Xavier's Gillen takes himself out of Irish coaching derby

April 17, 1991|By New York Times

Pete Gillen, who has long been considered the most likely successor to Digger Phelps as head basketball coach at Notre Dame, yesterday told the school's athletic director Dick Rosenthal that he planned to remain at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

"He told me that his stay at Xavier has improved in terms of his relationships there," Rosenthal said. "He said two or three years ago he would have wanted to be a candidate, but he has the years invested there."

Gillen, a Notre Dame assistant under Phelps for five seasons before moving to Xavier in 1985, where he has taken the school to six straight NCAA tournaments, was said to be on a recruiting trip and could not be reached for comment.

In a statement released by his school, Gillen said, "I am not interested in being a candidate for any other coaching positions. I hope to be the coach at Xavier for a long time."

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