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Friday, March 30, 2012
Texas regents to discuss coach hire

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas regents have scheduled a special meeting for Monday to authorize hiring a women's basketball coach, moving quickly to replace Gail Goestenkors.

The meeting will come less than a week after North Texas coach Karen Aston visited Austin to discuss the opening with Texas officials, including president William Powers. She is believed to be the only coach brought in for an interview

North Texas officials did not immediately return telephone and email messages seeking comment Friday.

Goestenkors resigned March 20 after the Longhorns lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. Goestenkors was making $1.25 million per year and had two years left on her contract.

Aston was a Texas assistant from 1998 to 2006 under Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt, and one of the program's top recruiters. She spent four seasons as the coach at Charlotte before taking the North Texas job last year.

Aston was with the Longhorns during a stretch when Texas made the Final Four (2003) and advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 16 two other times. During her time as an assistant, Aston signed seven high school All-Americans.

She left the Longhorns to take the job at Charlotte, where the 49ers won 86 games in her four seasons and the Atlantic 10 tournament title in 2009 for the first time in school history. She went to North Texas in 2011 and the Mean Green finished 15-16 last season in her first year.

If hired at Texas, Aston would take over a program aching to return to the elite among women's college basketball. The Longhorns haven't made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament since 2008 and haven't won a Big 12 title since 2004.

Texas still has to be considered one of the top jobs in the country. The school was among the pioneers of top-flight women's college athletics and the basketball program has been a beacon of that legacy. The 1985-86 Longhorns were the first undefeated women's national champion.