Much like his search for a football coach last fall, Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw has stayed away from divulging specific details of Temple’s search for a new men’s basketball coach.
Members of the media have had very little to work with, creating disparity between what sources close to the search have been saying.
One source said Monday that Temple’s athletic department would like to name John Chaney’s successor by late this week.
Another said Bradshaw will be in Indianapolis at the Final Four this weekend to speak with additional candidates.
In a phone interview Monday, Bradshaw would not say if he would attend the Final Four, but said Temple will not announce a new hire prior to the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, he described what he and the athletic department are seeking in a coach:
“I would prefer [someone with] successful Division I coaching experience, recruiting, coaching and successful performance in the NCAA Tournament, and winning conference [championships],” Bradshaw said.
“All of that,” Bradshaw added, “would be preferred and some of the things that would be required are a track record of integrity and NCAA rules, excellent academic performance from student-athletes, relationships with the media, public relations experience, community service and a feel for Philadelphia.”
In addition to the Board of Trustees, Bradshaw said he might also listen to the input of Chaney’s former and current players for help in the search.
He added that he values Chaney’s input.
Bradshaw said he could not guarantee that any member of the current assistant coaching staff would return for the 2006-07 season.
Bradshaw said the search committee is working on a strict timeline.
“It’s sensitive to the Final Four. I don’t believe there will be any kind of announcement before the Final Four,” he said.
“I would hope that, shortly after the Final Four, we can make some sort of announcement.”
It is believed that Temple’s search committee considers Penn coach Fran Dunphy as the leading candidate. Penn Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky granted Dunphy permission to be interviewed by Temple.
Much has been made about who the athletic department will interview next. A couple individuals have already been contacted by Temple.
While Bradshaw would not comment on any specific candidates, he said no one has been ruled out. Published reports confirm that Temple has interviewed Drexel coach Bruiser Flint and current Temple assistant Dan Leibovitz.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that Temple is seeking an interview with Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez. But Temple isn’t just interviewing college coaches. Portland Trail Blazers assistant Dean Demopoulos, a former assistant under Chaney, and 76ers assistant Henry Bibby were also interviewed, according to reports.
Former Temple player Rick Brunson was considered a top candidate but has faded as a potential replacement, a source said Monday. Bradshaw reportedly interviewed Brunson last weekend in Houston, where he plays for the NBA’s Rockets.
Christopher A. Vito and Jabari Young can be reached at TempleNewsSports@GMail.com.