INDIANAPOLIS — After speculation he might leave Iowa to coach Missouri or Indiana, Steve Alford said he has never talked to either school.
“The bottom line is, I never interviewed anywhere,” Alford told The Des Moines Register while he was in Indianapolis for the Final Four. “And it should be a pretty good indicator of how happy I am and what I think we can (accomplish).”
His comments on Saturday were the first time he has spoken publicly about being mentioned as a possible replacement for Mike Davis at Indiana or Quin Snyder at Missouri after both coaches resigned this season.
Alford’s Hawkeyes finished 25-9, went 17-0 at home and won the Big Ten Conference tournament title while their coach was fending off questions about going back to his alma mater to lead the Hoosiers.
A week after Iowa lost to Northwestern State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Missouri officials contacted Iowa Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby and asked to talk with Alford.
Alford issued a statement saying he hadn’t scheduled any job interviews, but many fans felt he wasn’t clear about whether he would discuss or consider potential openings.
Alford said Saturday that much of the speculation came from outside sources.
“I can’t control that,” he said. “That doesn’t mean your coach is leaving. I never talked to anyone in an official capacity at Missouri or Indiana.”
He did say, however, that his agent spoke with a person representing Missouri. The Tigers hired former Alabama-Birmingham coach Mike Anderson last week.
The speculation about Alford leaving Iowa began when Davis announced in February he would step down at Indiana when the Hoosiers ended their season.
“Indiana went about it a little different in how they did their search,” Alford said. “I never got a phone call. I was never contacted.”
Indiana eventually named Oklahoma’s Kelvin Sampson as coach.
“Obviously there’s a lot of attention because it’s my alma mater ... they wanted to go a different direction and get away from the IU thing,” Alford said.
Next on the agenda is meeting with Bowlsby about a possible contract extension. His current deal runs through 2009 and pays him $800,000 annually.