Ponsetto: Top half is DePaul goal
The next DePaul coach should aim to keep the program in the top half of the Big East’s 16 schools, putting it in position to contend for postseason play.
That outlook remains athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto’s objective, one she repeated Wednesday in an appearance on ESPN’s ‘‘Outside The Lines.’’
‘‘From my perspective, if you’re in the top half [of the Big East], you’ll be pretty successful and on the board to be in consideration for the NCAA or NIT [tournaments],’’ she said. ‘‘Our goal is to get back to the NCAA tournament. DePaul has a proud tradition from the Ray Meyer days through Dave Leitao [who preceded Jerry Wainwright] of being in the NCAA tournament. . . . We’ve had 35 postseason appearances in the last 50 years. We’ve been there before and we know what it takes to get there, and we have the resources to get there.’’
Mentioning three ESPN analysts, she said, ‘‘I think this is a great job. I think coach [Bob] Knight would tell you this is a great job. I think coach [Steve] Lavin would tell you this is a great job. I think coach [Fran] Fraschilla would tell you this is a great job.’’
The pool of interested candidates to succeed Wainwright, who was fired two weeks ago, has been growing. The search will be handled by Ponsetto, university president the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider and one or more members of the school’s athletics board.
Illinois coach Chris Lowery and Oregon State coach Craig Robinson have been prominently mentioned, principally because of their local ties and potential to recruit the Chicago area.
DePaul’s membership in the Big East has lured interest from veteran coaches, with USC coach Kevin O’Neill said to be among them. Former Blue Demon stars Tyrone Corbin and Rod Strickland also are said to be interested.