NORMAN — Another day came and went without Oklahoma hiring a new basketball coach. But there were several developments Thursday.
First, as the Transcript reported Wednesday, Illinois coach Bruce Weber confirmed he did have discussions with OU about the job, but would not go into detail about how serious the talks have been.
“I received a few interest calls regarding other positions, but nothing beyond that. I remain committed to the University of Illinois,” Weber said in the statement released by the school.
If Weber is desperate to get the job, he isn’t saying anything that would indicate that publicly.
“I am fortunate to have one of the elite jobs in all of college basketball and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our program,” he said. “We will work tirelessly to ensure that Illinois is competing at a championship level both in the Big Ten and nationally.”
Another candidate who has emerged is Central Oklahoma coach and former Sooner player Terry Evans. Sources close to the search confirmed Evans did interview with OU athletic director Joe Castiglione Tuesday.
Evans, who played at OU from 1989-93 and remains among the program’s all-time leaders in 3-pointers and assists, is considered a long shot. All of his head coaching experience is at the NCAA Division II or high-school level. The only time he spent coaching in Division I was as OU’s director of basketball operations on former Sooner coach Kelvin Sampson’s staff in 2000-01. That team did reach the Final Four.
Evans left to become head coach at Midwest City High School the following season. He just finished his 10th year at UCO.
Sources have also told the Transcript that Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall remains a possible candidate and is now available to talk. The Shockers’ season ended Thursday night with a 66-57 victory over Alabama to win the postseason National Invitational Tournament. Marshall has also been linked to the vacancies at North Carolina State and Missouri.
But there could be a deeper pool of candidates that hasn’t come to light.
The Transcript has learned OU hired Collegiate Sports Associates, a North Carolina-based consulting and executive search firm, to help with the process.
OU has a history of using such firms in past hires. Firms were used when OU hired football coach Bob Stoops in 1998 and when former basketball coach Jeff Capel was hired in April of 2006.
John Shinn 366-3536 email@example.com