Rick Majerus, who spurned an offer from Arizona State after leading Utah to the NCAA title game, will meet with Texas officials to discuss their coaching vacancy, the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday.
The newspaper cited an unidentified person close to the school's selection committee.The panel met Saturday to begin the search for Tom Penders' replacement. Penders resigned last week after three weeks of controversy that began when unhappy players met with athletic director DeLoss Dodds.
Majerus led the Utes to the championship game before his team fell to Kentucky. Last week, he rejected a seven-figure offer from Arizona State.
Other top candidates on Texas' list reportedly include Bob Bender of Washington, Kelvin Sampson of Oklahoma, North Carolina assistant Phil Ford and Rick Barnes of Clemson.
Majerus, 50, makes about $1 million annually at Utah. About half of that comes from a deal with Reebok. The Texas athletic department also is affiliated with Reebok.
Dodds has said Texas will not pay its next basketball coach more than the $750,000 made by new football coach Mack Brown. Penders received $550,000 annually.
Two coaches interested in the job have received strong recommendations.
Coaching great Dean Smith called Dodds on behalf of Ford, 42. Ex-NBA coach John Lucas also received an endorsement from a prominent Texas booster, the American-Statesman said.
Lucas, who coached the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers, has expressed interest in coaching in college.
"I've got real strong feelings about some coaches I want to talk to," Dodds said."
Texas guard DeJuan "Chico" Vazquez, a player adviser to the screening committee, met with the group for about 45 minutes Saturday. Vazquez said the players would like a coach who would use the same full-court style employed by Penders.