Truax confirms SWC interest Towson coach cites pay as motivation


Towson State basketball coach Terry Truax said yesterday that he has been interviewed for the newly created position of Southwest Conference assistant commissioner/director of basketball operations and would take the position only for financial reasons.

Truax said he earned approximately $50,000 last year and that the SWC post will pay between $75,000 and $100,000 a year.

"I have a 3 1/2 -year-old daughter [Ann], and if I took a job like that, my wife [Pam] wouldn't have to work," Truax said.

Truax said he wanted to make it clear that he was not unhappy with Towson or its president, Hoke Smith.

"Dr. Smith has made a proposal for a salary adjustment for me," said Truax. "It's embarrassing for me to be talking about money with the shape the economy is in, but it would never have been a problem if my salary had been comparable to other schools at this level."

Truax, who has been head coach at Towson State for eight years, said he made less than $50,000 in the 1989-90 season.

"I don't want anyone to read anything negative about Towson State or the East Coast Conference into this," said Truax, whose name has been linked to coaching positions at South Carolina, Old Dominion and Virginia Tech in recent months. "We're going to have one of our better teams this season. The timing of this isn't real good because our players are coming back to school for the fall term. Also I don't want to hurt our recruiting."

Assistant SWC information director Bob Gennarelli said Friday night that members of a five-man SWC advisory committee have labeled Truax and John Erickson (former basketball coach at Wisconsin and the first general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks) as the two finalists for the new post.

Truax said he has not been told anything about being a finalist by SWC commissioner Fred Jacoby, who interviewed Truax in July.

"Fred Jacoby got back to me after the interview and said the selection process was going slower than he wanted but he hoped to have a decision by the end of August," said Truax.

The SWC advisory committee, chosen to handle the selection process, is made up of Texas basketball coach Tom Penders, Rice basketball coach Scott Thompson, Houston athletic director Rudy Davalis, Texas Christian athletic director Frank Windegger and Paul Rogers, faculty representative at Southern Methodist.

Truax, 46, said his ultimate career goal is to be a commissioner of a conference but he would like to coach for at least seven more years.

"But I'm not sure if I could do it that way," Truax said. "I'd like to decide when I want to get out of coaching, but it doesn't always work that way."

Truax said he was encouraged to apply for the assistant commissioner/director of basketball operations post by some of the SWC athletic directors.

A year ago when Texas and Texas A&M; were considering leaving the SWC, they listed the improvement of basketball operations in the conference office in Dallas as one of five conditions for remaining in the league.

K? In June, the SWC Council of Presidents established the job.

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