Herrion Reportedly Mulling UNH Offer

FAYETTEVILLE – Just over a month after being named an assistant by fourth-year Arkansas coach Stan Heath, Bill Herrion has visited the University of New Hampshire for two days and has been offered the job as head coach there, according to the Manchester Union Leader, which cited sources at UNH and in "college basketball."

The Union Leader, again citing "sources" in its Saturday story, wrote that Arkansas "wants to keep him and has already bumped up his salary."

New Hampshire, according to the Union Leader, expects a decision from Herrion early this week.

Herrion was on New Hampshire's campus on Wednesday and Thursday before heading back to his family's Greenville, N.C., home for his daughter's graduation.

Neither Herrion or Heath have been available for or willing to comment during this process.

A Worcester, Mass., native, Herrion would be making a return to New England if he accepts the job.

But it seems to be a risky transition that likely will come with a price.

Herrion's Arkansas salary was $150,000 before – if indeed it has been as reported by the Union Leader – his salary was elevated. The Union Leader had cited New Hampshire athletic director Marty Scarano in indicating the salary for its next head coach would be in the $100,000 range. In its Saturday story, the Union Leader indicated Scarano likely has been scurrying to up the offer.

New Hampshire's Wildcats have been perennially poor. They have not had a winning season since 1994-1995, when they were 19-9. This job came open after Phil Rowe resigned on May 5 following six seasons and a 45-125 record.

New Hampshire was 9-19 last season. Ironically, that's the same record produced by Herrion's last East Carolina team.

When Herrion, 47, was introduced during an April 19 press conference in Bud Walton Arena, Heath did not call him his new right-hand man, but indicated as much.

Herrion took the place of Rob Flaska, who became the head coach at Centenary.

That day, Herrion, who made waves by taking Drexel (his teams faced New Hampshire in North Atlantic Conference play) to a 167-71 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances before being fired at East Carolina with a 70-98 record after last season, said he could make the transition to an assistant after being a head coach for 14 years.

"It's not going to be hard," Herrion said. "This is coaching, this is basketball."

Herrion did make it clear he had a strong desire to again be a head coach, particularly with a larger program. But only in the "right situation."

"And the only way that's going to happen is we've got to have success here," Herrion said.

Arkansas did not make the NCAA Tournament in Heath's first three season, but Herrion said the Razorbacks, who return all but part-time players Mike Jones and Rashard Sullivan from an 18-12 team, would have an excellent shot at the 2006 tourney.

"I think if you look at the pieces coming back, it's ready to happen," Herrion said. "I just feel very fortunate to be able to land on my feet.

"Rejuvenated, ready to go."

There had been no indication until last week that Herrion might be ready to go elsewhere.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories