Georgia interviews Tim Floyd for basketball job

ATHENS, Ga. - Former Chicago Bulls and Iowa State coach <b>Tim Floyd</b> emerged as a possible frontrunner to become Georgia's next coach when he interviewed for the job Monday.

Only four days after it was announced that Jim Harrick had resigned at Georgia and retired from coaching, Tim Floyd was in Athens Monday and visited with athletics director Vince Dooley and senior associate athletics director Damon Evans at Dooley's home.

Floyd also was given a tour of the campus and the basketball facilities. Floyd, 49, also has been drawn interest from Penn State and Clemson in recent weeks. He interviewed at Clemson last Tuesday and reportedly has turned down an offer to become Penn State's new coach.

Floyd was only 49-190 in four seasons as the successor to Phil Jackson with the Bulls, but he has a solid history of success as a college coach at Iowa State. In 12 seasons as a college head coach at Iowa State, New Orleans and Idaho, Floyd had 11 winning records and took Iowa State to the 1997 Sweet 16.

Floyd is a native of Mississippi who has homes in New Orleans and Mississippi. He has not coached since he was fired by the Bulls on Dec. 24, 2001. He has said he was contacted by eight colleges about head coaching vacancies last year but chose to take a year off. Now he is interested in a return to a college campus.

Clemson also has interest in Oklahoma State assistant coach Sean Sutton and Maryland assistant coach Dave Dickerson but may have offered the job to Floyd, who apparently first wanted to see the opportunity at Georgia. Asked about the interview with Floyd, Dooley said Monday evening "I can't confirm or deny it.''

Dooley declined to categorize the search as proceeding faster than originally planned. "It's ongoing; we're into it,'' Dooley said. "We started the process.'' Dooley said he plans to leave Saturday or Sunday  for New Orleans and the Final Four, where he plans to conduct more interviews.

Dooley has been compiling his list of candidates since Thursday night but may have rushed to fit in an early interview with Floyd due to Floyd's interest from Clemson and other schools.

Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton may be one candidate Dooley interviews in New Orleans, but Felton said Monday he has not yet heard from Georgia. "I'm always open to hearing from people,'' said Felton, who has taken Western Kentucky to three straight NCAA tournaments. "There's never anything to lose there. It always makes you feel good to feel like people think you're good at what you do.''

Former Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger said Monday he is not a candidate for the Georgia job. Kruger said he plans to be able to watch his son Kevin play as a redshirt freshman point guard on the Arizona State basketball team next season.

"I'm not a candidate but I think they'll have a lot of excellent candidates,'' Kruger said. Asked how he would respond if contacted by Georgia, Kruger said "That's a moot point.''

Former Georgia and Atlanta Hawks standout Dominique Wilkins,  Mercer coach Mark Slonaker and current Georgia assistant coach James Holland have expressed interest in the job.

Wilkins is a special assistant in the Hawks' front office but has no coaching experience and also did not complete his degree requirements at Georgia. Those factors make him a longshot at best for consideration.

Slonaker, however, has strong support as a former Georgia player and assistant coach who is coming off his best season as a head coach. "I'm interested and want to see what develops,'' Slonaker said Monday.

Slonaker said the ongoing NCAA investigation that led to Harrick's resignation has not dimmed his interest in the job.

"I think what will happen now is we'll wait for Georgia to make any contact (to request an interview),'' Slonaker said.

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