- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Maryland assistant basketball coach Dave Dickerson is among the early candidates to replace Clemson coach Larry Shyatt.

Dickerson hasn't met with Clemson officials, but has said he's interested in the school. Dickerson, a native of nearby Olar, S.C., withdrew from consideration for the College of Charleston opening last year. He issued a statement yesterday to temporarily quell speculation though it didn't directly address the Clemson job as Maryland readies for its NCAA tournament opener against UNC Wilmington on Friday.

"It has been my goal to be a head coach, and I am flattered to be mentioned when people discuss different openings," Dickerson said. "But right now my focus is on this team, this program and helping Maryland defend our national championship."

Shyatt resigned under pressure on Monday after the Tigers were 70-84 with one postseason appearance in five years. Shyatt was only 20-60 against ACC teams, including 3-37 on the road.

Clemson was cited by the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification last year for a lack of minorities in prominent athletic administrative positions. Athletic director Terry Don Phillips said Clemson will consider minority coaches during its search.

Dickerson's recruiting is among the reasons for Maryland's resurgence over the past seven years. The former Maryland co-captain in 1989 helped sign Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter and Chris Wilcox, who led the Terps to the national championship last year.

Maryland coach Gary Williams supported Dickerson's bid to gain his own team.

"Dave is ready to be an outstanding head coach," Williams said. "He really knows the game, he is a relentless recruiter and he gets along with everyone. I think he's paid his dues at several programs, and he has been one of the outstanding assistant coaches in the country for the past couple years. He has had a lot to do with our success."

Dickerson's only obstacle is that he has no head coaching experience against an experienced pool of candidates. Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton, Dayton coach Oliver Purnell, Illinois coach Bill Self, Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo, former Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger and former Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd are reportedly candidates along with Duke assistant coach Johnny Dawkins and Oklahoma State assistant Sean Sutton.

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