Schmoldt: Time ticks away during Wyoming's search

2011-03-24T00:00:00Z 2011-03-24T11:27:27Z Schmoldt: Time ticks away during Wyoming's searchBy ERIC SCHMOLDT Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

The clock has been ticking for six weeks.

For Tom Burman, it’s seems to be becoming a bit of an earsore — like the pesky timepiece on your wall that you can’t help but hear when all you yearn for is silence.

Those teams you saw bounced from your brackets?

They were Burman’s alarm clock.

St. John’s lost to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament — ring, ring.

Old Dominion fell to Butler — ring, ring.

Utah State bowed out to Kansas State — ring, ring.

Even Murray State losing to Missouri State in the National Invitation Tournament had Burman’s ears perked.

There was no opportunity to smack the snooze button.

After waiting more than a month to take the next visible step in hiring Wyoming’s next men’s basketball coach, the athletics director could finally spring into action.

Sources indicate Burman was in connection with St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap before the weekend was over.

Rumored to be a candidate in coaching searches over the last several years, would Steve Lavin’s top assistant be interested in coming to Laramie?

He hasn’t said.

As the week began, some outlets — not this one — reported that Murray State’s Billy Kennedy was in the midst of contract negotiations.

A former Wyoming assistant for one season in the late 1980s, Kennedy may still be a candidate, but those alleged contract talks were quickly overshadowed by a cross-country flight on Tuesday.

Burman, UW president Tom Buchanan and associate athletics director Matt Whisenant flew to Virginia and though Burman would not confirm it, all signs point to a meeting with Old Dominion’s Blaine Taylor.

The mustachioed former Montana coach, who has been at Old Dominion for a decade, appears to be Wyoming’s top choice for the moment, but he didn’t deplane with Wyoming’s triumvirate of officials Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, sources close to the situation said UW still hoped they could land the coach who directed the Monarchs to four NCAA tournament berths in the last seven years, including each of the last two.

Now that the clock is ticking louder than ever, what is the holdup?

For one, UW may need to wait until a number of other coaching vacancies are filled, particularly the one at Utah where Blaine Taylor has at least been rumored to be a candidate.

Then there’s that whole money issue. While Burman has said little about the search since it began, he indicated when it started that UW could and would put together a lucrative package for its next head coach.

Now it’s a matter of hammering out a number — and perhaps a length of that contract.

While returning players like Desmar Jackson, Amath M’Baye and Leonard Washington seem to give UW a strong base, I have heard that keeping any or all of them in Laramie could be a chore.

Without them, UW could be in for a rebuilding process.

I suppose that’s a conversation to be had once a hire is made.

With flights in the air and a self-imposed Final Four deadline on his mind, Burman’s clock keeps ticking.

Contact sports reporter Eric Schmoldt at eric.schmoldt@trib.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericschmoldt. Check out his blog at trib.com/cowboys

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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