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Monday, May 5
Updated: May 7, 1:10 PM ET
Buyout in hand, Eustachy vows to coach again

ESPN.com news services

Larry Eustachy insisted he would never resign as basketball coach at Iowa State.

Monday, May 5
Once Iowa State begins its search for a new men's basketball coach, expect the Cyclones to go after Creighton's Dana Altman quickly and quietly if it wants the obvious first choice. Altman can't afford to dance around with the Cyclones after interviewing at Georgia and Illinois. Creighton is one of the best mid-major jobs in the country and with a new facility opening in the fall, the Bluejays have plenty to sell in keeping Altman in Nebraska. But he is the perfect fit for the Cyclones. He has recruited Iowa exceptionally well (see: Kyle Korver) and has already had one stint in the Big 12 at Kansas State. Altman is a man of high character and would make the natives rest comfortably at night. No one would fear that he would fraternize with co-eds. If the Cyclones drag their feet on this, they'll likely turn their attention to Wyoming's Steve McClain. McClain is an Iowa native, who had a brief stint at Texas A&M as an assistant following a reign with Billy Tubbs at TCU. Iowa State has to act quickly. This isn't a job that's so attractive that coaches will wait into June to hear from the Cyclones.

On Monday, he and the school agreed to sever ties and avoid a costly, drawn-out legal fight.

Eustachy resigned one week after the publication of embarrassing photos of him drinking and partying with students.

The 47-year-old vowed that he would coach again. It certainly won't be at Iowa State, where he had won 101 games in five seasons and became Iowa's highest paid state employee. He had eight years remaining on a 10-year deal, and received about $1.1 million a year.

"Make no mistake about it, we need to end this thing. We need to end it here," said Eustachy, who spoke briefly with reporters outside his home Monday night. "I've created this situation and I'm holding myself totally accountable, and we move on."

Eustachy acknowledged last Wednesday that he was an alcoholic seeking treatment, the same day the school suspended him with pay and athletic director Bruce Van De Velde recommended he be fired.

The deal between Eustachy and Iowa State gives the coach $110,000 for the remainder of 2003 and a lump sum of $850,000 on Jan. 1, 2004.

"This has been a trying time for Iowa State University," said Dr. Greg Geoffroy, university president. "By resolving this situation today, we will continue to move forward by providing students with the best education possible.

"We are first and foremost an educational institution, one that values integrity, honesty and treating others with fairness and respect. This decision is in the best interests of the university, Mr. Eustachy and the entire Iowa State University family," he said.

Eustachy said he concluded over the weekend that it would be best to accept the settlement, resign and move on.

The monetary settlement "resolves all matters," said Steve Zumbach, the university's attorney.

"This matter needed to be brought to a close. If allowed to continue, that damage would have been irreparable," Zumbach said.

Zumbach said it has been one of the most divisive issues that has confronted the university during his 35-year tenure.

As part of the settlement, Eustachy will receive the university's health benefits over the next year. Those benefits include coverage for treatment of alcoholism, Zumbach said.

Geoffroy said he supported Van De Velde throughout the week.

Eustachy, appearing Monday night on ESPN Radio's Gamenight, vowed to stay sober.

"I know that when you're an alcoholic, your life is dictated by that, you become very selfish, and I want to become unselfish and get myself together right," he said. "That's my first priority along with my family right now. All I can say is that I hope I get that second chance in coaching after taking care of this day by day."

A handful of basketball players rallied on the campus in support of Eustachy, while some boosters said they were upset with Van De Velde's recommendation.

Eustachy urged his players to stay.

"I expect my players to put any divisiveness behind them and work together to become the individuals and team I know they can be," he said.

"As for the players that my staff and I recruited, I hope they understand Iowa State will continue its high level of commitment to the basketball program and they will be lucky to be members of this team."

Point guard Tim Barnes and center Andrew Skoglund said they are committed to staying with the Cyclones next season.

"This is my team. As the point guard, I'm just going to take over and get this thing back on the right track," Barnes said.

Sources have told ESPN.com that Creighton's Dana Altman will be Iowa State's top target to replace Eustachy. Altman has recruited Iowa exceptionally well (see: Kyle Korver) and has already had one stint in the Big 12 at Kansas State.

Sources have also told ESPN.com that Lon Kruger, the former Florida, Illinois and Kansas State coach, has been contacted by intermediaries at Iowa State but is not interested in the job.

Kruger is seeking opportunities as an NBA assistant -- his last job was as coach of the Atlanta Hawks -- and sources said he doesn't want to jeopardize Dana Altman's chances of being hired by the Cyclones. Altman was an assistant at Kansas State under Kruger.

"Larry Eustachy has been one of the best coaches in college basketball for the last 10 years," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson told ESPN.com on Monday. "He made a grave mistake and it cost him his job. Him coming out and bearing his soul and admitting that he made a mistake did three things: It saved his life, saved his marriage and saved his family, and that's more important.

"He's going to resurface a year from now and some lucky college administrator is going to get one heck of a college basketball coach," Sampson said. "He's a good man. People don't know Larry. He donated thousands of dollars to the university. He's being portrayed one way, through one picture and as an alcoholic."

Monday was the last of five days Eustachy had to appeal Van De Velde's decision.

Van De Velde declined to comment on the settlement.

At Iowa State, Eustachy won Big 12 championships in 2000 and 2001. He was Big 12 Coach of the Year in both those seasons and was AP Coach of the Year in 2000. He also spent three seasons as head coach at Idaho and five at Utah State. His career record over 13 seasons is 260-145.

His news conference Wednesday was his first public appearance since the publication of photographs showing Eustachy partying at an apartment in Columbia, Mo., after Iowa State's Jan. 21 loss.

President Geoffroy is not the problem. Bruce Van De Velde is not the problem. I've created this situation and I'm holding myself totally accountable, and we move on.
Larry Eustachy

The photos, printed in The Des Moines Register, were taken by a University of Missouri student. The photos show Eustachy holding a can of beer, kissing young women on the cheek and being kissed by them.

Students who attended the party told the newspaper that Eustachy drank beer, became belligerent with a partygoer who objected to his presence, and made disparaging remarks about his team.

Iowa State assistants Bob Sundvold and Wayne Morgan were told that their contracts would be honored until they expire on July 1, ESPN.com has learned. Sundvold is close to Altman and could remain on Iowa State's staff if Altman is hired to replace Eustachy.

Morgan could have leverage as well since the one-time Syracuse assistant was instrumental in signing three Massachusetts prep school players -- guards Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson and forward Reggie George -- for next season.

Eustachy's top assistant, Steve Barnes, was suspended the day after his boss. Barnes was accused of telling a player and his family to help Eustachy fight for his job and to "go after the people that got us." Barnes denied making such a remark.

Another assistant coach, Randy Brown, resigned earlier this year after he was charged with possession of child pornography.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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