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Utah Utes basketball: Utes' assistant takes Pepperdine job

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28 2008 12:23 a.m. MST

Utah assistant basketball coach Marty Wilson will be heading back to Pepperdine University at the conclusion of the season as the Waves' associate head coach with the probability of becoming the school's head coach in the near future.

The 41-year-old Wilson, who has been an assistant at Utah for four years, interviewed for the job over the weekend and will join new coach Tom Asbury next month. The 62-year-old Asbury is coming back to coach where he coached more than a decade ago, with the idea of letting Wilson take over within 2-3 years.

Wilson said it's not a written guarantee that he will become the head coach, but said, "there are some details in the contract that allows me to feel comfortable about the future."

Wilson, who has been coaching in the college ranks for 18 seasons, played at Pepperdine and was also an assistant coach for six seasons (1991-96). During his final season in Malibu, he stepped in as interim head coach for the final 13 games.

He acknowledged "it wouldn't make sense" to go from Utah to Pepperdine to take an assistant's job if he didn't have an understanding to become the head coach. "We fight all of our lives in this business to have the opportunity to become a head coach," Wilson said. "This is the right time, right place for me."

Wilson said he expects to complete the season with the Utes, but must talk to coach Jim Boylen today about some details.

"I'm disappointed that we're losing a quality assistant coach and a high-character guy," Boylen said. "But I'm very excited for Marty to have this opportunity to go back to his alma mater and rebuild a program. He will be missed here at Utah and we wish him the best."


E-mail: sor@desnews.com

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