The Search Begins


POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 9:10pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 10:36pm

Bob Stull is on a mission.

A mission aboard a private jet that will criss-cross the country and may return to El Paso with UTEP's new head basketball coach.

Stull, on a jet donated by an  El Paso business, began his trip on Friday with a quick flight to Austin where it is believed he interviewed  Rodney Terry, an assistant basketball coach at The University Of Texas who also interviewed at Central Florida.

The plane ride could continue on to Houston where Stull could find both Tim Floyd and Billy Gillispie. In fact, UTEP may be in a race with the University of Houston to see which school can make the first hire.

University of Houston Athletic Director, Mack Rhoades, interviewed both Gillispie and Floyd on Friday and will reportedly offer the Cougar head coaching job to one of them.

All three have El Paso connections.

Rhoades was an assistant to Bob Stull. Floyd was an assistant to Don Haskins. Gillispie spent two years as UTEP's head coach.

It's thought Floyd is UTEP's top choice but after spending the last 20 years coaching in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New Orleans, Floyd's family might prefer a larger city than El Paso.

Gillispie left UTEP for Texas A&M, then spent two years at Kentucky before being fired. His resume is clouded with a DUI conviction last year that has been problematic among UTEP's upper level administration.

There have been no shortage of candidates.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari called Stull to recommend Orlando Antigua who has been an assistant coach for Calipari at both Memphis and Kentucky.

Antigua is from the Dominican Republic, was reared in New York City and went to Pittsburgh where he was both a player and assistant coach.

One coach who will not return to El Paso aboard Stull's private jet is Bob Marlin.  After 12 years at Sam Houston St., Marlin accepted the head coaching job at Louisiana Lafayette on Friday. Marlin had interviewed at both Auburn and Houston and was a finalist for the UTEP job when the Miners hired Tony Barbee in 2006.

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