Goestenkors not expected to make quick job decision

Updated: March 29, 2007, 7:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUSTIN, Texas -- The eyes of Texas and Duke are upon Blue Devils women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors, who interviewed Wednesday for the Longhorns' opening.

Gail Goestenkors
Goestenkors

Goestenkors said she did not expect to make a quick decision.

"It's going to take some time," Goestenkors told The Associated Press on Wednesday as she walked from the Texas athletic department offices toward the football complex. "I have to go back and talk to my people [at Duke]."

Goestenkors would not say whether she was leaning toward taking over the Longhorns or staying at Duke, where she has built a national power and has a 396-99 record in 15 seasons.

According to a report in Thursday's Raleigh News and Observer, fans have been using the Internet to mount e-mail campaigns to ask Duke to "pull out all stops" to keep Goestenkors.

A seven-time Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year, Goestenkors has been considered the top candidate for the Texas job since Jody Conradt announced her resignation March 12, when the Longhorns missed the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

Goestenkors met with Texas women's athletic director Chris Plonsky and members of the school's search committee Wednesday and toured the Longhorns' game and practice facilities.

"It's been really nice," said Goestenkors, whose top-ranked team was upset by Rutgers last week in the regional semifinals.

Texas asked Duke officials Monday for permission to contact Goestenkors, who said she'll be in Austin until Thursday morning.

"We're in the process," Plonsky said late Wednesday afternoon, declining to give details.

Longhorns guard Carla Cortijo said she had not met Goestenkors and that the team is waiting to see who the new coach will be.

"I think she would be awesome. She did a great job at Duke," Cortijo said. "We can be as good as Duke or anybody in the country."

The night Conradt retired, Plonsky made it clear Texas, which finished 18-14, would be willing to pay for a top-notch coach to replace her. Conradt earned $550,000 a year. Goestenkors' Duke salary is not public record, and some have speculated the private school is unlikely to match a high offer from Texas.

Conradt spent 31 seasons at Texas and won her only national championship in 1986, when the Longhorns went 34-0. She retired with a career record of 900-306 in 38 seasons at Sam Houston State, Texas-Arlington and Texas. She and Tennessee's Pat Summitt are the only Division I coaches with 900 or more victories, but the Longhorns last made the Final Four in 2003.

Still, Texas is considered one of nation's best programs with its top-notch facilities and recruiting pipeline to 1,300 Texas high schools.

Goestenkors has already established herself with those schools, signing star senior Lindsey Harding out of the Houston area.

Harding's high school, Cypress-Fairbanks, has two of the country's top players -- sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. The 6-foot-2 forwards led their team to the Class 5A state final earlier this month.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE