When a major program has a job opening, most schools opt to hire a high profile coach from another school as opposed to promoting some assistant within the program. Recently, Tom Crean's name been mentioned as a top candidate for the Indiana job along with a host of other options. ESPN college basketball writer Andy Katz and CBS's Seth Davis have also mentioned Crean as a good fit for the Hoosiers.
During Marquette's Monday evening press conference, Crean confirmed how unfitting a time this was to discuss his own future. His Golden Eagles recently locked up a trip to the NCAA tournament by virtue of their impressive road victory over rival Notre Dame.
"There are so many other things going on with our team, this never becomes a hindrance," Crean said of the swirling rumors about him moving on from Marquette. "I don't take it one way negative or positive. I guess it beats your name being on a ‘hot seat' list."
Crean admittedly has heard the talk about other jobs this year. He does find himself in a familiar situation though. As recently as the summer of 2004, Crean was being talked about as a top candidate for the Ohio State job and in the summer of 2003, was rumored to be on Illinois's list.
"Go to the track record. There has never been any reason to think those things (leaving)," said Crean. "I have a long term contract and a young team. Every once and awhile it can become a distraction but if we can control distractions, we are going to control them. In this case, it is no distraction and it doesn't affect me."
When asked if he was flattered that so many other schools have considered him on a list of their list of possible head coaches, Crean again reiterated how much he liked his current job at Marquette. He said that he was more flattered that he got a contract extension last season and that his contract has been renewed several times since arriving at Marquette in 1999.
Crean hasn't been the only member of the Marquette camp to hear the rumors swirling around the college basketball world. Freshmen point guard Dominic James said he has heard some talk about his head coach, whom he cites as the primary reason for coming to Marquette.
"I think it's hilarious," said James of the rumors. "He has a great situation here at Marquette and we have the potential to win a lot of games. There isn't a better place for him right now. I know his goal is to become a hall of fame coach and I think he can do that here. He knows he can do that here. We are both in the same boat, trying to build on the tradition here at Marquette."
People can always change their minds, but on Monday evening, Crean didn't hesitate one bit. While the national and local media may still prod the question to Crean about moving on, it sounds like he is content in Milwaukee.