lose only two players from that team to graduation.
The Musketeers have been to the round of eight twice in the last six years. They have won three straight Atlantic-10 regular season titles, growing in national prominence while replacing coaches who leave for bigger schools.
Xavier has enjoyed a stretch of consistent growth under coaches Pete Gillen, Skip Prosser, Thad Matta and Miller, who was promoted when Matta moved on to Ohio State.
Mack has no head coaching experience but close ties to the program. He played for Xavier and was a two-time captain before graduating in 1992. He was director of basketball operations at the Jesuit school from 1999 to 2001 and spent three seasons as an assistant to Prosser at Wake Forest.
Mack returned to Xavier in 2004 and was an assistant for all of Miller's five seasons as head coach.