Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig didn't personally see the contingent from the University of Wyoming that courted Monarchs men's basketball coach Blaine Taylor on Tuesday, but he knew the Cowboys were in town.
"That's just the nature of that particular sport," Selig said. "It's a function of the success that we've enjoyed during Blaine's tenure."
Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman, president Tom Buchanan and associate athletic director Matt Whisenant flew into Newport News on Tuesday morning, Casper Star-Tribune beat reporter Eric Scmoldt reported on his blog, "All Things Cowboys."
While Selig knew of the visit, he's not worried that Taylor, who led the Monarchs to a 27-7 record, back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association championships and their second straight NCAA tournament appearance this season, is actively looking to leave ODU, where he's won 215 games in 10 seasons.
"At this juncture in Blaine's career, this no longer needs to be a stepping stone, nor do I look at ODU as a stepping stone in any of our programs, starting with me," Selig said, citing the school's facilities, fan support and scholarship funding as top-notch. "I don't feel like this is a stepping stone job to something bigger or better, nor do I feel that our coaches need to look at this as a stepping stone. ... This is a great job in an outstanding league that can be a career-maker right now."
On Thursday, Taylor was announced as a finalist for two national coach of the year awards. The Skip Prosser Man of the Year award, established in 2008, honors coaches who achieve success on the court and display moral integrity off it, while the Hugh Durham award is given each year to the top mid-major coach in Division I basketball. That award is named after Hugh Durham, the only D-I coach to lead two schools, Florida State and Georgia, to the Final Four for the first and only time in each school's history.
Taylor, 215-110 at ODU at 356-176 in 17 years as a head coach overall, coached his alma mater, Montana, for six years and also has been mentioned in connection with the vacant Utah coaching job, along with openings at Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
Asked if he knew of any pending visits from administrators from Atlanta or Salt Lake City, Selig said, "Not that I'm aware of."
Last season, after the Monarchs beat Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Taylor reportedly interviewed at Clemson, and Taylor said he had informal talks with Tulane officials.
"I hope, here at ODU, we're always in a position where people covet and want our head coaches, because that means they're doing a great job and that means our programs are performing well, not just within our conference but nationally," Selig said. "I don't shy away from those situations. I'd rather have the situation where our coaches are in high demand than nobody ever comes calling for Coach X. Well, why is that?"