Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery is interviewing with Northern Illinois president John Peters today for the Huskies’ men's basketball coaching vacancy, Illinois Spot-Lite recruiting service director Larry Butler told the Daily Chronicle.
Another source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Montgomery is interviewing with Peters today. The Daily Chronicle granted anonymity in order for the source to avoid reprisal. NIU athletic director Jeff Compher has not spoken publicly about the coaching search since March 11.
Butler, a former coach of the Illinois Warriors AAU program, said NIU is moving quickly, and he expects a decision to be made in the next 24 hours. This is the second interview Montgomery has had with NIU, the first coming Saturday in Chicago. Butler said he considers Montgomery the front runner for the job, but added it is not a done deal.
The Daily Chronicle was first to report Montgomery was a candidate for the NIU job Friday. He is one of four finalists two independent sources confirmed to the Daily Chronicle on Monday.
Two of those finalists, Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti and Purdue associate head coach Paul Lusk, were reported to have withdrawn their names from consideration Tuesday night. Butler confirmed those reports.
Another finalist, Indiana assistant Tim Buckley, was rumored to have received a job offer from athletic director Jeff Compher. Butler said he did not believe that was accurate.
Butler said he was surprised to hear Giacoletti had withdrawn from consideration.
"He was probably the perfect person for that particular job," Butler said. "That job really requires a person who understands the landscape of the area. Northern Illinois could be a gold mine for a person who really knows how to work it."