AD Cottingham looks at the Process

And so it begins. The day Tom Crean was introduced as head basketball coach at Indiana was the same day that Marquette had to pick up the pieces.

Athletic Director Steve Cottingham addressed the media at the Al McGuire Center on Wednesday and discussed the direction the program was headed. Cottingham, who has been on the job for only 18 months, has been thrown into the fire in search of a head coach. Although he has been part of Marquette for over ten years, Cottingham finds himself in a tough spot.

Sorting through the emails and voicemails while running on little sleep has been rough for the new AD, but he's ready for the challenge. He's not excited, but definitely prepared. The good news is, he will have some help in the decision making process.

"There will be a group of people that will make a management decision on who the next coach is," Cottingham said.

Bill Cords, the AD when Tom Crean was hired in 1999, may be a part of this decision. Cords, 66, was traveling with the Women's team in Denver this week.

"Bill has a wealth of knowledge and loves Marquette and will offer advice if needed," Cottingham said.

The past 24 hours had been hectic for Cottingham, but he has already begun the search process. "We've already begun the search. We're out there aggressively. We've built a great tradition, we've built a great foundation, and we're looking to hire the right person."

So who is on their list? Cottingham said that a short list had already been compiled, and that they have contacted many coaches. He wouldn't speculate as to whom, but members of the media had some ideas. Buzz Williams was mentioned as an in-house option, as was Xavier's Sean Miller.

But Cottingham made it clear that the decision doesn't have a timeframe, saying that what Indiana did was different than what MU wanted to do.

"The timetable is as long as it takes to get the right person," Cottingham said. "So we're not going to go by a particular clock."

At the press conference we felt as if Marquette was going after a top tier guy. Cottingham kept mentioning how great of a job this is. He listed the Big East, the Al, the Bradley Center and great fans and alumni as reasons for how good the job is. Therefore, the expectations are high.

"I think what we expect in terms of the team's success is to look where we are and look beyond that. We have a great, young group of athletes…and we have a great program. It's still a great program today and we fully expect that we're going to catch our breath today, tomorrow, and for a few days, and then move forward. We're in the best conference in the country…and you look about how we've competed the last three years, and we have every expectation that we are going to get the person we are looking for."

Players were also vocal in what they were looking for in a coach. Sophomore Lazar Hayward said that it's "not his choice" as to who becomes the next coach, but he "wouldn't mind a say in it."

Junior guard Dominic James said that he was looking forward to a coach that complimented the program. He also said "there are a lot of things bigger than basketball, and I know the university will bring in a high character guy that will represent Marquette well."

James' other message to the new coach: "Let us loose! Let us do what we do best, and we'll be very successful."

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