ruiser Flint's list of job options will expand today when the former UMass coach interviews in Pittsburgh with Duquesne athletic director Brian Coleari.
Coleari, who asked for and received Darrell Porter's resignation last week after three losing seasons, said he believes that Flint represents the boost into Atlantic 10 Conference respectability that Duquesne needs.
``I was very impressed with what he did this season,'' Coleari said last night. ``When you start off a year at 2-9, it's very easy for a team to go in the other direction, but his team fought right to the end. It's a tough job that he had, following someone like John Calipari.
``Bruiser is the first person we've called. I think he's done a pretty good job, and sometimes situations can be difficult.''
Though Porter reportedly made less than $100,000 in base salary - clearly one of the A-10's lowest pay levels for a head men's basketball coach - the athletic department has given that financial package a significant boost this time around.
Coleari has received permission to offer Duquesne's next coach a $250,000 base salary - a large increase over Flint's $150,000 base figure at UMass - though the additional incentives package may not be quite as lucrative as the additional $100,000-$150,000 he made through sneaker, summer camp and TV/radio revenue in Amherst.
But Flint's interest has clearly been peaked.
``I also want to see what they have to offer with other things too, like support in the program,'' said Flint, who is also scheduled to meet with officials from Drexel Thursday, and with Northeastern athletic director Ian McCaw next Monday. ``I want to know how they handle things with the kids, the kind of academic support they have, things like that. I was a little bit surprised by the call, but I've known Brian Coleari for a long time. We'll see what they have to say.''
Back at UMass, athletic director Bob Marcum, who is discussing a $400,00 package with candidates that includes a $200,000 base salary, interviewed St. Bonaventure coach Jim Baron yesterday, and will meet with UNC-Greensboro's Fran McCaffery today.
``I think our program is worth ($400,000),'' said Marcum.
Marcum also talked to Hofstra's Jay Wright over the telephone yesterday, and finished with the same impression many have formed - that the young coach would prefer a Big East position.
Wright is the clear-cut favorite for the job at Rutgers, which opened yesterday after Kevin Bannon was dismissed.
Baron, who reportedly makes a base salary of $180,000 at St. Bonaventure, had what Marcum described as ``a busy'' day on campus yesterday, meeting with different members of the athletic department.
``He's really done a nice job,'' said Marcum. ``He seemed very excited about the position.''
Meanwhile, Kent coach Gary Waters, responding to a UMass inquiry, informed Marcum that he's not interested.
Another of the candidates Marcum had been interested in - Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard - was involuntarily taken off the list this week when Holy Cross athletic director Richard Regan denied the coach permission to talk to representatives from other programs.
Willard is bound by what Regan would only describe as a ``complex'' contract, though neither party is allowed to discuss particulars under terms of the agreement.
Regan's decision snuffed out some interesting opportunities that poured in for Willard as a result of the Crusaders' run into the NCAA tournament this season.
Another potential candidate, Iona coach Jeff Ruland, signed an eight-year contract to remain with the Gaels. While Marcum said UMass never contacted Ruland after learning the school was working on a long-term deal with him, it was yet another dose of tough news for Rhode Island, which was set to fly Ruland in for an interview.
MHERST — Former University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Bruiser Flint may be closing in on a new job.
Flint met with Duquesne officials Wednesday, interviewed at Drexel yesterday, and will visit Northeastern Monday. He said he'll wait until after the Northeastern meeting before making a decision, even if he gets an offer.
"Nobody has come across and said I've got a job yet," Flint said. "I do think the talks with Duquesne and Drexel both went really well."
Originally, sources said Duquesne was poised to offer Flint a deal. But athletic director Brian Colleary said yesterday that other interviews are planned.
"As far as I'm concerned, though, Bruiser did fine with us," Colleary said. "We'd like to make an expedient decision, but only if it's the right one."
Duquesne's package is better in some ways than what Flint had at UMass. Duquesne is committing a $250,000 base salary to the job, with incentives that could add another $100,000.
The $350,000 figure is about what Flint made at UMass. But the UMass package was more reliant on fluctuating incentives than what Duquesne is offering.
Both Duquesne and Drexel also seem serious about making the overall commitment to their programs, Flint said.
"I asked the Duquesne people why no one had ever won there, and they were very honest," Flint said. "They said the commitment had never been made until now."
Flint also liked the commitment he senses at Drexel, which is moving from America East to the Colonial Athletic Association. The school sees Flint's Philadelphia background as a recruiting advantage.
y all accounts, James "Bruiser" Flint's interview with Duquesne University officials went well Wednesday. Not well enough, however, that a contract offer from the Dukes is forthcoming anytime soon.
Flint left the interview confident and told reporters he hoped to receive a contract offer from the Dukes by next week. Duquesne Athletic Director Brian Colleary did not understand how Flint came away with that impression and said the interview process is far from over.
"We have every intention of scheduling other interviews," said Colleary, who reaffirmed there is no timetable for the hiring of a new men's coach. Colleary made it clear Flint is not a front-runner just because he was the first to interview.
Colleary said the process is not being slowed by the NCAA or NIT tournaments. No potential candidates have teams still playing.
Flint had an interview with Drexel today and has one with Northeastern Monday, but the Dukes' financial package and the allure of coaching in the Atlantic 10 Conference probably is more than what those two schools could offer.