Report: Oregon Coach Not Going to Notre Dame

Oregon coach Ernie Kent is staying at his alma mater, turning down a lucrative offer from Notre Dame, a newspaper reported.

Kent met with Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White in Washington, D.C., on Thursday about the position vacated by Matt Doherty, who left the Fighting Irish earlier this week for North Carolina.

Kent was offered a seven-year contract worth about $700,000 a year—well above the $420,000 salary Kent earns on his current deal, which runs through 2002-03, The Register-Guard of Eugene reported in today’s editions.

Wouldn’t Make Snap Decision

Kent said he could not comply with Notre Dame’s request to make a decision quickly.

“I needed to come and look and find out more about this situation,” he told the newspaper. “What I found out is that they need someone in place now. I can’t do that. I have family considerations, I have university considerations and there are too many things involved for me to do something like this so quickly.”

White had been expected in Washington to attend the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who served as president of the University of Notre Dame for 35 years.

Kent led Oregon to a 22-8 record last season, the Ducks’ best record since 1944-45. They also made the NCAA tournament for only the second time since 1961.

Delaware Coach in Contention?

Delaware coach Mike Brey, another person mentioned in media reports as a potential candidate, also was in Washington on Thursday, his wife told The News Journal of Wilmington, Del. She declined to comment on whether Brey had been contacted by Notre Dame about the job.

Delaware spokesman Mike Hirschman said the school would not comment on whether Notre Dame had sought permission to talk to Brey, a former Duke assistant.

Brey just signed a five-year contract extension at Delaware after guiding the Blue Hens to their third consecutive 20-victory season and the school’s first NIT bid.

Former NBA and Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo also has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Carlesimo is in Rome on his honeymoon and cannot be reached for comment, his mother Lucy said. She said she has not heard from her son and does not know whether he has been contacted about the Notre Dame job.

A message was left on an answering machine at Carlesimo’s home in the San Francisco area.