Mike D'Antoni not expected to take Marshall job

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni won't become the next coach at Marshall. (USATSI)
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni won't be returning home to coach at Marshall. (USATSI)

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Marshall has had one of the longer coaching searches this spring, and the main reason is Mike D'Antoni.

The Thundering Herd were targeting the Los Angeles Lakers coach as their next coach, but they were waiting to find out whether D'Antoni would be available.

On Tuesday, Marshall got its answer: Mike D'Antoni is not expected to take the vacant coaching job with the Thundering Herd, sources told CBSSports.com.

One source was under the impression that D'Antoni would have been Marshall-bound if the Lakers fired him.

CBSSports.com reported in March that there was mutual interest between the two sides.

The Charleston Daily Mail first reported the news, with further details on the courtship between Marshall and D'Antoni.

It is clear Hamrick went all-in to lure D'Antoni from the bright lights of L.A. to the hills of West Virginia. The Herd AD visited D'Antoni in Los Angeles for four days to make his pitch for D'Antoni to come home. D'Antoni, 62, played college ball at Marshall from 1970-73, about 130 miles from his hometown of Mullens.

Make no mistake — there was mutual interest. That is why the coaching search is at 40 days and counting. Hamrick waited. And waited. And waited. If the Lakers made a move, Hamrick was ready to pounce and D'Antoni was ready to slip on that Kelly green jacket once and for all.

D'Antoni met with Lakers brass — team executive Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak — multiple times this week to discuss D'Antoni's future with the organization. At this point, the Lakers just aren't going to budge and are adamant about keeping D'Antoni as the coach. D'Antoni is two years through a three-year, $12 million contract he signed on Nov. 12, 2012. The Lakers hold a team option for a fourth season that would bring D'Antoni back for the 2015-16 campaign at another $4 million.

D'Antoni is a West Virginia native and played at Marshall from 1970-73.

D'Antoni has been the head coach of the Lakers since the early part of the 2012-13 season, but injuries and chemistry issues have married his time in Los Angeles. He has also been the head coach for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.

Two names connected with the Marshall job are now Eastern Kentucky's Jeff Neubauer and Stephen F. Austin's Brad Underwood.

 
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