Winthrop head coach weighing job options
As of Wednesday afternoon, Winthrop's Gregg Marshall was deciding if he should go to South Florida for more talks regarding taking the Bulls job or stay put and negotiate a hefty pay raise and a long-term deal, a source close to the coach told ESPN.com.
South Florida athletic director Doug Woolard went to Marshall's home in Rock Hill, S.C., on Tuesday night for talks. Marshall was tentatively scheduled to go to Tampa on Wednesday night, but a decision hadn't been made as of the afternoon.
If Marshall doesn't go on the trip, expect him to sign a new deal with the Eagles that could pay him close to $400,000, up from his current $270,000 salary. He is also expected to get a fresh 10 years, after signing a similar deal a few years ago.
Marshall has eight years remaining on his current contract. A year ago, he accepted the College of Charleston job, went through the news conference, only to go back to Winthrop after thinking about his decision on the way back to Rock Hill, S.C.
But Marshall isn't against staying put. He led the Eagles to their first-ever NCAA Tournament win last week over Notre Dame. The win, which drew national attention, could open up better scheduling, television games, higher-profile neutral-site nonconference games or pre-conference tournaments.
The Eagles received a Big South-record 11th seed in the tournament, and Marshall led Winthrop to the NCAAs seven times in his nine years at the school.
The Eagles lose seniors Torrell Martin, Craig Bradshaw and Phillip Williams -- its second to fourth leading scorers. But top scorer, guard Michael Jenkins, returns as would a core of juniors who all averaged more than five points a game in Taj McCullough, Chris Gaynor and Antwon Harris. Underclassmen Mantoris Robinson and De'Andre Adams, who both played in over 30 games for the 29-5 Eagles, also return.
Winthrop (14-0 in the Big South) was one of only two teams that went through its conference undefeated (Memphis was the other).
South Florida is looking for a replacement for Robert McCullum. If Marshall turns down the Bulls, ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla -- who has Big East experience coaching at St. John's -- will be a viable player in the search. A source said he has already talked to Woolard.
Woolard has also talked to South Alabama's John Pelphrey. There was strong interest in Virginia Commonwealth head coach Anthony Grant, a former Florida assistant who once interviewed for the job, but Grant is staying with the Rams. George Washington's Karl Hobbs may also be in play if Marshall decides against pursuing the job.