Board Member Says Arkansas Has Tried To Contact Gillispie

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 8:11 pm
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- The chairman of the University of Arkansas board of trustees said Wednesday the school was waiting to hear from Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie about the Razorbacks' opening for a head basketball coach.

Stanley Reed said Gillispie is a candidate for the job, but said there were others in the running for the post that came open Monday when athletic director Frank Broyles fired Stan Heath after five years.

"I know we've tried to make contact with him," Reed said of Gillispie. "We're kind of waiting on him to call us back."

Broyles said Tuesday that he had made an offer but wouldn't say to whom.

"We could have a quick announcement ... or it could fall through. I've offered the job, and we're waiting to hear."

Gillispie, 47, took the Aggies to the NCAA tournament's third round this year. He has been at Texas A&M for three seasons, going 70-26 with a team that was 7-21 the season before he arrived.

Gillispie also coached at Texas-El Paso from 2002-04, going 6-24 in 2002-03 and 24-8 the following season.

The Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site Wednesday that Gillispie will stay at Texas A&M, citing three anonymous officials close to the A&M system. The Chronicle reported that Gillispie had not officially accepted a new contract from A&M, but that regents and athletic officials were confident.

Texas A&M spokesman Alan Cannon said athletic director Bill Byrne had no comment on Gillispie and Arkansas.

Broyles said he has not talked to any coaches, but that "the one I'm trying to get knows I want him to have the job."

Reed said he believes money would not stand in the way of attracting a new coach.

"I think that's pretty well the consensus of the leadership," he said.

Heath led Kent State to the round of eight in the NCAA tournament in 2002, then took over at Arkansas that off-season after Nolan Richardson was fired. The Razorbacks missed the tournament in Heath's first three seasons but made it in 2006 and 2007, only to lose in the first round both years, to Bucknell last year and Southern California this year.