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Floyd interested in returning to college coaching

By Andy Katz

Former Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd has three decisions to make over the next week, whether to accept an offer from Clemson, a likely offer from Penn State or wait for another position to open that could be a better fit with the chance that he could take his second straight year off from coaching, sources told

Floyd visited both Clemson and Penn State within the past week and sources told that he wouldn't have traveled to either school unless he wasn't the top choice. Clemson did offer him the job, according to sources.

Sources said Floyd would rather get back into college coaching instead of pursuing another NBA job. Floyd was a successful college coach at Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State before going to the Bulls. Sources said money won't be a determining factor and that he doesn't need to command a million-dollar salary to match the NBA-type money he was earning with the Bulls.

Sources said that Floyd wouldn't drag the process on and hold up the job searches for both schools. Clemson is trying to replace Larry Shyatt, who resigned, while Penn State is pursuing a coach to replace Jerry Dunn, who resigned, as well.

Clemson has already interviewed Oklahoma State assistant Sean Sutton and is expected to talk to Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson. Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips used to be the athletic director at Oklahoma State. Sutton is more likely to look at Murray State's opening if he were to leave his father's staff with the Cowboys. Sean Sutton has always been the favorite to succeed his father, whenever he retires.

If the Tigers don't go with Floyd, then Dickerson could become the leading candidate. The school needs to go with a coach who has ACC ties and is deep-rooted in recruiting in the mid-Atlantic and South. The school hasn't hired an African-American head coach in either high-profile sport -- football or men's basketball. Sources said Clemson couldn't go wrong with hiring Floyd or Dickerson, based on their respective leads in the South. Floyd obviously has a track record as a head coach, but Dickerson is extremely familiar with the league. Dayton's Oliver Purnell has also been rumored to be a candidate.

Meanwhile, if Floyd doesn't take the Penn State job then the Nittany Lions still have a strong pool of candidates and sources said the school is looking extremely hard at Penn's Fran Dunphy. The school wants to get into the Philadelphia area and luring Dunphy away from the Quakers would be a coup.

Sources said any talk of Chattanooga's Jeff Lebo to Penn State has cooled. Interest is there from East Tennessee State's Ed DeChellis, former UCLA coach Steve Lavin and possibly Western Kentucky's Dennis Felton. Assistants in the Big Ten, like Michigan State's Brian Gregory, would also give the school a serious look if Penn State expressed interest. The list would likely grow if Floyd and Dunphy weren't available to the school.

There has been no contact with Penn State and Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli. Providence's Tim Welsh isn't interested in leaving his school for Penn State or anywhere else this offseason. Both were rumored to be candidates at one point.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at

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