Horn, Willard top list

Joe Lord

The quest to fill the men’s basketball head coaching vacancy is down to Marquette assistant Darrin Horn and Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard, according to an unnamed source.

Two other candidates are also being considered.

The favorites have strong ties to Western; Willard as the former head coach and Horn as a player.

President Gary Ransdell said at 11 last night that a decision had not been reached. Ransdell and Athletic Director Wood Selig met last night to discuss the vacant coaching job.

The four prospects came to Bowling Green this weekend and interviewed at his home on Chestnut Street, Ransdell said. They were also given tours of the newly renovated Diddle Arena.

Ransdell would not identify the candidates.

According to the source, Willard, Horn, Texas assistant coach Frank Haith and Western assistant coach Pete Herrmann were interviewed.

Selig would also not confirm that list. Neither Selig nor Ransdell denied the four were candidates.

“We have four outstanding candidates and every one of them, to our pleasure, did a terrific job in the interview,” Ransdell said.

He said as many as 40 qualified prospects have asked about or been contacted by university officials about the coaching job since Thursday.

The new coach will replace Dennis Felton, who accepted the head coaching position at Georgia on Wednesday evening.

Western’s next coach could be decided on by today, Ransdell said. He deflected rumors yesterday afternoon that Willard was their choice.

“Somebody is speculating, at best,” Ransdell said.

Holy Cross Athletic Director Richard Regan gave Western permission to interview Willard on Saturday, said Larry Napolitano, the school’s sports information director.

Willard left Western for Pittsburgh in 1994, but resigned five years later. His record with the Panthers was 63-82. He’s been with the Crusaders since, taking them to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Before coming to the Hill, Willard coached under Louisville head coach Rick Pitino with the New York Knicks and later at Kentucky.

Horn played for Western from 1992 to 1995. A Lexington native, Horn has spent a total of four years with Marquette head coach Tom Crean, a former Western assistant and son-in-law of former head football coach Jack Harbaugh.

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