Landreaux Will Interview for Titan Job Today

Times Staff Writer

Cal State Fullerton, proceeding with its announced commitment to an open search for a basketball coach, will interview UCLA assistant coach Paul Landreaux today, sources said Sunday.

Fullerton is interviewing several other applicants. John Sneed, the acting coach and apparent front-runner for the job, also will be interviewed. None of names of the other coaches being interviewed could be confirmed.

In addition to Sneed and Landreaux, prominent candidates who have applied include UC Riverside Coach John Masi, Arizona State acting coach Bob Schermerhorn and Iowa assistant Rudy Washington.

Fullerton plans to finish interviewing before the beginning of the Big West Conference tournament March 8, and is expected to name a coach shortly thereafter.

Landreaux, 45, guided El Camino College to three community college state championships in nine seasons before joining the UCLA staff before this season. He also has been an assistant at Pepperdine and Cal State Long Beach, in addition to several community colleges and high schools. He once assisted Sneed at Verbum Dei High School.

Sneed, 40, was an assistant to former coach George McQuarn for eight seasons, and also has been an assistant at San Diego State and Arizona, in addition to coaching at Verbum Dei for three seasons. He was named acting coach when McQuarn resigned Nov. 3, inheriting a team that was considered unlikely to win more than 10 games. Fullerton is 14-11 with two regular-season games remaining, and owns an upset over Nevada Las Vegas.

Athletic Director Ed Carroll has said he will not comment on the search and has asked associates to refrain from talking with reporters.

But Bill Puzo, a Fullerton professor and chair of the search committee, addressed the search in response to public criticism that the open search is an affront to Sneed.

"The fact that an open search is still being conducted is not in any way a reflection of the personalities involved," Puzo said. "The commitment to an open search was made prior to the season. How could anyone possibly predict how the season would go?"

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