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The Post reports that Texas Christian men's basketball coach Jim Christian has agreed to coach at Ohio. Christian told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he has not accepted any deal, and Ohio sports information director Tom Symonds said he had not heard word of any decision regarding the coaching search. (Rodger Mallison | Star-Telegram)

Report: TCU's Jim Christian to be Ohio's next men's basketball coach

Only three days after former Ohio coach John Groce left for Illinois, the Bobcats might have already chosen their next head coach. reported Sunday night that Texas Christian coach Jim Christian has agreed to become Ohio’s next men’s basketball coach. The Post could not immediately confirm the report.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, Becky Watts, chief of staff to OU president Roderick McDavis, said she had not heard word of any hiring and deferred comment to Ohio Athletics. 

Assistant athletics director for Media Relations Tom Symonds said he had not been informed of any hiring and that, to his knowledge, the coaching search was continuing.

"We have no comment regarding the coaching search at this time," Symoonds said in a statement.

Christian has 10 years of head coaching experience, including six years at Mid-American Conference member Kent State. He replaced Stan Heath at the helm of the Golden Flashes at the beginning of the 2002-03 season, the year after they went to the Elite Eight and made the deepest NCAA Tournament run ever by a MAC squad.

Under Christian’s guidance, Kent State went 138-58 and made two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Ohio was 5-10 against Kent State during Christian’s tenure.

If the report is accurate, Christian would leave the Horned Frogs on the brink of their move from the Mountain West Conference to the Big 12. During his four years in Fort Worth, Christian’s team posted a 56-73 record, including an 18-44 mark in conference play.

Christian said he has been in contact with Ohio officials about the deal but has not been offered the position, according to TCU beat reporter Stefan Stevenson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

"I haven't been offered a job and I haven't accepted a job by Ohio," Christian told  Stevenson.

According to the report, Christian makes about $600,00 a year at TCU. Groce made $300,000 a year, and Ohio University officials attempted to raise funds that would have been used to offer him a raise if he stayed in Athens.

Ohio athletics director Jim Schaus travelled to New Orleans for this weekend’s Final Four festivities, assistant athletic director for Media Relations Tom Symonds said on Friday.

Basketball coaches and athletics personnel often attend the Final Four to take part in meetings in addition to the games. Two other potential coaching candidates — Ohio assistant coach Dustin Ford and Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals — also were in New Orleans this weekend. Stevenson reported that Christian was in Fort Worth Sunday night, not New Orleans.

“I think you’ve got to be open to all candidates, maybe people who directly associate with the program or who might be in the region,” Schaus said during a Thursday press conference to discuss the state of Ohio men’s basketball after Groce’s departure.

Schaus has hired five Ohio coaches, including Groce, since becoming the school’s athletics director.

“I don’t have a specific timeline (for hiring a coach),” Schaus said at Thursday’s press conference. “My philosophy is I think it really needs to move along. I would say that something that would be in the seven- to 10-day range would be realistic.”

The lone tie between Groce and Christian is that they are both former assistant coaches under Herb Sendek, who is currently the head coach at Arizona State University. Groce coached under Sendek at N.C. State from 1996 to 2000, while Christian worked for Sendek at Miami University from 1995 to 1996. reports that Christian will be introduced as Ohio’s new coach on Tuesday, the day after the NCAA national championship game.

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