Altman Changes Mind, Will Leave Arkansas And Stay At Creighton

Tuesday, April 3rd 2007, 6:40 pm
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Dana Altman quit as Arkansas' basketball coach Tuesday just 26 hours after his hiring was announced. The coach apologized to Razorbacks fans ``with deep regret'' and said he would return to Creighton in his family's best interest.

Arkansas Chancellor John A. White announced Altman's departure at a hastily scheduled news conference outside Bud Walton Arena. ``I knew it was a very difficult decision for them and their family,'' White said.

Altman has coached the Bluejays for 13 years and said he made the decision to return to the Omaha, Neb., school after talking to Creighton's athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, then his family.

``After I was sure he would allow me to return, I talked to my wife,'' Altman said. ``This is something I'm doing for my family. I wish I had would have come to that decision earlier.''

Altman had been hired to replace Stan Heath, whom Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles fired last week. South Florida hired Heath on Monday.

A university plane was dispatched to pick up Broyles, who was believed to be at Augusta, Ga., for the Masters golf tournament. White did not provide a timetable for a renewed search.

``We'll be engaging the services of a search firm to help us'' hire a new coach, White said. ``We'll be able to attract a very strong coach to come to the Razorbacks. This program is strong and we're going to be strong in the future.''

Altman said family matters were the only reason for his quick departure.

``It's just something that, when I got here, my heart and my 13 years at Creighton wouldn't allow me to do it,'' Altman said. ``My ego was involved and I'm not sure of all of the reasons, but again, it was something today that, in my heart, wouldn't allow me to do it.''

White said he wished Altman well but was hopeful that the Razorbacks and the coach would one day cross paths.

``The No. 1 priority is doing what's best for you and your family,'' White said. ``I'm looking forward to meeting you in the Final Four and beating the socks off you.''