Just four days after his team gained some national recognition in a competitive first-round National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament loss to Ohio State, Towson State basketball coach Terry Truax began a process to see how marketable he is.
With the permission of Towson's athletic department and schoopresident, Truax yesterday inquired about the vacant position at Virginia Tech -- one of two head coaching jobs he is interested in.
"I'm just getting a feel for what I might be interested in doing,Truax said. "I'm just putting a few things together and trying to see what's out there."
The other job is at Old Dominion, where interviews have already started. Truax said he hopes to contact athletic directors from both schools this week.
"I put in the call to Virginia Tech, but their athletic director is ouof town and won't be back until [today]," Truax said. "There are some other jobs available, but the ones that appeal to me the most are Old Dominion and Virginia Tech."
A former assistant coach under Dean Smith at North CarolinaTruax has a 109-126 record in eight years at Towson. The team has gone 56-34 in the last three years, including two straight NCAA tournament berths.
Truax makes about $50,000 a year -- a far cry from the six-figurincomes pulled down by some Division I coaches. Truax, who was a finalist for the Austin Peay job last year, said the base salary at Old Dominion is about $100,000, with an entire package estimated about $150,000.
Towson president Hoke L. Smith has offered to adjust Truax'salary, a move the coach called "a generous gesture that I'm very pleased with."
If Truax receives another offer, it could further cloud the immediate future of the Towson basketball team. Losing just one senior, the Tigers have the nucleus for another NCAA team. But Towson has applied for entry into the North Atlantic Conference, and league officials, visiting the campus today, will decide whether to accept Towson and include it on next season's schedule.
"If you're Towson State, you're not a household name and yohave to be more aggressive," Truax said. "When some coaches are interested in jobs, they just have somebody call for them and don't apply directly. I'm not going to ask anybody else to make a call for me. I'll talk to the athletic director and then I'll get a feel whether they're really interested or not."