Another big name has surfaced in connection with Arkansas' coaching search: John Calipari. However, don't count on the Memphis coach becoming the newest big-name coach in the SEC.
Calipari told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that he won't be leaving Memphis for Arkansas.
"I was never offered the position. We did talk but it was about candidates," he told ESPN.com.
Arkansas has been granted permission to talk to the Memphis coach about replacing Stan Heath, who was fired Monday.
Arkansas had been eyeing Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie, but A&M announced Friday it had agreed with Gillispie on a new contract.
Razorbacks athletic director Frank Broyles went to Atlanta for the Final Four -- but he wasn't there to watch the games. In fact, Broyles was back in Arkansas on Saturday afternoon around the time the first semifinal began.
The school would not comment on who it has contacted about the job, but Broyles released a statement Saturday night:
"We had a productive trip to Atlanta. It's clear that many talented and proven head coaches are intrigued by our coaching vacancy," he said. "We are continuing along in the process, and we are hopeful to fill the position soon."
Calipari told the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper that he met with
Broyles simply to offer advice on the Razorbacks' search.
"I've had a relationship with Frank Broyles going back to my
UMass days," Calipari said.
The conventional wisdom is that the Razorbacks are looking for a big-name coach who has had several years of success. Whether that's a realistic goal remains to be seen. Heath was hired after taking Kent State to the round of eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2002, but that was his first season as a head coach.
Calipari has compiled an impressive record at both Memphis and Massachusetts -- in between, he coached the New Jersey Nets. He is 181-63 in seven seasons at Memphis, including trips to the round of eight the last two seasons. He also took Massachusetts to the 1996 Final Four.
Calipari is 374-134 in 15 years as a college coach. Memphis announced Monday that Calipari and athletic director R.C. Johnson had agreed in principle on a contract extension through 2012.
Several other coaches have been subjects of speculation in
Arkansas, including Creighton's Dana Altman and former Stanford and
Golden State Warriors coach Mike Montgomery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.