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Indiana Finally Decides to Let Davis Keep the Reins

March 22, 2001|From Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The guessing is over for Mike Davis.

The coach who replaced Bob Knight in September finally got the job he wanted Wednesday when Indiana removed the "interim" tag from his title.

The school made Davis sweat through a season, followed by two days of deliberations and a morning filled with contract negotiations.

"I always thought I'd get the job, from day one," Davis said. "There were a lot of people I cut off and stopped talking to because I didn't want to hear the negativity."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday March 23, 2001 Home Edition Sports Part D Page 6 Sports Desk 2 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction; Wire
College basketball--In a story Thursday about Indiana Coach Mike Davis, the Associated Press reported erroneously that his annual base salary would be at least $400,000. Davis' total guaranteed compensation package will be $400,000, including a base salary of $175,000, according to Indiana spokesman Jeff Fanter.

University President Myles Brand said the season revealed Davis' character: "We don't name basketball coaches very often around here, and when we do, we make sure that we make the right choice."

Davis led the Hoosiers to a 23-11 record and the final in the Big Ten Conference tournament. They were upset by Kent State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, fueling speculation that Davis would not be retained.

Davis didn't believe it.

"I just felt like if they judged me on that one game, I wouldn't be here, anyway," he said.

Davis, 40, got a four-year contract that guarantees him at least $400,000 a year, the highest base salary for a coach in Indiana history. The salary can grow if Davis meets performance and academic incentives.

University vice president Terry Clapacs said no other candidates were contacted, although speculation swirled that Iowa Coach Steve Alford was interested.

Davis has already put his mark on the program and intends to do more in the coming season. Players' names might appear on the backs of their jerseys. "I remember when I played at Alabama and it meant so much to my mom to have my name on the back of my jersey," Davis said. "So we may do that, but they have to earn it by working hard in the off-season."

Knight is expected to be named coach at Texas Tech today.

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