Brad Holland, who guided the Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team to a surprising fifth-place finish in the Big West Conference this season, interviewed Tuesday for the head coaching job at Nevada.
Chris Ault, Nevada athletic director, approached Bill Shumard, his counterpart at Fullerton, on Sunday to request permission to speak with Holland.
“It was something I felt I should consider and look at,” Holland said Tuesday night after returning to his home. “The University of Nevada has some positive things going for it. They showed some interest in me and, therefore, based on their interest, I felt it was something I should consider.”
A Nevada source confirmed that Wolf Pack officials interviewed Paul Westhead, former coach of the Lakers and Loyola Marymount, on Friday. Sources also said Nevada is interested in Sherman Dillard, an assistant at Georgia Tech, and Jessie Evans, an assistant at the University of Arizona.
The package Nevada has put together is worth approximately $150,000, according to one source. At Fullerton, Holland’s base salary is $70,000, plus a $10,000 augmentation by Titan boosters and a courtesy car. Holland also has the opportunity to enhance his Fullerton contract through a basketball camp and a shoe contract, neither of which came into play last season because Holland was not hired until April.
“Brad is extremely pleased, as we are, of his progress in one short year,” Shumard said. “But in light of the volatile situation the state university system is in, there is no guarantee what the future will bring.
“We would all hate to see Brad move on. We all have hopes for him here at Fullerton. But in these times, it’s understandable.”
Sources say Ault would like to make a decision this week. Holland interviewed with Ault and a Nevada committee set up to interview candidates, and he met with Nevada President Joseph Crowley.
Holland said money was not discussed, and he declined to relate his post-interview feelings toward the Nevada job.
“I have nothing more to say to that,” Holland said. “I think there are some positive things concerning the job, but I would not want to elaborate.
“There are some real pluses concerning the position.”
Indications are that Nevada, envious of the success enjoyed at Nevada Las Vegas for the past couple of decades, is attempting to enhance its package to make a run at Division I success.
“They are making some dramatic improvements in the program,” Shumard acknowledged. “Their vision is to close the gap between themselves and UNLV.
Fullerton, picked to finish ninth in the Big West this season, tied UC Santa Barbara for fifth and finished 15-12 overall. The Titans’ season ended Friday with a loss to Cal State Long Beach in the Big West Conference tournament.