UTC's Lebo Interviews, Anderson Out Of The Mix

Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Jeff Lebo visited with Auburn officials on the AU campus on Wednesday.

Auburn, Ala.--University of Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Jeff Lebo arrived on the Auburn campus on Wednesday to be interviewed for the vacant men's head basketball coaching position.

In two seasons at UTC, the former University of North Carolina standout guard led the Mocs to records of 21-9 and 19-11. His first team at Chattanooga was that college's first 20-game winner since the 1996-97 season.

This is Lebo's second meeting with Auburn officials and he is considered a strong possibility to be Auburn's new coach. He met with associate athletic director Hal Baird during Final Four Week in San Antonio, Tex. Wednesday's meeting is his first with AU interim president Dr. Ed Richardson, who will decide which coach will be hired to replace Cliff Ellis, who Richardson fired 20 days ago.

Jeff Lebo

Lebo is the second coach to visit the Auburn campus this week. Jeff Capel, the 29-year-old head coach of Virginia Commonwealth, met with AU officials on Monday.

UAB coach Mike Anderson was scheduled to meet with AU officials on campus on Tuesday, but postponed that meeting and on Wednesday announced that he was no longer a candidate for the Auburn job. Baird interviewed Anderson, Capel and Lebo in San Antonio last week. Baird has been in charge of the search with Richardson naming him his special assistant for athletic department affairs.

Lebo, who is 37 years old, was offered the Iowa State coaching job a year ago, but decided not to take the post. Prior to coaching at UTC, he made a name for himself as a head coach at Tennessee Tech where he took over in 1997-1998 as a 32-year-old head coach. His first team was 12-15 and improved to 16-12 and then to 20-9. His third team at Tech was the first to win 20 games since the 1946-47 squad. His 2001-2002 team did even better, posting a 27-7 overall mark and winning the OVC championship for the second straight time as his team posted a 15-1 conference mark.

Lebo has experience in the SEC as an assistant coach to Eddie Fogler at Vanderbilt and South Carolina. He also worked as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State. All three of those teams enjoyed postseason success while he was on those staffs.

He was a four-year starter at guard for North Carolina where he was an All-ACC performer and honorable mention All-American. Born in Enola, Pa., he was a four-time All-State player at Carlisle, Pa., before signing with North Carolina, where he graduated in 1989 with honors. He was presented the Patterson Award, given to the university's top student-athlete.


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