Larry Shyatt may be returning to the University of Wyoming.
Numerous sources indicated to the Star-Tribune on Tuesday night and Wednesday that the former UW coach and current Florida assistant has emerged as the heavy favorite for the Wyoming job.
An announcement on the next hire is expected today, the Star-Tribune learned late Wednesday.
Multiple UW officials travelled to Atlanta, the site of hired search firm Parker Executive Search, for an all-day meeting on Wednesday. Included were athletics director Tom Burman, president Tom Buchanan, associate athletic directors Matt Whisenant and Kevin McKinney, Wyoming women's hoops coach Joe Legerski and former UW hoops standout and NBA player Reggie Slater.
Sources indicated the school met there with coaching candidates including Shyatt, Kansas assistant Joe Dooley and College of Southern Idaho coach Steve Gosar, a former Wyoming player and graduate assistant.
Dooley, a former head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming assistant in 2002-03, is Shyatt's main competition, the Star-Tribune has learned.
However, all indications as of late Wednesday were that Shyatt remains the odds-on favorite to take over the Cowboys and that Wyoming officials are confident about their chances to land the respected basketball mind.
Most of the UW committee arrived back in Laramie without Burman at about 10:50 p.m. Wednesday. Burman stayed in Atlanta and plans to attend this weekend's Final Four in Houston.
"He had planned to stay and he's going to go to the Final Four from there," McKinney said after arriving in Laramie. "But he hasn't made a decision yet, I can tell you that.
"He's got to mull some things over. He'd like to do it sooner than later. Whether he thought he'd have a decision [Wednesday], I can't say. All I know is he doesn't have one."
A hire could be made before the weekend, McKinney confirmed, but a news conference would not be held until after the Final Four concludes Monday, at the earliest. Wyoming is expected to pay upwards of $700,000 yearly, including incentives, for its next coach.
Burman said last week that his intention was to have a hire made before the Final Four, which begins Saturday.
Shyatt, the top assistant under Gators coach Billy Donovan, coached the Cowboys to 19 victories in the 1997-98 campaign but left the job after just one year to take over at Clemson.
Pokes fans also remember Shyatt as part of a lawsuit filed by UW for breaching his five-year contract. The suit was eventually settled out of court with Shyatt paying the university $286,000.
A former assistant at Clemson, Shyatt coached the Tigers for four seasons, finishing with a 70-84 record. He then joined Donovan at Florida, helping lead the Gators to back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.
Both Dooley and Shyatt were still coaching last week as both Kansas and Florida reached the Elite Eight.
"It was a very productive day," McKinney said. "[Burman has] been saying he wants to have it by the Final Four. I don't know if that's going to happen. But today was a good day. We talked to some very good people."