The University of Utah will officially name Ball State Coach Rick Majerus as its basketball coach in a Tuesday morning press conference.
Majerus will replace Lynn Archibald, who was fired March 13 after six seasons.The University of Utah athletic department would not officially confirm Monday that Majerus will be the new coach, but there is no doubt he is the man.
University of Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill was sticking by his guns Monday morning and not "officially" confirming that Majerus would be named the coach.
"We're going to be introducing our new coach Tuesday," was Hill's official statement.
Ball State University sports information office was planning to issue a press release Monday afternoon stating that Majerus was leaving Ball State to become the head coach at Utah.
And the Muncie Star reported in a front-page story in its Monday editions that Majerus would be named as the Utah coach. He was scheduled to inform his team Monday afternoon of his decision to leave for Utah.
Hill returned from Seattle Sunday after meeting with Majerus and others the previous two days.
The 41-year-old Majerus has been the subject of much speculation ever since he was pegged as the top candidate last Tuesday afternoon. Hill confirmed that Majerus was one of four candidates who were interviewed in Salt Lake last week.
Majerus' name had come to the forefront in the Ute search last week, and when he wasn't named immediately, there appeared to be a snag about his selection. But according to Hill there were no doubts about his selection.
"We were waiting for the whole selection process to go through," said Hill, when asked why Majerus hadn't been named last week. "The process never changed."
In just his second year at Ball State, Majerus led his team to a 29-3 record, the best mark in Division I basketball this year, and was fifth in the nationwide balloting for AP Coach of the Year. In his first year at Ball State, Majerus had a 14-14 mark.
Majerus had been the head coach at Marquette from 1983 to 1986, where he had a 56-35 record in three winning seasons before taking a job with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant to Don Nelson. But after one year, he soured on the NBA experience and decided to get back into college coaching. He came close to taking the job at Nevada-Reno before going to Ball State.
Despite being a native of Wisconsin and spending most of his life in the Midwest - attending Marquette and serving as an assistant there for 12 years - Majerus had let it be known that he would like to coach in the West.
Majerus will inherit a Ute team with three starters returning from this year's 16-17 squad, including Josh Grant, Mark Lenoir and Jon Hansen. Also, Tommy Connor will be back after sitting out all year as a redshirt following a back operation.