he University of Massachusetts' search for a new coach could start heating up this weekend, as some of the Minutemen's prospective choices have begun exiting postseason play.
Athletic Director Bob Marcum and Chancellor David K. Scott have a meeting scheduled for Friday morning to begin forming the search committee that will interview all prospective candidates.
Ralph Willard (Holy Cross), Fran McCaffrey (UNC-Greensboro) and Jay Wright (Hofstra) all had their respective teams eliminated from NCAA Tournament play Thursday. St. Bonaventure coach Jim Baron, whose name has surfaced as a periphery candidate, saw his team bounced from the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday.
Willard is expected to pursue the position with some vigor because his stock could fall next year. The former Pittsburgh coach led the Crusaders, who have scholarships, to the championship of the Patriot League, in which most schools don't. Plus he will lose star center Josh Sankes, which could send Holy Cross to the middle of the conference pack.
The Bobby Knight Scare, as some UMass fans have referred to it, appears to be over. The former Indiana coach looks to be headed to Texas Tech after a meeting there yesterday.