Truax seeks S. Carolina job

June 07, 1991|By Jerry Bembry

South Carolina's basketball coaching job has been the most coveted in college basketball since it became vacant last month, and Towson State's Terry Truax has added his name to the long list of hopefuls.

Truax applied for the job at South Carolina, which joins the Southeastern Conference next season, three weeks ago after getting permission from Towson athletic director Bill Hunter.

"I have applied for the job," Truax said last night from Florida, where he was attending his son's high school graduation. "That's the only contact I've had. Right now I have no feel for what's going on. No one has contacted me from South Carolina."

Since Towson State's basketball season ended with a loss to Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, this marks the third time that Truax has expressed an interest in a coaching vacancy. Soon after the Ohio State loss, Truax applied for positions at Virginia Tech and Old Dominion.

Money was one of the reasons Truax cited for applying for the Virginia Tech and Old Dominion jobs. Truax's salary was believed to be in the range of $50,000 last season, although Hunter promised to restructure it during the off-season. At South Carolina and the other schools, the money could be doubled easily with outside income, including television shows and camps.

Truax, 45, a former assistant coach at North Carolina under Dean Smith, has led Towson to two straight NCAA tournament berths. He has a 109-126 record in eight years at Towson, and has been named East Coast Conference Coach of the Year in two of the past three years. The Tigers were 19-11 last season.

The coaching job at South Carolina has been vacant since May 14, when George Felton was fired. Since the firing, a search committee has met three times -- the latest a three-hour session on Wednesday -- and is scheduled to meet again June 14.

King Dixon, the athletic director at South Carolina, said that the school is hoping to name a coach by July 5.

"We're not going to get into any details by name or by numbers at any time," Dixon said Wednesday when asked about the search. "That's our business and ours alone at the University of South Carolina to carry out confidentially with our coaches, and we don't think getting into details would be good for the process."

Among those interested have been Larry Brown, the San Antonio Spurs coach with a reputation for jumping jobs, who said several weeks ago that he would be willing to talk to South Carolina about the position. Brown, who has had prior professional coaching experience with the New Jersey Nets, as well as college experience that included a national championship at Kansas, has said he would like to return to college coaching.

Other coaches whose names have been mentioned as candidates for the South Carolina job include Wimp Sanderson of Alabama, Eddie Folger of Vanderbilt, Don DeVoe of Florida, Ted Fiore of St. Peter's and former South Carolina players Alex English and Brian Winters.

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