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Hart hits campus, continues search

NCAA UMBC Kansas St Basketball
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UMBC head coach Ryan Odom talks to his players during a timeout against Kansas State during the NCAA college basketball tournament in Charlotte. Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)


The Daily Reflector

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dave Hart was on East Carolina’s campus Monday in his new role as special athletics advisor for the Pirates.

According to sources, Hart met with various personnel in athletics as he continued to keep a big focus on the Pirates’ basketball coaching vacancy. The former athletics director at ECU, Florida State and Tennessee was announced late last week as an athletics advisor to ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton.

Candidates who have have been linked to the ECU job and likely still are in the mix include Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley, Maryland-Baltimore County head coach Ryan Odom, former Charlotte head coach and N.C. State assistant Bobby Lutz and Tennessee associate head coach Rob Lanier.

Odom and UMBC just made history in the NCAA tournament with a 74-54 upset of Virginia for the first-ever NCAA win by a No. 16 seed over a No. 1. The Retrievers were ousted by Kansas State on Sunday night, and ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Monday that UMBC athletics director Tim Hall wants to meet with Odom about discussing a new contract that will include a salary increase.

“I think at some point Ryan wants to do it on a bigger stage,” Hall told Goodman. “I’m just hoping it's down the road instead of now. … We're going to do everything in our power to incentivize him to stay here.”

Odom, 43, is paid an annual base salary of $230,000 under his current contract. He is the son of Dave Odom, who was a successful coach at ECU, Wake Forest and South Carolina before retiring in 2008 and has a 46-24 record in two seasons at UMBC.

The Daily Reflector already reported there has been mutual interest between East Carolina and Dooley since the Pirates’ season ended under interim coach Michael Perry in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on March 8.

Dooley posted a 57-52 mark at East Carolina from 1995-99, which still stands as the best Division I winning percentage (.523) by a coach at ECU. Dave Odom is second on that list, going 40-40 from 1979-82.

Monday also saw one in-state vacancy filled, according to 247Sports.com, with Virginia associate head coach Ron Sanchez reportedly set to lead the Charlotte 49ers.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


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