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Alabama A&M continues search for men's basketball coach (3579 hits)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -Alabama A&M could have a new men's basketball coach by the end of next week, a source close to the search committee told The Times Tuesday.

School officials, who were slowed by the recent tornado outbreak, are expected to conduct phone interviews with potential candidates today and Thursday. Based upon the phone interviews, the finalists will be brought on campus next week for additional interviews.

Two potential candidates [- former Butler High coach Jack Doss and Eugene Harris, who most recently served as the head coach at Florida A&M and has also coached at Auburn, Alabama and South Alabama [- told The Times Tuesday afternoon they had not been contacted for phone interviews. John Douglas, who led Calhoun Community College to the junior college national championship game in 2001, applied for the job, but said he hadn't been contacted. Douglas, the former coach at Fort Valley State, also served as head coach at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla. and Lawson State Community College in Birmingham. He is the brother of Tuskegee coach and former Alabama star Leon Douglas.

Nobody has called me," Doss said. "I hope they do. I'm very interested in the job."

Doss has said if he couldn't win a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in three years that he would resign. Harris, a Scottsboro native, said he hadn't been contacted throughout the process.

"I guess they're not interested," Harris said.

The source said former South Carolina State and Tennessee State coach Cy Alexander, former University of Colorado and Northern Illinois coach Ricardo Patton and Stillman College coach Grant Grant are among the favorites.

Alexander, who has 24 years of head coaching experience, has compiled a career record of 344-306, with most of those wins coming during his 16 seasons at South Carolina State, where he compiled a 272-202 mark.

During his tenure with the Bulldogs, Alexander posted five 20-plus win seasons and led the program to five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships and five NCAA tournament appearances. South Carolina State finished first or second in the MEAC in all but one of his final 12 seasons. The Bulldogs were named the American Sports Wire Black College national champions three times.

Alexander wasn't nearly as successful at Tennessee State, posting a 67-101 mark in his six seasons. He spent the last two years as associate head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Patton was fired back in March from Northern Illinois after compiling a 35-83 record in four seasons, including a 19-44 record in the Mid-American Conference. Before that, he went 184-160 in 11 years at Colorado. He took the Buffaloes to the NCAA Tournament twice.

Grant, who has been a head coach for 12 years, has rebuilt programs at Central State (Ohio), Southern and Stillman.

By his third season at Central State and Stillman, Grant posted 20-win seasons after taking over lackluster programs, and the year after he was fired at Southern, the Jaguars went on to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

During his three seasons at Stillman, a Division II program in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Grant, who is 201-164 as a head coach, has gone 7-20, 18-11 and 24-8. The 24 wins are the most in school history. The Tigers nearly upset UAH in the NCAA Division II South Regional final back in March at Spragins Hall.

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Sunday, May 22nd 2011 at 5:46AM
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