Reports Say Herrion Lead Candidate At UNH

PIERRE, S.D. -- New Arkansas assistant basketball coach Bill Herrion said at his introductory press conference in Fayetteville he wanted to be a head coach again.

Reports on Friday indicate Herrion has a chance to make that move sooner than anyone expected.

Citing multiple sources, The New Hampshire Union-Ledger and ESPN.com's Andy Katz both reported Friday that Herrion, hired by Razorbacks coach Stan Heath on April 18, is a leading candidate for the head coaching job at New Hampshire.

Katz reported Herrion, 47, a Worchester, Mass., native with heavy Northeast ties as a player and coach, visited the New Hampshire campus on Thursday and has the weekend to consider if he will pursue the job.

Herrion, fired after six years and a 70-98 record as head coach at East Carolina in February, is currently at his home in Greensboro, N.C., for his daughter's high school graduation and was unavailable for comment.

Heath was also unavailable Friday night.

Herrion replaced Rob Flaska, who took the head coaching job at Centenary on March 30, and brought 14 years of head coaching experience to Arkansas.

While Heath has not named Herrion his lead assistant, his latest hire is being paid $150,000 per year and, according to the Kingston, N.C., Free Press, is also receiving a $100,000 per year buyout from East Carolina until 2008 as a guaranteed settlement on his contract.

The Union-Ledger quoted New Hampshire athletic director Marty Scarano saying he is looking to pay the new coach in the $100,000 range and wants to have someone in place by next week.

Scarano was not quoted about Herrion and the Union-Ledger reported he has talked to a number of candidates.

Herrion is quite familiar with New Hampshire, and New Hampshire with him.

He coached against New Hampshire in the North Atlantic and America East Conferences while he was the head coach at Drexel from 1991-99.

Drexel averaged 21 wins per season under Herrion and made three straight NCAA Tournaments from 1994-96, knocking off Memphis in the first round in 1996.

New Hampshire was 9-19 last season, leading to the resignation of Phil Rowe after six seasons.

Herrion, who applied for and didn't get jobs at Stony Brook and Siena after being fired at East Carolina, compared the differences of his choice between a high-level assistant job like Arkansas or a head coaching job at a low-level Division I school at his April 19 press conference.

"The choice I had was to go bang my head against the wall at a lower division I school or do you take this?" Herrion said.

Herrion also talked about his desire to be a head coach again.

"Sure I want to be a head coach again, but I want it to be in the right situation," he said. "We have to win here and that's going to benefit everybody."

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