Herrion Still Mulling New Hampshire Offer

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas men's basketball assistant Bill Herrion is still mulling his future with the Razorbacks.

Herrion, hired April 18 by head coach Stan Heath to replace Rob Flaska, has still not announced whether or not he will accept the head coaching job at New Hampshire after visiting the campus last week and receiving a job offer to consider over the weekend.

Herrion, 47, did not return a message left at his Greensboro, N.C., home Tuesday and Heath will not issue a statement until he's heard Herrion's decision.

Herrion was a head coach for 14 years at Drexel and most recently East Carolina, compiling a 237-169 record, and made the decision to join the assistant ranks after he didn't land top positions at Stony Brook and Siena following his February firing at East Carolina.

Herrion said at his introductory press conference on April 19 in Fayetteville he definitely wanted to be a head coach again but tied those chances to success at Arkansas and compared coaching at a lower-tier Division I school to "banging my head against the wall."

The New Hampshire job, despite its lack of history and $50,000 less in salary compared to his $150,000 package at Arkansas, has an upside for Herrion.

Herrion is receiving $100,000 per year until 2008 from East Carolina as a guaranteed buyout that offsets some salary loss.

Herrion is a New England native from Worchester, Mass., and won several conference titles in the North Atlantic and America East Conferences, to which Drexel and New Hampshire belong.

He averaged 20 wins per season at Drexel, owning New Hampshire and going to three NCAA Tournaments from 1994-96 and knocking off Memphis in the first round of 1996.

His success at Drexel both on the court and off with recruits and fans led New Hampshire athletic director Marty Scarano to woo Herrion as his top choice.

A column by Ray Duckler in the Concord (N.H.) Monitor said Herrion expressed his interest in the job soon after Phil Rowe resigned on May 5, causing Scarano to reevaluate his search and notifying other candidates he had a top choice in mind.

One of those candidates, New Hampshire graduate and Boston Celtics assistant Paul Cormier, said Scarano has his heart set on Herrion.

"I would have loved the job," Cormier told Duckler. "But I understand why this happened."

Another candidate, New Hampshire alum and St. Augustine coach Keith Dickson, withdrew his name from the search after Scarano changed his tune from their initial May 16 phone call, according to the Tuesday edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

"What he told me in the first phone call was not going to ring true," Dickson told the Union Leader on Monday. "He told me he had identified another candidate and was going to have to postpone our meeting."

New Hampshire, owners of 10 winning seasons since 1957, is desperate to generate fan interest in basketball, something Herrion achieved at East Carolina by competing with and beating the likes of Louisville and Marquette when the latter had current Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and made a Final Four run.

Attendance went up and fans were disappointed East Carolina fired Herrion despite his 9-19 record in his final season.

"I think he's a good choice," Cormier said. "I commend Marty for picking someone and going after him. He's a proven winner in that league and Marty probably did his homework on what happened or didn't happen at East Carolina. He went after his No. 1 guy and I kind of like that."

Whether or not Scarano gets him is still in question.

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