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Missouri job taken; Alford stays put

When UNM head men’s basketball coach Steve Alford says “no,” he means “no.”

At least for now. reported late Sunday night that Miami head coach Frank Haith will accept the Missouri job, halting speculation that Alford, the fourth-year coach, is on his way out the door.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Saturday the Alford-to-Mizzou rumor, which had the coach as a top candidate to replace former coach Mike Anderson. Three coaches who were at the Final Four told the Journal that Alford had already accepted the position, and UNM assistant coach Craig Neal would replace Alford at UNM.

Alford denied being interested in the vacancy and said Missouri hadn’t contacted him or his agent, and his agent hadn’t reached out to the institution. The rumor continued to gain traction, when St. Louis television station reported Alford and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith interviewed for the job.

ESPN’s report quickly ended the rumors, but that’s not to say Alford won’t leave Loboland in the future.

Alford, lauding his administrative support, has in the past hinted that he’d continue to coach at the University as long as President David Schmidly and Athletics Director Paul Krebs are around. Schmidly’s contract expires June 2012, and Krebs’ appointment ends in two years, unless he’s offered an extension.

If Alford were to leave in the future, he’d owe the University money.
The contract Alford signed in July has a buyout clause that calls for him to give the University $300,000 if he terminates his deal after April 1 but before March 31, 2012. The buyout drops to $200,000 if Alford leaves after March 31, 2012, but before March 31, 2013, the contract says.


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