Lefty Driesell of the University of Maryland today ended speculation that he might become the basketball coach at Old Dominion University in his home town of Norfolk.
Sitting in shorts on the porch of his new beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Driesell said, "I'm not going to leave Maryland. I'm happy where I am."
Driesell, who will be going into his 17th season at College Park, said he has talked twice by telephone to Old Dominion Athletic Director Jim Jarrett since Jarrett received permission Friday from Maryland officials to contact Driesell. He said there have been no face-to-face meetings with Old Dominion officials or boosters.
Driesell, 53, who won his 500th career game last season, declined to discuss published reports that Old Dominion was willing to offer him a base salary of $125,000-$150,000 annually and a $250,000 oceanfront house.
"It was very generous," he said, "but I haven't talked to them seriously or anything. I'm not seriously considering doing it or anything. But I'm listening. I've got a great job. I think I can win the national championship right where I am . . .
"I've got four starters coming back from a team that won 25 games and made the final 16 last year. I've got my program right where I want it. They've got a good program. But so has Maryland, and I'm not really interested in any job, except Maryland.
"But since it's my home town and a lot of my friends live there and have been talking to me, I've been listening. I bought this beach house, and that's about it. I'm pretty well set right here."
Although a number of sources close to Driesell said in recent days they would be surprised if the coach left, Maryland officials took Old Dominion's bid seriously and drew up a list of possible successors. That list is headed by Gary Williams of Boston College, a Maryland alumnus, and Gene Bartow of Alabama-Birmingham and formerly UCLA.
Driesell spends the month here, far from the high-rise clutter and crowds of Ocean City and other more-populated Delmarva beaches. The only sign of basketball is an old, rusted hoop on a backboard in the driveway, left by the previous owners.
"If I could get my recruits down here, I'd have it made," he said.
Driesell declined to discuss current recruiting, although sources say J.R. Reid, a 6-foot-10 senior-to-be in Virginia Beach, has narrowed his choices to North Carolina and Maryland. Reid is said to be one of the best players coming out of high school next season.
Driesell said most of his incoming freshmen for this season have been playing in the Urban Coalition League on a team that includes point guard Jeff Baxter, the one current Maryland player allowed by NCAA rules to play on the team. Driesell said that Johnny Johnson, who is considered the Terrapins' top recruit, averaged 37 points a game.
The coach also said that Mel Cartwright, one of last year's two full-time assistants who was considering retirement, has decided to remain as the volunteer assistant.
But, for the most part, Driesell didn't want to think about basketball. He is taking it very easy.
Looking out at the ocean, the next matchup with Dean Smith far from his mind, Driesell said, "I'm just going to sit here for a month and enjoy the beach."