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Published: Tuesday, 3/30/2010

Kowalczyk is University of Toledo's top candidate

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
SPT Tod Kowalczyk, head basketball coach for the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. Photo from the University Website. NOT A BLADE PHOTO SPT Tod Kowalczyk, head basketball coach for the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. Photo from the University Website. NOT A BLADE PHOTO
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Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk has emerged as the leading candidate to become the next men's basketball coach at the University of Toledo, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.

Last night on its Web site, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, citing several unnamed sources, reported that "Toledo is offering a long-term deal, perhaps as long as seven years, at around $300,000 per year. The sources said Toledo is moving quickly and could have an announcement in the next day or two."

Earlier yesterday, the newspaper reported that Kowalczyk and his family were en route from Green Bay to Toledo and he was expected to meet with UT representatives today.

Kowalczyk reportedly met with his team before leaving Green Bay and told them that if things went well and he were offered the job, he planned to accept it, according to the Press-Gazette.

The Blade first reported last Thursday that Kowalczyk was in the mix to be named the Rockets' next coach.

Siena has also shown interest in Kowalczyk and could still land him with a last-minute, larger counteroffer, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Siena coach Fran McCaffery was introduced as Iowa's new coach yesterday.

Kowalczyk, 43, has coached the last eight seasons in Green Bay and has put together a 136-112 record at the school. Under Kowalczyk, the Phoenix have placed in the top four of the Horizon League for seven consecutive seasons.

The Phoenix have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons the last two years, including second and third-place finishes in their league and two appearances in the College Basketball Invitational. They were 22-13 this season.

Kowalczyk told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on

Thursday that he had

not been contacted by UT but also did not deny interest in the position. He declined to comment when reached by the newspaper last night.

"When you've had the kind of success our program has had the last two years, it's normal for your name to come up like this," Kowalczyk said Thursday. "But I love my team, and I love my job."

The UT coaching job has been vacant since Gene Cross resigned March 11 after posting an 11-53 record in two seasons.

According to Wisconsin state records, Kowalczyk earns a base salary of $133,132 per year at Wisconsin-Green Bay, far below the $280,000 per year base salary Cross earned.

Kowalczyk is under contract through 2014, so he and UT may have to reach an agreement with Wisconsin-Green Bay to buy him out of his current deal if offered the job to coach the Rockets.

Contact Zach Silka at:

zsilka@theblade.com

419-724-6084.



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