GW men’s basketball head coach Karl Hobbs has been granted permission to speak with the University of Cincinnati about the team’s coaching vacancy. Hobbs said in a phone interview Wednesday that the Bearcats have already contacted him.
The fifth-year head coach has been mentioned for several coaching openings, including ones at Indiana and Missouri. Cincinnati Athletics Department officials are not commenting on the search.
Coaching Cincinnati would bring Hobbs back to the Big East, where he played and served as an assistant coach at Connecticut. A source who asked not to be named said Hobbs is not the top candidate for the Connecticut coaching job, which is currently occupied by Jim Calhoun. Calhoun’s contract expires in five years.
GW Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz, who granted Hobbs permission to talk with the Bearcats, said the move by Cincinnati is not surprising. Kvancz added that he will do everything to keep Hobbs at GW, a school that Kvancz thinks Hobbs enjoys.
“He’s had a very successful year and he’s one of the top coaching prospects in the country,” Kvancz told The Hatchet Wednesday. “He did a great job here.”
Last season, Hobbs renegotiated his contract with the University to last until 2011. Many in the national basketball community have cited Hobbs’ buyout at $3 million, a figure Kvancz said is too high.
Coach Bob Huggins, the Bearcats’ winningest coach, resigned Aug. 24 after being given an ultimatum to resign or be fired. Huggins led Cincinnati to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Andy Kennedy served as interim head coach this season.
Huggins was fired because of his perceived lack of commitment to the academic progression of his players.
Others being mentioned for the opening are Murray State coach Mick Cronin, Kennedy and possibly George Mason coach Jim Larranaga.
Colonials heading west
While local teams George Mason and Georgetown are still competing in the NCAA Tournament, the Colonials already have two tournaments in the book for next season. GW will compete in the Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif., over the weekend of Dec. 15 and the Cable Car Classic in San Francisco.
The Wooden Classic will feature UCLA, the University of Southern California and GW. Kvancz said he does not know the fourth team but believes the invitation is due to GW’s success this season.
The Cable Car Classic features GW, Santa Clara, Air Force and Colgate playing games starting Dec. 28. Air Force was knocked out in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
The Colonials will also face Virginia Tech in the BB&T at the Verizon Center. The date has not been announced.