DALLAS -- SMU was close Monday to hiring former national
coach of the year Matt Doherty to try reviving a men's basketball
program that's gone 13 years without appearing in the NCAA
The school's 18-member search committee, run by incoming
athletic director Steve Orsini and retiring AD Jim Copeland, was
meeting late Monday morning to finalize the move, according to a
school official who wished to remain anonymous because the vote had
yet to be taken.
The vote was probably only a procedural move, with Orsini
already scheduling a 2:30 p.m. news conference.
Doherty, coming off a 15-13 season at Florida Atlantic, would
replace Jimmy Tubbs, who was fired April 6 after two losing seasons
and an internal investigation that uncovered NCAA violations.
Doherty's current athletic director at Florida Atlantic told The
Palm Beach Post that a deal with SMU was close.
"I got the impression the terms were coming together for them,
but I don't know for sure,'' Craig Angelos said.
Various media reports had Doherty already accepting the offer.
Doherty, who won a national championship as a player for North
Carolina, broke into coaching with Notre Dame in 1999-2000. He took
over the Tar Heels the next season and earned the coach of the year
award from The Associated Press for going 26-7 and winning a share
of the regular-season ACC title.
North Carolina missed the NCAA field the next two years, and
Doherty resigned under pressure in April 2003. He worked as a
television analyst for two years, then spent this past season at
Doherty's high profile should be a boost for SMU, which hasn't
made the NCAA tournament since 1993.
Tubbs spent 12 years as an SMU assistant, then two at Oklahoma
and was a popular pick when he was hired. His teams went 27-30,
including 13-16 this past season, but school officials said the
NCAA violations were the main reason he was fired.