Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moore to Quinnipiac

University of Connecticut associate head men’s basketball coach Tom Moore met with Quinnipiac University officials Tuesday regarding the school’s head coaching position. Sources said Moore accepted the job later in the day.

After a weeklong hard sell, it appears Quinnipiac has gotten the man it coveted to be the next men’s basketball coach. Moore, who the school settled on last week after a nationwide search, will be announced as the new head coach at a Thursday press conference.

Moore, as reported Sunday in the Register, had moved to the top of Quinnipiac’s list when Vermont coach Mike Lonergan signed a new contract with the Catamounts.

Moore was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Moore had a preliminary interview with Quinnipiac officials Thursday. Proposed terms of Moore’s contract were not disclosed, but sources said the deal could be $300,000 a season for six years.

This is Moore’s first Division I head coaching job after interviewing for at least seven other positions during his 13-year tenure at UConn. The 41-year-old coach headed Division III Worcester (Mass.) State for five years before arriving in Storrs for the 1994-95 season. He also interviewed for the vacant St. Bonaventure position Friday outside New York City. At UConn, he was promoted to the position of associate head coach during the fall of 2005 and has been the Huskies’ top recruiter for the last six seasons. He was an integral part in securing players for the 2004 national championship team.

Moore would be the school’s fifth head men’s basketball coach and replaces Joe DeSantis, who led the Bobcats for 11 seasons before he was fired March 7. Moore would inherit a program which began play this season in the $52 million, 3,500-seat TD Banknorth Sports Center and finished 14-15 overall and 11-7 in the Northeast Conference.

So far, there have been 36 Division I head men’s basketball coaching vacancies since the regular season ended with 18 filled, most notably Tubby Smith at Minnesota and Steve Alford at New Mexico.

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