Gonzaga's Rice withdraws from Idaho search

Updated: March 15, 2006, 2:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Idaho is still looking for a basketball coach to replace Leonard Perry.

Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice, who appeared to be the front-runner for the vacant job, told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that he had withdrawn his name from the search Wednesday.

Idaho athletic director Rob Spear had a lengthy interview with Rice on Saturday.

Idaho's schedule to announce a new hire will depend on how long some teams survive in the NCAA basketball tournament, Spear said

The Idaho job became vacant when Perry was fired Thursday with two years remaining on his contract after the Vandals lost to No. 21 Nevada 68-55 in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament, finishing the season 4-25. Perry's record in five years at Idaho was 48-97.

Other possible candidates are thought to be Washington assistant coach Cameron Dollar and former Eastern Washington and Loyola Marymount head coach Steve Aggers.

Gonzaga has had a remarkably stable coaching corps. After Dan Monson led the Bulldogs to the Elite Eight, he left for Minnesota in 1999 and Mark Few was promoted to the job. Few has spent a total of 17 years at Gonzaga.

Assistant Bill Grier, who has a commitment to replace Few if the head coach leaves, is in his 15th year with the Zags.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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