Arkansas says it's made an offer, but to whom?

Updated: March 28, 2007, 11:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles says he's offered the Razorbacks' basketball coaching job to someone, but he wouldn't say to whom.

"We could have a quick announcement," Broyles told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Wednesday. "Or it could fall through. I've offered the job, and we're waiting to hear."

Speculation has centered on Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie, who took the Aggies to the Sweet 16 this year. Arkansas fired Stan Heath on Monday, and attention immediately turned to Gillispie. At the time of Heath's firing, his staff was told Arkansas intended to pursue Gillispie and Kansas coach Bill Self, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

But a source close to Gillispie said Broyles had yet to speak to Gillispie as of Tuesday afternoon. Sources close to Gillispie say he is waiting to see if a contract raise and extension are approved by the board of regents Thursday before proclaiming himself a candidate at Arkansas.

Stanley Reed, chairman of the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, confirmed that Gillispie is a candidate, but said he's not the only one.

"As far as I know, he's definitely a candidate," Reed told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "But there are some others out there."

"I know we've tried to make contact with him," Reed said. "We're kind of waiting on him to call us back."

Gillispie, 47, took the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament's third round this year. He has been at Texas A&M for three seasons, going 70-26 with a team that was 7-21 the season before he arrived.

Gillispie also coached at Texas-El Paso from 2002-04, going 6-24 in 2002-03 and 24-8 the following season.

The Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site Wednesday that Gillispie will stay at Texas A&M, citing three unidentified officials close to the A&M system. The Chronicle reported that Gillispie had not officially accepted a new contract from A&M, but that regents and athletic officials were confident.

Eddie Davis, interim president of A&M, said he had talked Wednesday morning with Gillispie.

"He told me that as far as he's concerned, he's the coach at Texas A&M," Davis told the Bryan-College Station Eagle. "That's the end of the story for me."

Texas A&M spokesman Alan Cannon said athletic director Bill Byrne had no comment on Gillispie and Arkansas.

Houston television station KRIV reported that Gillispie called Aggies signee Nathan Walkup on Tuesday night to assure him he wasn't leaving to take the Arkansas job.

Broyles said he has not talked to any coaches, but that "the one I'm trying to get knows I want him to have the job."

Reed said he believes money would not stand in the way of attracting a new coach.

"I think that's pretty well the consensus of the leadership," he said.

Heath led Kent State to the round of eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2002, then took over at Arkansas that offseason after Nolan Richardson was fired. The Razorbacks missed the tournament in Heath's first three seasons but made it in 2006 and 2007, only to lose in the first round both years, to Bucknell last year and Southern California this year.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE