Tim Floyd yesterday resigned as men's basketball coach at Iowa State University in what was considered a prelude to his hiring by the NBA champion Chicago Bulls today. It was uncertain last night what role Floyd, 44, would fill in the organization.

The Bulls have been searching for a replacement for Phil Jackson, who declined a one-year offer to return next season after coaching the Bulls to a 656-234 record and six NBA championships over the past nine years.

The Chicago Tribune reported in today's editions that the Bulls will name Floyd to a front-office position -- director of basketball operations -- at a news conference today, in the hope he will grow on Bulls star Michael Jordan, who mentioned Floyd by name last week in stating he had no desire to play for "a college coach."

"I really can't comment any further right now," Floyd told the Associated Press after arriving in Chicago yesterday morning.

Iowa State Athletic Director Gene Smith said at a news conference yesterday that Floyd was leaving "to pursue another opportunity with the Chicago Bulls," but declined to elaborate.

In a July 16 interview with members of the media, Jordan said he didn't have anything against Floyd but said that getting a new coach "is like starting all over again and that's what I don't want to do. He may want to do that, but I don't."

David Falk, Jordan's agent, said yesterday his 35-year-old client was hoping to keep intact the Bulls' core group, made up of Jackson, all-star swingman Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, the league's perennial rebounding champion.

Jackson is gone, and Pippen, Jordan and Rodman cannot negotiate with anyone until the NBA's lockout of players ends. Falk said Jordan has not closed the door on playing in Chicago another season.

"He has to determine over the summer, if Floyd becomes the coach, whether he can win another championship with Floyd," Falk said. "He has to assess what the landscape is like, and Tim Floyd is one factor, but not the only factor."

Floyd has compiled a 243-130 career coaching record at Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State. He joined the Cyclones before the 1994-95 season and went 81-47, including last year's 12-18, his worst as a college coach.

He is a leading candidate for the job because of his close association with Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause. The two are fishing buddies and go back several years to Floyd's days as a coach in New Orleans. Floyd also comes from a basketball family; his father is the late Lee Floyd, who coached Southern Mississippi for 14 years.

If he is named Bulls coach, Floyd will have beaten out four NBA assistants -- Scott Skiles, Paul Silas, Ron Rothstein and Rick Carlisle -- for the job.

Carlisle, an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, said he interviewed with Krause and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf on July 7, but removed his name from contention last weekend in order to get another year of experience in Indiana.

"Floyd's name has been mentioned so often over the past year that it would not surprise me if he got the job," Carlisle said. "Tim Floyd is a very bright guy and a very good coach. I don't have any doubt that he's very capable of doing a fine job there."

Missouri Coach Norm Stewart, who coached against Floyd for four years in the Big 12 Conference, said Floyd's people skills and ability to handle difficult players would serve him well in the high-pressure world of the NBA.

"He's a very good manager of people," said Stewart. "He did very well with {Iowa State predecessor} Johnny Orr's players. That's one test. And when he put together his own players, he had a couple of hombres that might have been difficult to handle. He did an excellent job." CAPTION: Tim Floyd, right, is 243-130 as a college coach, including last season's 12-18 campaign at Iowa State, his worst ever.