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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / DAILY REPORT : ACROSS THE NATION : O'Neill Hired as Tennessee Coach; Willard Expected to Go to Pittsburgh

March 29, 1994| Associated Press

Kevin O'Neill, who guided Marquette to a spot in the NCAA tournament the last two years, was hired Monday to coach a Tennessee basketball team coming off its worst season in 32 years. O'Neill replaces the ousted Wade Houston, whose team went 5-22 this season and 65-90 in five seasons. Marquette lost to Duke in the Southeastern Regional on Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Candidates for the Marquette job include Bo Ellis, a Marquette assistant who played on the Warriors' 1977 NCAA championship team, Washington State Coach Kelvin Sampson and Duke assistant Tommy Amaker.

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Ralph Willard of Western Kentucky is expected to become the coach at Pittsburgh today, turning down an offer from Providence. Willard will replace Paul Evans, who was fired during a season-ending nine-game losing streak despite coaching the Panthers to five NCAA tournaments in eight seasons. He was the leading candidate to replace Rick Barnes at Providence. . . . Yinka Dare, the 7-foot-1 center who led George Washington to the NCAA basketball tournament the past two years, is leaving to pursue an NBA career. . . . Glenn Robinson won the Eastman Award as player of the year.

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