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Posted at 10:36 AM ET, 04/27/2012

Virginia Tech interested in North Carolina State’s Bobby Lutz


(Karl B DeBlaker - AP)
Virginia Tech hasn’t identified its next men’s basketball coach yet, but school officials have been busy speaking with prospective candidates since Monday’s news conference announcing Seth Greenberg’s firing.

One such person is North Carolina State associate head coach Bobby Lutz, who met with Virginia Tech officials Thursday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C., according to multiple people familiar with the coaching search who were granted anonymity to speak freely.

Two people close to Lutz said there is mutual interest between the two sides, in part because of Lutz’s previous head coaching experience.

Lutz, 53, compiled a 218-158 record during 12 seasons as the head coach at Charlotte between 1998 and 2010. He made five NCAA tournaments, won three league titles and averaged 18 victories per year with the 49ers.

Lutz was fired following the 2009-10 season after Charlotte missed the NCAA tournament for a fifth straight season, but he remains the winningest coach in program history. He was also recently promoted to associate head coach at North Carolina State after the Wolfpack made the Sweet 16 during their first season under Coach Mark Gottfried.

One person who won’t be the Hokies’ next coach is VCU’s Shaka Smart.

According to three people with knowledge of the situation, Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver approached Smart earlier in the week to gauge his interest in the job. But Smart, who reportedly turned down overtures from North Carolina State last offseason and Illinois this year, is not interested in leaving VCU at this time.

When contacted by The Post on Thursday afternoon, Smart declined to comment on Virginia Tech’s coaching search.

Several coaches have reached out to Virginia Tech in some fashion – either directly or through a third party — to express their interest in the job, or were recommended as possible candidates to Virginia Tech.

They include Loyola’s Jimmy Patsos, American’s Jeff Jones, Eastern Michigan’s Rob Murphy and North Carolina assistant Steve Robinson, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. However, on Friday an American University spokeswoman said Jones has denied any interest in the Virginia Tech job.

It’s unclear at this point, however, if Weaver and associate athletic director Tom Gabbard consider them serious candidates for the job.

By Mark Giannotto  |  10:36 AM ET, 04/27/2012

 
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