LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles says
he's offered the Razorbacks' basketball coaching job to someone, but he wouldn't say to whom.
"We could have a quick announcement," Broyles told the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Wednesday. "Or it could fall through. I've offered
the job, and we're waiting to hear."
Speculation has centered on Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie, who
took the Aggies to the Sweet 16 this year. Arkansas fired Stan
Heath on Monday, and attention immediately turned to Gillispie. At the time of Heath's firing, his staff was told Arkansas intended to pursue Gillispie and Kansas coach Bill Self, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
But a source close to Gillispie said Broyles had yet to speak to Gillispie as of Tuesday afternoon. Sources close to Gillispie say he is waiting to see if a contract raise and extension are approved by the board of regents Thursday before proclaiming himself a candidate at Arkansas.
Stanley Reed, chairman of the University of Arkansas System
Board of Trustees, confirmed that Gillispie is a candidate, but
said he's not the only one.
"As far as I know, he's definitely a candidate," Reed told The
Associated Press on Wednesday. "But there are some others out there."
"I know we've tried to make contact with him," Reed said.
"We're kind of waiting on him to call us back."
Gillispie, 47, took the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament's third
round this year. He has been at Texas A&M for three seasons, going
70-26 with a team that was 7-21 the season before he arrived.
Gillispie also coached at Texas-El Paso from 2002-04, going 6-24
in 2002-03 and 24-8 the following season.
The Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site Wednesday that
Gillispie will stay at Texas A&M, citing three unidentified
officials close to the A&M system. The Chronicle reported that
Gillispie had not officially accepted a new contract from A&M, but
that regents and athletic officials were confident.
Eddie Davis, interim president of A&M, said he had talked
Wednesday morning with Gillispie.
"He told me that as far as he's concerned, he's the coach at
Texas A&M," Davis told the Bryan-College Station Eagle. "That's
the end of the story for me."
Texas A&M spokesman Alan Cannon said athletic director Bill
Byrne had no comment on Gillispie and Arkansas.
Houston television station KRIV reported that Gillispie called
Aggies signee Nathan Walkup on Tuesday night to assure him he
wasn't leaving to take the Arkansas job.
Broyles said he has not talked to any coaches, but that "the
one I'm trying to get knows I want him to have the job."
Reed said he believes money would not stand in the way of
attracting a new coach.
"I think that's pretty well the consensus of the leadership,"
Heath led Kent State to the round of eight in the NCAA
Tournament in 2002, then took over at Arkansas that offseason after
Nolan Richardson was fired. The Razorbacks missed the tournament in
Heath's first three seasons but made it in 2006 and 2007, only to
lose in the first round both years, to Bucknell last year and
Southern California this year.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.