Source: UIC narrows coach search
Illinois-Chicago is expected to name its replacement for the retired Jimmy Collins by Aug. 24, a Flames source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.
The source said UIC athletic director James Schmidt has narrowed his choices to five candidates: Wisconsin assistant Howard Moore, Michigan State assistant Mark Montgomery, Memphis assistant and former Rice head coach Willis Wilson, Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor and New Orleans head coach Joe Pasternack.
Pasternack's Privateers are transitioning out of Division I. Moore, who is from the Chicago area and has strong Illinois ties, heads into the final week as one of the favorites. Wilson has been instrumental in helping Josh Pastner transition into a head coach at Memphis. Taylor has worked for Rick Pitino at Louisville and Tubby Smith at Minnesota with a stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves as well. Montgomery has been a longtime assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, where Izzo's assistants have gone on to a number of Division I head coaching jobs.
The source confirmed that Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard withdrew from consideration.
Former South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler was a consultant on the search.
UIC has long been considered one of the top programs in the Horizon League -- behind Butler of course -- due to local players and a facility that is well regarded in the league in the UIC Pavilion.
Schmidt had Collins' assistants on the road in July to maintain a recruiting presence.
The timing of the hire could be interesting if a school loses a top assistant. Izzo, Pastner, Wisconsin's Bo Ryan and Smith all value the input of assistants and losing a top one this close to the season and just prior to recruiting visits in September could hurt.
Senior writer Andy Katz covers college basketball for ESPN.com.