The contract extension Tricia Cullop signed a week ago alleviated concerns that a bigger program might swoop in and steal away the successful University of Toledo women’s basketball coach.
Time to worry again.
Cullop is a candidate at Ohio State, according to the Columbus Dispatch, which reported Monday the three-time Mid-American Conference coach of the year will interview, or already has.
Cullop, who last Monday signed a two-year extension tying her to UT through 2022, did not respond to messages left by The Blade. Her contract never included a penalty for leaving and states she must give four days advance written notice of her intention to terminate the deal.
Cullop’s name is surfacing four weeks into a search slowed by many swing-and-misses at high-profile candidates. OSU parted ways March 19 with the successful Jim Foster, his 279-82 record in 11 seasons unable to offset disappointing postseason results. Foster was 10-10 with the Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament and winless in three Sweet 16 appearances. Cullop, who played in the Big Ten at Purdue, is due to make $250,000 next season, about half of Foster’s $502,000 base salary.
Cullop, who is 125-44 in five seasons with the Rockets, has never in 13 years coached a team to the NCAA tournament.
Among those who reportedly said no to OSU include Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Dawn Staley of South Carolina, Gail Goestenkors formerly of Duke and Texas, Jeff Walz of Louisville, Kevin McGuff of Washington, Matthew Mitchell of Kentucky, and Joanne P. McCallie of Duke.
The Dispatch also reported Miami (Fla.) coach Katie Meier as a candidate. Meier was named Associated Press national coach of the year in 2011. Miami, a No. 8 seed in the NCAA this year, lost in the first round loss to Iowa.
The late recruiting signing period begins Wednesday, and Toledo is expected to secure British forward Janice Monakana.