Buzz Williams staying at Marquette

MILWAUKEE -- Facing speculation about his future at Marquette, coach Buzz Williams issued a statement Tuesday that seemed to reaffirm his commitment to the school.

Williams said he is excited about the upcoming season, a sign he's likely staying put.

"I want to thank all of our fans, alumni, students and administration who provided incredible support throughout our second consecutive Sweet 16 run," Williams said. "We are already looking forward to next season with a core group of returning players, while welcoming new recruits into the Marquette family. I am excited to build on our past success and we will continue to work to be the absolute best we can be. The future remains bright for our program, and our institution."

A relatively unknown coach when he was promoted from an assistant's job to take over for Tom Crean in 2008, Williams now is seen as a rising star in the coaching ranks after taking the Golden Eagles to two straight NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

He was linked to several schools' coaching searches a year ago before signing a contract extension at Marquette.

Although there appears to be a relative lack of high-profile job openings this offseason, recent media reports said SMU might try to lure Williams away -- a move that seemed unlikely, even if Williams is a Texas native.

"Coach Williams is a good man, great coach and I look forward to working with him in the coming years," Marquette director of athletics Larry Williams said in a statement. "As we move forward, we want to make sure we stay focused on the rich history and core values that underpin this very unique program -- among the elite in the nation -- by continuing to emphasize our mission of remarkable success on the court and the classroom."

The school said Buzz Williams and Larry Williams will have "no further comments relating to this matter."