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The timing couldn’t be worse. Butler’s six incoming freshmen have already begun summer school. Stevens‘ longtime top assistant, Matthew Graves, accepted South Alabama’s head coaching job three months ago. Next week, recruiting kicks into high gear and in early August, the Bulldogs are off to Australia for a summer tour. Meanwhile, most of the big-name coaches have already landed jobs for next season.

Callers to local radio shows wondered whether Collier might try to find an interim coach to fill the job until a longer search can be conducted next year.

One possibility that was floated included Collier, the former head coach at Butler and Nebraska, returning to help out his alma mater. Don’t bet on it.

“I thought about this and then I decided I was going to come here to announce that Brad had taken the job with the Celtics and that I had hired myself as basketball coach and it took me about that long to fire myself,” Collier cracked, infusing humor into an otherwise straight-laced news conference. “So now I’m going to go find a good coach.”

One that can, perhaps, begin the healing process.

“What I know for sure is it’s going to be a Butler guy, a guy who knows our identity as a team and who is not going to change our identity,” Marshall said. “I think we’ll be pretty comfortable with whoever the guy is.”