Speculation that Towson State basketball coach Terry Truax will leave the school for any other job this season is over.
"I'm staying at Towson State this year," said Truax yesterday after calling Southwest Conference commissioner Fred Jacoby at noon to inform him he was no longer interested in the newly created position of SWC assistant commissioner/director of basketball operations.
Truax said he could not afford to wait any longer for Jacoby and his advisory committee to make a decision because: "I'm scheduled to monitor our players' study hall Tuesday night and the players need to know if I'm going to be there or not, and our recruiting season opens Wednesday."
Truax, a finalist for the SWC post with Bowling Green associate athletic director Chuck Nagle, said Jacoby offered to talk to his advisory committee before Truax made his withdrawal official.
"I told him not to bother," said Truax. "I said there is no negotiating. Money has nothing to do with this. There's no power play involved. It's a tough call, but I've made the decision in the best interests of Towson State."
Truax said he informed Towson State athletic director Bill Hunter he was staying moments after making the call to Jacoby and then told the Towson State players at a 3:30 p.m. meeting.
"Bill Hunter said: 'Yikes, congratulations. Let's get on with it at Towson State,' " said Truax. "The players kind of expected it since I had told them Thursday I was staying if a decision wasn't reached over the weekend. I told the players there's going to be distractions around the team and Coach Truax didn't need to be one."
Truax said money and job security were the only reasons he pursued the SWC position. Truax is earning $50,000 as the Towson State coach, compared to the $75,000 to $100,000 the SWC post would pay.
"Pam [Truax's wife] and I prefer living in Baltimore to Dallas, and I enjoy coaching," said Truax. "So we have two out of three reasons to stay."
Pam Truax, a stewardess who had planned to quit her job to be home with the couple's 3-year-old daughter, Anne, if Truax moved on to the SWC position, said: "Terry's where he's supposed to be. He should be working with kids. Once he came back from his interview last week and had a team meeting, his enthusiasm for the job changed. He didn't seem as excited."
There was also a call Friday from a former English student of Truax at DeMatha 20 years ago.
"The guy [Mickey Garrett] was in my class, but I didn't coach him in basketball [Truax was an assistant to Morgan Wootten at DeMatha]," said Truax. "I hadn't seen him for 20 years, and all of a sudden he's on the telephone telling me that it took him all these years to realize that the things I told him back then were the best for him but he didn't believe it at the time. It was kind of emotional and made me feel like I really can make a difference with kids when you work this close to them."