Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Altman sticking at Creighton

Coach changes mind about taking Arkansas job

April 4, 2007


— Dana Altman was introduced as Arkansas coach with pomp and circumstance - cheerleaders, a cheering crowd, even one of those famous "Pig Sooie" calls.

Then, a day later, Altman decided being a Razorback wasn't for him.

Altman quit Tuesday, apologizing to Razorbacks fans and saying it was in his family's best interest to return to Creighton.

Arkansas Chancellor John A. White announced Altman's departure at a hastily scheduled news conference outside Bud Walton Arena. "I knew it was a very difficult decision for them and their family," White said of Altman's initial move to leave Creighton.

Altman has coached the Bluejays for 13 years and said he decided to return to the Omaha, Neb., school after talking to his wife and Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, who agreed to take him back.

"This is something I'm doing for my family," Altman said. "I wish I would have come to that decision earlier."

Altman had been hired to replace Stan Heath, whom Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles fired last week. South Florida hired Heath on Monday.

Arkansas eyed Texas A&M; coach Billy Gillispie, and received permission to talk to Memphis coach John Calipari. Now, a search that has been at times frustrating has turned bizarre.

Forward Darian Townes said he first heard the news while watching television.

"I was flipping through the channels, just to see what was on," Townes said. "I thought it was a joke."

White did not provide a timetable for a renewed search.

"We'll be engaging the services of a search firm to help us" hire a new coach, White said. "We'll be able to attract a very strong coach to come to the Razorbacks. This program is strong and we're going to be strong in the future."

Altman had been courted by other big programs before.

"It's just something that, when I got here, my heart and my 13 years at Creighton wouldn't allow me to do it," Altman said. "My ego was involved and I'm not sure of all of the reasons, but again, it was something today that, in my heart, wouldn't allow me to do it."

Altman's departure likely puts star freshman Patrick Beverley in limbo again. Beverley, the Southeastern Conference newcomer of the year, announced Monday night he was staying at Arkansas after he met with Altman.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

A little late, but a good choice. Altman didn't do well in a major conference at K-State. His style of play is much better suited to a mid-major school.

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