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Name game perking along

By Denny O'Brien
All Rights Reserved.

As the search for East Carolina’s next basketball coach continues, athletics director Terry Holland has been working his rolodex. He even used it to get in touch with a coaching legend.

Former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight was contacted by Holland to gauge his interest in the East Carolina opening. Knight, who is currently a television analyst with ESPN, will not pursue the post.

This occurred a week after Holland had conversations with current Kansas assistant Joe Dooley about the position. Dooley, the ECU head coach from 1995-99, showed some initial interest in returning to Greenville but eventually chose to stay at Kansas.

The Jayhawks are the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and are seeking their second national title in three years.

One coach with a lengthy track record interested in the ECU opening is former UNC-Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz, who was fired by the school two days ago after a 19-12 record. Lutz, who had a 218-158 overall record at Charlotte, interviewed with Holland on Tuesday according to several sources.

Also known to have interviewed for the job is current ECU assistant Michael Perry, who just completed his third year on the Pirates’ staff. Perry previously served five seasons as the head coach at Georgia State, where he guided the Panthers to the Big Dance in 2001.

Georgia State upset Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament that year.

Another possible, but unconfirmed candidate, is recently fired Auburn coach Jeff Lebo. He has a 211-156 overall record and has indicated a strong interest in the job according to sources.

Lebo is a former North Carolina guard. He went on to become head coach at Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Chattanooga before taking over at Auburn in 2004.

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03/17/2010 03:45 AM

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