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UT interviews former Providence coach

Tim-Welsh

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STEW MILNE / AP Enlarge

Another serious candidate has emerged for the University of Toledo men's coaching vacancy, as former Providence coach Tim Welsh has interviewed on campus this week for the job.

Welsh was fired last month after 10 years at Providence, where he took the Friars to two NCAA tournaments.

The Rockets' interviews are likely complete. UT president Lloyd Jacobs, speaking yesterday at the Pinnacle in Maumee as part of a lecture series sponsored by the UT College of Business Administration and Key Bank, told the crowd that he expected with certainty that a men's basketball coach would be named by the end of the week.

UT has made previous head coaching experience a priority. Of the four candidates known to have interviewed on campus, all but one have been Division I head coaches.

Welsh has 13 years of head coaching experience, with his first three years coming at Iona. His career record is 230-164.

Former head coaches Buzz Peterson and Brad Soderberg have also interviewed, as well as Notre Dame assistant Gene Cross. Peterson is no longer a candidate. When contacted yesterday, Soderberg and Cross both said they hadn't heard a decision from UT.

Choosing Welsh or Soderberg would follow the recent trend in the Mid-American Conference of hiring coaches with major-conference experience. Last offseason Bowling Green did it with Louis Orr and Northern Illinois with Ricardo Patton.

Welsh, 47, was fired with one year left on his contract at PC after his third losing season in the last four years. The Providence Journal reported the buyout for that year could be as much as $800,000. Despite the money coming to him, Welsh indicated to the newspaper that he wanted to get back into coaching as soon as possible.

Under Welsh, Providence made the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2004 and played in the NIT three times, including last season. One of his downfalls was a 1-9 record in the Big East tournament. The Friars also never won an NCAA tournament game with Welsh at the helm.

At Iona, Welsh had three 20-win seasons, going to the NCAA tournament in 1998. The Gaels won the regular-season Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season championship all three years.

At Providence his highest finish in the Big East was third in 2003 and 2004.

A New York native, Welsh played basketball at Potsdam State under his father, Jerry, graduating in 1984.

Blade staff writer Jon Chavez contributed to this story.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.

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