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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | MARCH MADNESS / NCAA
TOURNAMENT : NOTES

March 14, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

Brian Ellerbe will not return as Michigan's coach after being asked to resign by Athletic Director Bill Martin.

Martin said Tuesday he did not see sufficient improvement in a program once among the sport's elite.

Michigan went 10-18 this season and 4-10 in the Big Ten Conference, closing with an 82-80 loss to Penn State in the conference tournament. Ellerbe was 62-60 in four seasons at Michigan.

Michigan will pay Ellerbe about $450,000 for the remaining three years on his contract.

"The program and the student-athletes did not make progress over this year," Martin said. "Brian took over this team in the midst of some trying times, and we all realize the challenges he has faced. I considered this during my evaluation of the team.

"In the end, my decision was based on the fact that I did not see the improvement in the program over the past four years that I hoped for and that I believe is possible."

Ellerbe said he ran the program with "integrity," and he expressed his thanks for the opportunity.

Martin said he may contact Rick Pitino, who led Kentucky to the 1996 national championship and recently left as coach and president of the Boston Celtics.

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Texas Tech officials could offer Bob Knight their coaching job on the spot when he visits Thursday.

But a school spokeswoman in Lubbock said there are no plans to bend a university policy requiring that the job remain open for 10 working days, a period that ends at 5 p.m. on March 23.

Knight is being wooed to succeed fired coach James Dickey.

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Duke teammates Shane Battier and Jason Williams and North Carolina's Joseph Forte of North Carolina were selected to the Associated Press All-American.

Troy Murphy of Notre Dame and Casey Jacobsen of Stanford also were selected to the team.

Battier won the Naismith Award as the nation's top player.

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Ruth Riley of Notre Dame, Kelly Miller of Georgia, Jackie Stiles of Southwest Missouri State, Katie Douglas of Purdue and Stacey Dales of Oklahoma were selected to the Associated Press All-American women's team.

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