Alabama waits on word from VCU’s Grant

Published 5:22 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama is still apparently waiting on a decision from Anthony Grant in its head coaching search.

The Virginia Commonwealth coach spent all day Wednesday interviewing with Crimson Tide officials in Tuscaloosa. He left town with a job offer in hand, according to several media outlets.

Phone calls to Grant’s home Friday afternoon went unanswered and he did not immediately return a message left on his cell phone. An Alabama spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Grant is a former Florida assistant who has led VCU to two NCAA tournament appearances in three seasons.

Kentucky, meanwhile, created another Southeastern Conference vacancy when the university announced Friday that Billy Gillispie was out after two seasons.

Georgia is also seeking a replacement for Dennis Felton.

Florida coach Billy Donovan issued a statement denying speculation that he would replace Gillispie.

“In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible,” he said. “I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here.”

For Alabama, that might eliminate one high-profile competitor for Grant’s services.

Grant had been Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s top target two years ago after Donovan left to coach the NBA’s Orlando Magic before changing his mind and returning.

Missouri’s Mike Anderson, another potential candidate for the Alabama job, has had “informal talks” with his current employer about what it will take to keep him in place. The Tigers are still playing in the NCAA tournament after beating Memphis on Thursday night in the round of 16.

Citing unnamed sources, The Kansas City Star reported Friday that Missouri is ready to raise Anderson’s $850,000 annual salary to at least $1.3 million and renew his contract for five years.