ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — University of New Mexico men’s top assistant coach Craig Neal says a number of schools are gauging his interest in their respective head coaching openings, but he being very selective about possibly pursuing any other positions, and had not set up any interviews as of Wednesday.
“I’ve talked to other schools that have made overtures, but I haven’t set anything up,” Neal told the Journal on Wednesday. “I have such a great job here, and it’s such a great situation, so it’s hard to think about going anywhere else.
“I had to do the Georgia Tech thing. That’s my school. I had to give that a shot.”
Last week, Neal was interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Tech, his alma mater. But earlier this week, the school announced it hired Brian Gregory from Dayton.
“I think the word got out that I had a real good interview at Tech, and other schools are contacting me,” Neal said. “But there are so few schools I could see actually interviewing for.”
In 2008, Neal was in the mix for the head coaching job at Missouri State, which has reopened. He said he didn’t want to talk about any specific openings, but reiterated he has not interviewed for any job other than Tech.
“Again, I have a great boss (UNM coach Steve Alford) and we have such a good team coming back, it would be really hard to leave here,” said Neal, who leaves today for the Final Four. “But I have talked to other schools.”
Alford has said he thinks Neal, his top assistant the past seven years (Iowa and UNM), should be a hot candidate for other positions, and would “help him any way I can” to get a head coaching job.