DENVER -- The Air Force Falcons and Colorado Buffaloes are
eager to know whether Jeff Bzdelik is going to be roaming their
sidelines next season.
Bzdelik, who is 50-16 in two seasons at the academy, is being
courted by Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn to revitalize the
Buffaloes' program. Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh has said
he'll do everything in his power to keep Bzdelik from bolting to
Neither AD returned phone calls from The Associated Press on
Late Tuesday night, Colorado announced a news conference for
Wednesday to introduce their new coach, but did not elaborate.
The Rocky Mountain News and Colorado Springs Gazette, citing
sources it didn't name, reported Tuesday afternoon that Bzdelik had
agreed to the Buffaloes' offer.
The Denver Post reported on its Web site that Bzdelik told Air
Force players at a 5 p.m. meeting he was still undecided about his
future, according to several players who attended the meeting.
"Jeff Bzdelik is still the head coach at the Air Force
Academy," said Troy Garnhart, the Falcons' sports information
Garnhart said Meuh has spent several days trying to talk Bzdelik
"He's not told us he's leaving Air Force. We're still talking
with him and have been numerous times today. We very much want him
to stay as our head coach," Garnhart said. "If that changes, I
guess it's up to Colorado to announce something."
Bzdelik is believed to be the only coaching candidate to visit
the Boulder campus during Bohn's nearly six-month search to replace
Ricardo Patton, who took over at Northern Illinois after closing
out his CU career with a 7-20 record during which the Buffs failed
to win consecutive games for the first time since 1971-72.
Bzdelik, whose name has been linked to the Buffaloes job from
the moment Patton announced his resignation, effective at season's
end, on Oct. 25, toured the CU campus on Monday and met with Bohn,
Chancellor Bud Peterson, football coach Dan Hawkins and members of
the basketball coach search committee.
He also met with some of the basketball team's returning
players, a sign some of them took to mean he'll soon be hired.
Tom McGrath, CU's assistant to the athletic director, issued a
statement saying "the process went well and we hope to have an
The Boulder Daily Camera reported that some big boosters
received voice mail messages from the school Monday night inviting
them to a gathering Tuesday night where they could meet the new
basketball coach. The voice mails did not identify who the coach
David Plati, Colorado's sports information director, said there
was an e-mail that went out to private donors discussing the
possibility of a get-together should a new coach be in place but
that he had just spoken with his athletic director Tuesday
afternoon and "as of now, we don't have a new coach."
If Bzdelik takes the Colorado job, Air Force would find itself
searching for a coach for the third time in four years.
Bzdelik presumably would be offered about $800,000 a year over
five years. His salary at Air Force was $315,000 and his total
compensation was about $450,000. Patton earned $750,000 last
season, his 11th at the school.
Bzdelik led Air Force to the NIT semifinals last week, losing to
Clemson to finish 26-9. The 26 wins were a school record. The
Falcons went 24-7 in his first season at Air Force, the best mark
in the 50-year history of the program. They lost to Illinois in the
first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Before Air Force, Bzdelik, 54, spent 2½ seasons as coach of the
Denver Nuggets after serving as an assistant at Miami and
Washington and as a scout for Denver and the New York Knicks.
He and his wife have a son and daughter in high school in the
Denver area, and one reason he took the Air Force job was because
he wouldn't have to uproot his family.