Archive for Friday, May 1, 1998

KANSAS ASSISTANT NEIL DOUGHERTY FACES SOME STEEP COMPETITION FOR THE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS COACHING VACANCY.

May 1, 1998

Advertisement

Kansas University assistant basketball coach Neil Dougherty is one of six finalists for the head coaching vacancy at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.

Dougherty, who has worked on Roy Williams' KU staff the past four seasons, will be granted an interview, SIU athletics director John Hart said Thursday.

Sources close to the search indicate Dougherty is a longshot candidate to land the job, which opened recently when veteran SIU coach Rich Herrin resigned under pressure.

The leading candidate reportedly is former SIU assistant Bobby McCullum, now on Lon Kruger's staff at the University of Illinois. McCullum also coached with Kruger at Florida and Kansas State.

McCullum was recruiting coordinator during his two years at SIU and has the backing of several SIU alums, sources say.

Former SIU player Mike Glenn, now a TV analyst for TNT, is also a finalist. Glenn is regarded as the second-best player in Salukis history, behind Walt Frazier.

Other finalists: Mark Coomes, a University of Illinois-Chicago assistant who recently was a finalist for the Northern Iowa job; Bruce Webber, an assistant at Purdue and Cy Alexander, head coach at South Carolina State.

Hart can't conduct interviews next week because he'll be out of town. He hopes to hire a coach by the third week in May.

Former Michigan coach Steve Fisher was supposedly a candidate for the job, but it's believed SIU and Fisher could not reach terms on a contract.

Nowitzki down to 3 schools: Dirk Nowitzki, a 6-foot-11, 235-pound center from Germany, has eliminated Utah from his list of four finalists as he prepares for a 10-day U.S. tour of colleges.

Nowitzki is expected to arrive in the U.S. today or Saturday. His German club coach, Holger Geschwindner, told Insider's Report he would start the tour at Cal-Berkeley, then head to Kansas next week and conclude at Kentucky.

Cal sources confirmed Thursday Nowitzki will begin the tour at Cal and perhaps sign with the Bears before the May 15 conclusion of the spring signing period.

It is believed Cal-Berkeley remains the heavy favorite to land the 19-year-old Nowitzki. Cal has kept contact with the player the past two years.

It's believed the tour may be meant to appease some German natives, who want Nowitzki to sign a $500,000-per-year contract with a team in Europe. Some believe Nowitzki wants to make it appear he's expanded his search to include some of the country's top programs.

Nowitzki tells Insider's Report's Mike Sullivan he will return to Germany after the trip and make his final decision.

-- Gary Bedore's phone number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is gbedore@ljworld.com.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.